A Return Visit To Paradise by way of Kensal Green, 8 October 2017

No comedy moustache this time…
…nor festive cracker hats!

We returned to the scene of last year’s Christmas festivities (those December 2016 ones depicted above).

It was almost the same group of us too, except was around and Micky joined us this time.

The place is probably better suited to a regular Sunday lunch feast rather than the Christmas feast. The regular Sunday lunch is gargantuan enough, but within a tolerance that doesn’t require several days of overindulgence-recovery-time.

Good food too. Janie and I both especially enjoyed the crispy belly pork. I found the Sunday roast trimmings (not least Yorkshire pudding) went surprisingly well with it. Yummy starters too – mine was a seared tuna salad, Janie’s a crab thing.

But of course it was the company that really made the day so good. Even after Micky, Max and Kim had gone, Janie and I stuck around chewing the fat with DJ until long after dark. Winter is setting in!

Christmas Day In Paradise, 25 December 2016

You’re crackers, sir!  I said, “it has come out of one of your crackers, sir”!

It was DJ’s idea.

Paradise by way of Kensal Green is one of his favourite places; we’ve been there with DJ a few times on a Sunday.

Unusually, he, Kim and Max were going to be around on Christmas day. The idea of Christmas day with friends for once, without cooking/washing up pleased us enormously, so we were up for it.

It was fun.

I wasn’t properly up for such a stonking big meal though:

  • antipasti (prosciutto, salamis, artichokes);
  • pumpkin soup;
  • turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings;
  • Xmas pud;
  • cheeses;
  • mince pies;
  • chocolates…

Not only that, but the feast was served for six although there were five of us, as Pinball Geoff was due to be there but dropped out at the last minute. That was a shame for several reasons, not least that Geoff would have enjoyed my plastic tashe, as his group, The Bikini Beach Band once supported Sparks.  I love that Kimono My House look.

I know you don’t have to eat it all. I know you don’t need to drink half a bottle of Barolo on top of the aperitif of a big glass of white. Oh how I suffered the next day.

Ogblog readers will sympathise with me en masse, I just know they will.

New Year’s Eve 2008/2009 Party, Ealing, 1 January 2009

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

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!