Posted by: internationalroutier | December 15, 2010

Na Zdrowie

Geshundheit!

Only joking Joyce. Na Zdrowie was of course the lucky winner of the fiercely contested battle to host the Routier Christmas Party.
The day began in the early afternoon with a sing-a-long with Stan in the park. The weather was glorious and Stan was in fine fettle. The park offers a good walkway suitable for Stan’s wheelchair and plenty of space for reclining Routiers. (Could we have drill there? Or a dancing and dice day for Stan to come along?) For some odd reason the first question the staff asked of Jacqui when Stan returned was “has he been drinking?”

Then onto the Ancient Briton which had been renamed in honour of our the Captayne, AB. Thanks to the advance party, Puppy we had a great long table only a short stumble to the bar. It was wonderful to see the traditional jug of beer on the menu (much easier to buy a jug than remember individual orders even at this early stage of proceedings). However, it would have been nice to be able to order a few interesting bar snacks; wedges don’t count. This is the second part of the afternoon and the Overcaterers Anonymous contingent are getting twitchy; crisps have to suffice. All too soon it is time to march on!

I do feel sorry for those people who were sitting in the front of the restaurant as 20 or so Routiers shuffle past to get to the seats up the back- why is it that they always put us up the back?! The Polish contingent had been guarding the tables and most importantly the excellent Polish mead that kept us hydrated throughout the meal. Many delicious entrees later the Captayne conducts the formalities of the evening. The Reverend’s Plate goes, in absentia, to Bear, the Captayne’s Cup is awarded to Ross and Routier of the Year goes to a shellshocked Damien. Not only has he not seen this one coming (“but I haven’t been to any meetings!”) he hasn’t heard it coming either. All those years of working around heavy machinery supplemented with an excellent band tee shirt collection bought back in the day when you could only get the tee shirt at the gig, has meant he didn’t hear a word of the speech or his name read out. He was just sitting there ready to applaud and wondering why everyone was looking at him.

Other random shots from the evening include…

Then it was back to the AB, and with cries of “up to the fish tank bar!” we ascended the stairs into what is undoubtedly a beautifully decorated area with chaise lounges and pouffes all over the joint but whose definition of a bar is under question as the serving area is closed after 10pm on a Sat night! Ack!! So it is back downstairs everytime you want a drink and line up at the one open bar while the 2 bar people plod along at about middling pace. (Dear AB barman, when the queue is 4 deep and 15 wide at the bar just forget about lovingly squeezing each piece of fresh lime into the lemon, lime and bitters. Fling the fruit in and serve someone else!) This scenario drastically cuts down the amount of drinking everybody does as who could be arsed going through the whole stairs/queue/carry tray up precarious stairs palaver. Instead we loll about, as evidenced here…
We were enthusiastically looking forward to pushing right through until Sausage Sunday
but the bar staff were sleepy after squeezing all those limes, so the AB turfs everyone out at midnight at which point some toddle off to digs near and far and others decide to march to the beat of a different drummer. News from the this part of the evening has yet to emerge but dear reader I will endeavour to keep you informed of all developments.

(thanks to Quarf and the Rev for the arty photos)

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