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ANYWAY, we got to Derby, checked into the Holiday Inn Express nearby, got ready, and watched THOUSANDS of Derby County Supporters STREAM by our window as they headed home, looking slightly perplexed by actually having WON a game at last. We left ten minutes after they'd dispersed, and found that they'd used up pretty much ALL the taxis, so set off on a HIKE across scenic Derby. It was actually really nice, it was a BALMY night, but we were ready for BEER when we got to the venue.
We had a LOVELY evening - The Machines had, beautifully, come in EXACTLY the same outfits as they'd worn at the wedding a week or so before, and the room was full of a) jollity b) FAMILY and c) all sorts of familiar faces. I was suddenly aware of The Passage Of Time, especially when Mr Whitaker arrived and I realised quite HOW VERY LONG AGO it was when we first started AAS and began coming to Derby regularly. AGES, that's how long ago.
We sat with Mr Whitaker and family, and also The Validators, and LO! there was chat and DANCING and, perhaps best of all, CURRY. I had been pre-informed of the catering arrangements, but was still AWESTRUCK when we were all presented with proper plastic catering TRAYS, and lined up to get HUGE PILES of DELICIOUS Proper Midlands Curry. PROPER samosas, incredibly spicy bhajis, GRATE Nans and HUGE dollops of delicious curry, it was FANTASTIC.
We had a GRATE time, tho we would I feel have had to go some way to match the DELIGHT on the face of THE GROOM. Those unfamiliar might have just assumed he was happy because he was RATHER TIDDLY, but long-term observers were almost ALARMED by the RAMPANT GLEE which played across his face and which, from the look of the Wedding Photographs, had been in place ever since the NUPTUALS. Honestly, after seeing SO MANY pictures of him SMILING and then seeing it live ALL NIGHT LONG, it was a bit ALARMING!
Next day we went off to see our friends The Bates, and went out for LUNCH in a Country Pub, where i had the BESTEST meal in a Restaurant for YEARS. It had pumpkin in it - a vegetable of which I am usually WARY, but this time I found also TASTY. After that, also APPLE CRUMBLE, we went for a walk and saw a DONKEY. It was lovely - I mean, of course, the young girls in our company thought so, I am of course too butch and manly to be CHARMED by such things. Even if he did have lovely soft ears. Aaah!
We got home KNACKERED, but very happy after ANOTHER lovely weekend of seeing PALS. PALS are GRATE!
posted 15/9/2008 by MJ Hibbett
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