Sunday the 9th of January dawned bright and clear after a week of dark skies and often heavy rain. Lunch had been scheduled for 12:00 at the Hunter’s Inn, Swanmore, military vehicles optional. I turned up in a civilian Renault Laguna estate (the Ferret is now running but blocked by two immobile Japanese cars). It takes almost the length of “Desert Island Discs” to drive from South Hayling to Cotts Lane, Swanmore; in golden sunlight and crystal clear air the run was a delight. Colin Lacey flew the flag for the club, bringing his 101 and adorning it with posters for the Overlord Show. Probably because his Disco is poorly, like mine. Even though the weather was spring-like we went into the pub as soon as the door opened.
I had reserved a table for 10, 14 turned up. Tony, the landlord was very accommodating and hastily re-arranged his seating plan for the food area to ensure we were able to sit together and chat. I had made the mistake of wearing an old and favourite T-shirt which has survived sweat, wear, welding sparks and battery acid. Thus weakened the material gave way to provide a Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction. Hilarity ensued.
That in itself probably gives an indication of the sophistication of our club members humour, the conversation followed similar lines ranging from Rosie’s behaviour at her late 21st birthday party and Gary’s dressing up habits to the more sensible topic of new special effects in the Overlord show battle scenes. And hilarity ensued.
What about the food? Simple answer – good scran and plenty of it. As a case in point Carol ordered a crab salad in the expectation of a light snack (don’t know why, she has no need to diet). A crab shell, brimming with crabmeat sat on a square platter surrounded and almost overwhelmed by a fresh green salad that, even with Gary’s help, she was unable to finish. My whitebait starter was almost enough for a main course, fresh and succulent with a small and welcome salad garnish. The steak and Guinness pie that followed displayed the advantage of having an in house butchery; tender quality meat in a delicious gravy. I was too pre-occupied with my own meal to ask the others how theirs were but the expressions of satisfaction at the end of the meal were sufficient to prompt me into booking the Christmas meal there and then!