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George MILLIE’s 70th Birthday


Part 2



The Restaurant

With visions of the natural hazards of travelling in convoy – being separated by other vehicles and traffic lights – I took the precaution of giving each ‘navigator’ a detailed set of instructions in regard to the intended route.


To further simplify matters it was decided that only two vehicles be used – I accompanied Roy and Kay in their car whilst Marion travelled in the company of Gerry and Margaret in Reg and Vera’s car. The journey was accomplished without mishap, we assembled in the almost empty second level of the car park and strolled to “The Coffee Club” nearby where Marion had very sensibly made a booking some time previously. On the way we joined company with Robin and Jeanette who had by some miracle also just arrived and parked in the more crowded ground level.


A composite table for ten was quickly and efficiently assembled and we sat down to order the drinks and in leisure peruse the menu. As one can see from the bill (right, with prices removed as a matter of courtesy) our individual tastes were very varied. Beer served and red and white wine poured we commenced our repast with three large plates of Bruschetta, Sweet Chilli Bread, and Garlic Baguette, to while away the time until the main course was served.


The conversation flowed across the table accompanied by much laughter and the usual banter. There are never any pregnant pauses in our company. The first two bottles of wine were soon depleted and replacements ordered. Iced water was also on the table, provided free for those who indulge in living dangerously.


At the end of the meal a surprise for me – one of the waitresses, with whom I had been engaging in a jocular exchange, paid me back by bringing in a plate upon which was a small caramel tart complete with lit sparkler and dollop of cream, accompanied by a cheerful “Happy birthday”. This immediately prompted nine voices in discordant unison to belt out a tuneless rendition of “Happy birthday to you …” much to the dismay and amusement of the other diners.


With one and all now “thoroughly fed up” Marion settled the account and we departed, returning to the car park to drive the reasonably short distance to Queen’s Park.


Published: June 2004


Queen’s Park