Friday, December 05, 2008


Last weekend the Putney crew hired a car and drove out to Snowdonia National Park in Wales for our friend Todd's surprise party. Shannon (of Todd and Shannon) organised the whole weekend, sourcing a ridiculously large mansion for the 16 of us (? - I lost count) to stay in.

This place was big. Apart from an inordinate number of bedrooms, it had an enourmous games room with billiards and ping-pong table; a huge kitchen with an old meat locker; and a dining room big enough to seat 16 people. Actually, just picture the Cluedo house (which, from memory, also had a ping-pong table) and you've pretty much got it. Apparently it cost the owners 100 pounds a day just to heat it.

Todd and Shannon arrived at around 11PM, and, needless to say, Todd was fairly surprised to find 14 people he knew lounging in a living room in the middle of Wales. We all said 'surprise', confirming his sentiment, then had a nice birthday party-like night.

The next day we went out clay pigeon shooting, which for me was a major highlight. We had an excellent instructor, a Welsh guy who had served in the armed forces, and (surprise, surprise) disliked the English. NB: If you ever feel the conversation drying up with a Welsh person, just mention the English - it's like putting a coin in a vending machine. I think you might even get something if you mentioned English muffins.

Now, in the shooting I came a valiant (if distant) last out of my troop, with John just edging Gerrod out for the top spot. However, it's important to remember that the winners don't write history, it's the people with video cameras. So in my version of events, I won, and the following clip shows the final shot that secured my victory. Hooray for Julian!

And this was a nice sunset, at two in the afternoon.


gerrod said...

That house really is amazing. So picturesque!

Julian said...
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Julian said...

Yeah, that picture of the house really speaks to me in some way, every time I look at it.

bitingmidge said...

Pigeon shooting hasn't been the same you know since the 1900 Olympics, which was before they invented clay ones:-

The birds were released in front of a participant, much in the way clay targets are fired out of traps these days, and the object of the exercise was to kill as many as possible. A participant was eliminated as soon as he had failed to down two pigeons.

What's the betting your instructor kept an English Pigeon or two for practice?


Shell said...

I'm sure he did... they had a Labrador for pigeon collecting purposes. I guess he likes his pigeon pie.

Helen | Pepperina Press said...

"...the winners don't write history, it's the people with video cameras..."

I'm just going to repeat this to myself many times and go fish out my Sony DV.

Anonymous said...

Wow that looks like a really awesome birthday surprise. That house is incredible. Did the girls have a go at shooting?

Aaron Lewis said...

No way. I want to shoot stuff on my birthday. Wait... who am I to have birthday envy.