December days

Ma belly is full and I am warm. I feel a cup of tea would go down well. I have started a new book which I am optimistic will be an enjoyable read. We won the cricket in Pakistan with minutes to spare. Test cricket at its best. This morning we had a delivery of logs.

Two days at home this week before heading to London and party time. 

Through the infinity of night my mind hops from ice cream and espresso martinis in Soho to scuba diving amongst the coral reefs of the Bay of Pigs. Multitude destinations where the edge of the imagination meets reality. There is no boundary. I reach out and touch and reality disappears back into my dreams.

How can you see through the darkness? You know it is there.

This morning’s frost and the change to colder weather has given me somewhat of a dilemma. Will be spending much of today in a pub and whilst the dress code is Christmas jumper I have packed a Christmassy Hawaiian shirt. I don’t possess a Christmas jumper because I haven’t come across one that I like. The freezing weather is going to make the Hawaiian shirt a difficult option. I’ll work it out.

Otherwise I’m all packed and ready to go. 

It’s a strange feeling having trefbash come around again. This one is trefbash 13. Trefbash 11 was cancelled due to covid  but since trefbash 3 it has been held at The Phoenix Arts Club. A fantastic venue. I don’t remember when I started numbering them. Maybe as early as trefbash 2. I don’t have any photos from that bash either. Someone will have some somewhere. 

For the last few bashes we have used a professional photographer. It’s the only way I can remember who came. Also a great resource for sharing. Most people like to see photos of themselves. I do anyway. 🙂

I still have some work to do before the bash. Budgeting stuff for next year. I don’t know how I managed to get into this sitch as trefbash normally represents the end of work for the year after which I down tools. I’m off to Brussels next week!!! A one day meeting stretched into three thanks to rail strikes. My body says no thanks. I’ll have to push through the pain barrier 🙂

Today’s cold weather is very reminiscent of this time last year. London was not particularly pleasant to walk around, even with the right gear on. The cold weather also makes finding a late night taxi nigh on impossible. 

I recall the night before the first trefbash, Ajax and I were staying in Waterloo and we rolled out of Ronnie Scotts at closing time. It was around minus six. I was wearing an insulated suede jacket and himalayan woolly hat but Ajax was out in party gear – posh shirt and thin jacket. Took us an hour to walk to Waterloo as we had to stop at MacDonalds for a coffee for him to warm up. He nearly died of hypothermia. Bless…Memories… 😀

The snow hit London the next day cancelling lots of trains. In consequence quite a number of attendees failed to make it. In order to get through the kitty we had to drink the place dry of Pol Roger champagne which happened to be the most expensive on the menu and which is now the standard offering at trefbash 🙂

The dust has settled on another successful trefbash. We polished off the last of the Pol Roger at around 01.30am seeing as by then it was my birthday. Nat Morris hit the floor for one last solitary dance whilst Will, Stefan and I chewed the cud with Nat’s old school chum talking about something very memorable that I totes can’t remember anything about. Snormal.

This morning son Tom joined us for a birthday breakfast. He has taken the day off. V sensible. I like to think that trefbash is the point after which I down tools for Christmas but on this occasion I had the temerity to accept a conference call invite for 10am. On my birthday!! I made it a short call.

It gets worse. I am in Brussels for meetings Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday. Because there is a train strike on Tuesday I have to go to London on Monday and stay in a hotel. The Eurostar back on the Wednesday has been rescheduled to an hour earlier because of the train strike which is a bit of a nuisance. 

When I get to London I’m having to stay another night because of the bloomin train strike. Ok it works wonders for my Hilton Honors points and with rollover nights means I’ll already be well on the way to qualifying for Diamond for 2024. I already have 24 rollover nights in the bank for next year before the trefbash stay and next week in London and Brussels.

One of the things I like about trefbash is getting together with like minded folks from the internet industry where you can rely on there being a conversation about BA Tier Point runs and double Hilton points offers 🙂It was really great to see everyone.

On the way back to the hotel one thing stuck in my mind. At 2am after a night on the pop what you really want is a kebab or a burger or simlar. Will and the boys have a place en route to their hotel that sells fried chichen. The only place in and around Trafalgar Square open at that time of night is the McDonalds on the Strand. There was a big very slow moving queue outside that I joined briefly and then gave up because it didn’t look to me as if anyone was coming out having successfully purchased some food. What the place needs is a couple of burger vans.

In other news I note that there are 9,979 unread emails in my inbox. None of them is from you obvs.

There are always some statistics that come out of a trefbash that I quite like. The 50 bottles of Pol Roger consumed is one but the 127 espresso martinis that far outsold last year’s performance whereas the 103 pornstar martinis fell short are others. Must have been a slightly different mix of attendees. Also the espresso martinis were being delivered on trays with the ice creams which might have accounted for the trend.

As usual a massive thanks goes to the sponsors without which trefbash could not be the bash that it is. These are Lonap, Fuse2, Magrathea, Fractional Teams, Gamma and Netaxis. It was very pleasing to hear the loud cheering that accompanied each sponsor’s name when I read them out on the night.

Jeff Brown’s band was as usual fantastic. Top professionals, they get everybody dancing. Dancing is an essential part of the mix for a good party. I’m a proud parent on these occasions when one or two offspring get up on stage and join in @John Davies. The food this year was curry. The fact that many people went back for seconds tells it all.

Awake to a wonderful deep frost blanketing the estate of Davies. Real winter has arrived. Two rings have been fired up on the stovetop to accelerate the kitchen warming. I feel in no rush to prepare breakfast. It is the sabbath after all, somewhere in the world. Cup of tea. A low sun climbs slowly over the allotment fence. My thick woollen hat and scarf adorn the pine table. 

The monotone wireless drones bad news. I switch to the cricket in Pakistan, a more acceptable audio backdrop. Parmesan parsnips are prepared for the freezer in advance of an upcoming feast. A jar of spiced pickled shallots stands on the butcher’s bench ready for packaging as a birthday gift.

By Trefor Davies

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