The advantages of attending social events virtually include not having to go out into the cold, no arguments about whose turn it is to drive and we can meet people from far and wide. So, when we woke up to snow on Saturday morning, there was a sense of relief knowing that no-one could use it as an excuse to duck out. And why would they, with a fun packed programme of bingo, chatting and a scavenger hunt to round it off. Nineteen households made the effort to get off the sofa and fire up Zoom, with a geographical spread from the north-east (Brian and Michelle Thompson in Newcastle) to the far south-west (the Farrow Cronin family, stranded in County Cork), from the coast (David and Ruth Thompson) to the rolling Chilterns (Colin and Frankie Little). The ages ranged from the venerable veterans of our fine clubs to our youngest member - Saoirse at a delightful 3 months.
We kicked the evening off with some general chatter, the usual technical issues and the various comings and goings as people recharged their glasses in preparation for the fray. Then we started on the bingo. Hosted by the YSC, Margaret had arranged e-Bingo cards for all and had clearly spent some time perfecting her calling skills. Not once did the two fat sailors trip over the two little ducks and no-one lost a Kelly’s eye. Despite the crowd’s overwhelming ignorance of bingo (“what’s a line?”), the games proceeded at quite a pace and the humorous asides from Denis, as the glamorous assistant, added further mirth as he sang, quipped and popped up with props. As good as any Saturday night TV we’ve seen. For the first game, the first line was a tie between Anthony Knights and Cally, whilst the full house went to Phil Ollier. In the second game, the first line went to Anthony Landamore, with the full house to Brian Thompson. EACC/YSC vouchers will be winging their way to the winners soon.
After a short break for a bit more chat and time to get drinks, we launched into the Scavenger Hunt. With bonus points awarded for both interpretation and comedy value, much hilarity and tenuous connections ensued. More ‘Bargain Hunt’ than 'Antiques Roadshow’, the highlights included Liz Ollier’s mummified udder*, Kevin Rhead’s 50’s golfing trousers, the Branscombe’s china doll (which I found strangely unsettling) and a Roald Dahl ‘Matilda’ print. One of the things to find was ‘an item of chandlery’ and, almost in unison, pretty much every YSC member presented a vast, varnished wooden block**. It was impressively choreographed and EACC wasn’t in the race. The final item to find was a guard for hair clippers. This was intended as a joke on Colin Chettleburgh, who’d had a tonsorial mishap earlier in the week, but the Chettleburghs got the last laugh by winning the hunt, after a tense tie breaker with Paul and Jane Stevens. EACC/YSC vouchers will be winging their way to the winners and runners-up soon.
It was a good evening all round and great to catch up and see friends again, albeit virtually. The other advantage of attending social events virtually is no worries about getting home, which is actually quite nice on a cold, snowy night, especially when you’re already in your pyjamas.
CallySmith (EACC Social Secretary)
*An explanation. Liz says "I was given it when I did some work in a hospital in southern Chile many years ago (1999). They are made by the Mapuche Indians and used for carrying water etc. I was actually offered a choice of this and the male equivalent made from a bull’s scrotum. I asked what Chilean cows are called and, rather than Buttercup or Daisy, I was told they are called Clarabella. I therefore named my pot Clarabella and she came back from Chile on my knee so she didn’t get crushed in the luggage. The only problem was that I had a window seat with the sun streaming in and she smelt pretty horrible! Thankfully the smell has now faded”
** An explanation. Margaret says "Chris Dowsett (ex owner of big Dragonfly, no 6) used to have a block making business, but when he gave it up, he still had an amount of stock. They are all hand made, high quality and beautifully varnished, with his dragonfly motif let into the larger ones. For many years now, he has been putting them into (the famous) YSC raffles, one at a time, as prizes. They are greatly coveted and don’t sit on the table for long! As you discovered, many people now possess at least one. I emailed Chris and told him I’d never seen so many of his blocks all at once and I think he was quite chuffed."