The bus dropped us, about a score, and our luggage by the front door. We hefted it into the hall and dumped it as it was ‘last orders’ for the evening meal. The food at Gormanston is always very large and designed for carnivores. I eat more meat there is a single day than I would in a month at home!
Then we booked in and got our badges. I had overpaid and the change gave me some useful spending money. I found my way to the dormitory, this year being in bed 114 rather than the Dorm. Prefect’s that I had occupied last year. I’d been demoted! Still, it’s a weight off my shoulders! Here’s what the dorm looks like: my slot was a few along on the left. We’d hang our towels over the curtains to identify our own and also to dry them.
This was mine:
Here’s the view from the back stairs. The blue line just above the most distant house is the sea, about a mile away.
After hastily unpacking we headed for a large room where the official opening was to be held. They always have a government minister along to do the opening, not a thing the BBKA could arrange! Usually it’s the Minister of Agriculture but he was at a football match this year so they found a substitute who managed his script very well. The Minister a couple of years ago was Trevor Sergeant who represented the Green Party. I think they did poorly at the last elections, nevertheless Mr Sergeant was to be seen from time to time during the week as a paying customer, a day visitor as he lives locally.
Our Guest Lecturer was introduced: Jennifer Berry of the University of Georgia. I last drank beer with her at Gormanston 10 years ago, but have seen her a couple of times since in England. Here’s a pic of her:
As you see, she is rather reliant on Powerpoint of which I will rant in a later blog!
The formalities were rather shorter than usual: usually, towards the end somebody makes a speech proposing a vote of thanks, and then somebody else makes a longer speech seconding the proposal, but that didn’t happen this year. Instead we got on with the real busines of the evening: wine and cheese and mingling with old friends from previous years. I sloped off after a glass or three and made my way to the pub, raising my first, as aforementioned, to Dave Cushman joined in doing so by Ben Harden and others. I was rather tired and made my way back after a couple of pints, getting to bed soon after midnight.