The Final party before I leave.

Trip Start Feb 10, 2003
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Trip End Jul 30, 2003


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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Saturday, February 1, 2003

My last update before I start the course.

Having had the party in London for friends and colleagues I invited a few
close friends to spend the weekend at my parents' home on the Isle of
Wight.

The weekend started on Friday night with the late performance of the Rocky
Horror Show at the Mayflower theatre.

A good show but a little different from Jason Donavan's time. But the
Hamilton's were interesting as the narrator and received their fair share of
good humoured abuse.

The show finished at 23:00 (well we left at that time) to make the 23:30
ferry to East Cowes. The ferry departed late but made up time by a speedy
crossing. Arriving at home just before 01:00, mum was up and had laid on a
late supper for us all. Soon after the first beers were consumed people
started drifting off to bed. Leaving a hard core of us to drink until 03:00.

Sleeping in the garden room I was awoken at 07:30 as some people started to
move about but I managed to ignore this and slept 'til 09:30. After a light
breakfast and a stroll into the village, we set off to Yarmouth.

Yarmouth was bright but blustery and after a refreshing walk up the pier
(please note the a 20p donation per person to maintain the oldest wooden
commercial pier in the UK is required. This is fair value, as during the
summer it is a great place to watch passing yacht in events like the Round the Isle
race in June etc.) After watching the ferry come in we made our way to the
Kingshead for a hearty lunch, only stopping to draw cash (which I failed to
achieve as my card had expired the day before. A friendly loan was
required).

After the lazy lunch we made our way to Alum Bay, famed for its coloured
sands and view, out to the Needles and its lighthouse and over to Poole Bay on
the mainland. In the summer the car park is usually full and there are
hundreds of visitors but this day there were plenty of spaces. The mini fun
fair (a few small ride for children) and the host of gift shops etc were
boarded up for the winter, even the public toilets were closed despite the
small number of visitors. With everything being shut this meant the chair
lift to the beach was not operating, so we had to tackle the 188 steps (not
counted by us!!!). Going down was fine but coming back up it became clear
very quick who the fit people were.

After a play in the sand, skimming stones etc. we left alum bay to head to
freshwater (we had some shopping to do and their is a co-op there).

Our indirect route to Freshwater allowed us to stop and Freshwater Bay for
afternoon tea and the view back towards St Catherine's point. The cliffs
were lit orange by the setting sun (a sight not to be missed).

We arrived back home at about 17:30 in time for noggins. (Noggins - Drinks
in the afternoon as the sun sets)

After a few drinks the evening's entertainment kicked off with a game of
name the intro and then after a few rounds (of the game and drinks)the score became irrelevant, it was into the garage to play a few rounds of killer with darts. (No need
to call the police nobody died physically but it was close the way some of
the darts were being thrown).

Mum was amazing as usual and prepared a huge dinner for us all. Seconds were
in order and on Sunday doggy bags were taken. Mum had made a special
Gateaux for desert to celebrate Ali's birthday on Sunday.

I am very lucky to have such good friends, to my suprise at the end of the
meal I was presented with a selection a superb gifts which are going to be
essential as I chart my course into this new endeavor. I would like to thank
all of them for their support.

After the meal and a short break, we settled down for a quick game of
Cranium. Which if the instruction are to be believed should takes about an
hour. We finished at 01:00 but I know we must have started before
midnight!!!

Following a late start on Sunday morning (Happy Birthday Ali) I made my
famous large fried breakfast, which is, if it can be fried it will be
fried, none of this grilling lark!!! Enough cholesterol to last a year.

Breakfast was eaten at 11:00 and this left us just enough time to get to The
Countryman for a pint before people started to leave at 14:00.

To sum it up a great weekend was had by all.
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