Stoney Cove, November 2004
Sally called when she got the word, and she said: "I suppose you've heard - about Alice".

 
   
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Let me take you on a journey, a journey through time and sound; you’ve left London and entered The Twilight Zone.

It’s settlin’ in for a long and cold winter, you’ve been working hard all week, takin’ care of business, doing what you gotta do. Come the weekend you pack up your gear, saddle up them horses and ride. There’s diving to be done, and we’re the ones who’re going to be doing it. They said it can’t be done, its gonna be too cold, there ain’t no diving north of Sharm ‘round this time of year and its a damn fool who goes out looking for it. Well we sure showed them blue-water diving, lilac-car drivin’ schoolgirls.


The convoy started early on Friday morning as Aids’ Big Green Love Machine headed up to Stoney with all the dive kit you could want plus backups plus, read it and weep, not one, not two, but three back-up DPVs. Well, you never know do you.     Thankfully Aids also brought along his back-up car battery which we got the full benefit off in the truck in about the first, oohh, let me think, five yards of the journey, and Aidan got the benefit thereafter every time he tried to start his truck.
The Stanegarth
 

Catherine, his passenger, undoubtedly got the benefit of Aidan’s Secret Fuel Cut-Off Switch too.

Oohh, I’m so sorry, I must have forgotten to tank up before we left and I don't have a back-up fuel canister to help us get away from this dark, quiet country lane. Let’s huddle together for warmth and sing brave songs to rouse our spirits. One two three Kumbayaahh my lord, kumbayaahh..”

 
Aidan, Throbbing Hunk Of Man Gristle
Catherine, innocent, vulnerable waif
 

We rocked up at the Dive Inn late in the afternoon, some of us more worn out from the journey than others. The blokes settled in the bunk room, Catherine in the Palace Of Pleasure, aka the girls’ room, or at least that’s how it was known before our Mel bailed out.

What, Mel bailing out at the last minute, you must be kidding, that would never happen!!

     
Whose bunk did this turn out to be?
Once Aids hooked up the DPVs to the national grid and dimmed lights all the way to Leicester, off we went to the Star, which was to become our home and the focus of much bacchanalia. It gets dark early ‘round those parts, and even though it was still only about 4pm the sun had already set, giving us an excellent excuse to get the beer in. Those few, those happy few who had arrived early in the afternoon were well toasted by the time the main crowd arrived, giving the Johnny Come Lately’s an op to make lots of lame “orange” jokes.  
Is it 'cos I is orange?
   
 
 

Pants had just the one pint though, because he’s a big girl. All in all the tribe was pretty restrained, and before we left the pub that night we took one last opportunity to admire it intact (that is, before Mark “I could kill you with my thumb” Mills arrived) and to wonder, ominously, what all those old geezers sitting next to us were humming Elvis tunes for.

Before the sun set on the tribe a second time, we would have the answer..

"You're not on da list, you ain't comin' in!"
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