We arranged for a gathering of friends and the three sisters to see in 2009. With Phillie’s health now unquestionably in decline, it was a fine balance between ambition and pragmatism. But the big points were that Phillie wanted to dance and she wanted that close set of friends and family with her.
So we planned to take a big table at a public gathering in that hotel in Ealing currently (2016) known as the DoubleTree Hilton – I can’t remember what it was called at that time – Janie thinks it might have been a Ramada back then. You know the one; on the junction of the Uxbridge Road and Hanger Lane. Not normally our sort of thing, but the ability for the out-of-towners to simply retreat to their room without the need for transport/going out of doors was a big plus.
There is a sizable photo set from the evening. The set does not come from one of my or Janie’s cameras – I think it must have been Anthea or Kim who brought the camera. Several people chipped in taking the pictures, mostly those two I think, with some drunken-looking efforts from other people thrown in. I don’t recall taking many/any of them myself.
These five must have been a terrifying quintet at school
Considering the quality of photographers present (not least Anthea Simms and Mitchell Sams) the overall quality of the photo set is less than special…
…with a handful of notable exceptions….
This proves that the photo pros were mostly busy enjoying themselves rather than taking snaps, which is a good thing.
It was a remarkable evening, not least because Phillie had been so poorly in the run-up to the evening, we thought even the day before that she might need to be in hospital over the new year festivities. In the end, Phillie had a great time and danced almost all evening. We did not get any pictures of the dancing, although dancing we all, not just Phillie, certainly did.
Indeed, we all had a great time. Even me, despite evidence to the contrary in the following picture!