40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION DINNER

10TH FEBRUARY 2001

One weekend I wonít forget!

Friday, 9th of February Paulaís day and mine started very early at Schiphol for a take off to Heathrow. We had a very smooth flight and the sky was clear blue with sunshine.

At Heathrow we continued our trip by bus to Woking and there it started! I lost my backpack and almost shouted to Paula: "Have you seen it??? " Paula got red in the face, looked around and than started to laugh. "Youíve got it on your back, silly." This remained the whole weekend with us;"Where is my ticket, where is this, where is my soap." It must be our age.

Enfin, we travelled by train to Salisbury and by taxi to our B&B-house. Very nice, very clean and a lot of space in our room. We dropped our things and went by foot into the centre of Salisbury, what a lovely little centre and picked up our tickets from the City Hall, because thatís why we were in this town, to be at the concert that night of HELEN AND HER WONDERFUL BAND. We visited the really beautiful Cathedral and saw a lot of swans.

We wanted to have our dinner early but couldnít find a place for a proper meal, but what I never expected, we found a Belgium pub/restaurant where they served real Belgium fries.

And as always I had to see and visit the toilets; I was amazed because above the toilets it was not "Ladies and Gents", but in original Dutch "Dames en Heren". We had a nice meal and went on to the theatre where we met John who told us Helen was not very well.

However, she did a really great show. Afterwards we had the chance to talk with her for a short while and walked back to the B&B, but we couldnít get in the house, we had a key but it didnít work. So, finally Paula said, well the British drive "on the wrong side" so maybe we have to turn the key just the other way around. That worked and we got to bed, slightly exhausted.

The next morning, after a full English breakfast, we got on our way to the railway station (singing in the rain!) and had a good trainride into London Waterloo, then to the Jarvis hotel, again dropped our things and back into town for a quick look into Harrods, and on we went to Piccadilly Circus, through the Hay Market to Trafalgar Square into the National Gallery where I wanted to see just one painting and it was so beautiful. Painted in 1342, not a very big painting, but it showed the young Jesus when he was found after three day bys his earthly parents. The colours were so bright and clear. What a painting!!!

Thatís all we had time for and went back to the hotel for what should be a lovely evening among friends. Helen and John and John Schroeder arrived around 18.45 and we all had the chance to say at least hello and have a chat. The dinner was very well organised and we had some really good food. Sandra Lambert played the piano, it was all very stylish.

After dinner there were speeches from John Schroeder, Tony Dowse and Helen and John S. were presented with a beautiful vase. Helen thanked everyone and especially Gay, Tony, Geoff and Lorraine for all the work they had done to organise this evening. Later Sandra and John W. joined our ladyís table, (Christine, Carole, Claire, Jo, Paula, Sandra and myself) which was fun. John told us he once had a Dutch girlfriend called Petronella!??

And he had a present for Paula, because she sent a CD of Helen to a Dutch televison station which lead to an invitation for a t.v.-show.

This evening had something extra for me because I could talk with Chrissy Rodgers about a personal problem; if you read this Chrissy, thanks.

The evening ended very late, almost one oçlock in the morning, so bedtime it was.

The next morning we had just enough time to have breakfast and had to say goodbye to the friends who had stayed in the hotel.

At Heathrow we were told there was a delay because of bad weather conditions in Holland, but it was just one hour, not too bad. After a bumpy flight we were glad we landed at Schiphol; almost Home Sweet Home!

We had a wonderful weekend, thanks for the memory.

Lots of love for everyone,

Tineke, Holland.

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Copyright © 2001Andrew Earwaker