2007 annual dinner

John Moore (first to arrive, albeit because he thought the dinner was to be held on the Friday) and Russell Woolf.

This year's Remnants annual dinner, was held at Kami's on Saturday, November 17, and, despite rather low numbers, was a most enjoyable event. Fifteen of us took over the basemant at Kami's and were treated to superb banquet and, less predictably, a collection of country and AOR standards by the restaurant's resident troubador.

Colin Anderson.

Dave Williams.

Sadly there was no full quiz this year, although there was a competition: we had to guess Geoff's current (defined as ``having played first class cricket in 2007'') world eleven (plus twelfth man). And guesswork it was judging by the fact that the top mark, obtained separately by Colin Anderson, Rob Harvey, Dave Green (whose initial entry was ``Australia'') and Daniel Mortlock, was a mere 5/12.

Helen and Dave Norman.

Mike Sneyd, Daniel Mortlock and Joe White.

But then again such poor results might be explained by Geoff's selection being a tad, er, biased (with the inclusion of two Poms and only three Aussies) and maybe even a little baroque (Zaheer Khan?):

Weirdly enough, none of the four actual winners ended up taking the prize (a bottle of bubbly) home with them as Mike Sneyd somehow found himself taking it ``hostage'' on the grounds it looked ``alone and neglected''. Once he sobered up, however, he realised that it should be released and returned to the club, and he's promised that he'll transfer the errant vessel to Geoff upon payment of a suitable ransom (to be decided by Mike).

Rob Harvey

This was somehow representative of a night on which everything was slightly removed from the norm, with the awarding of champagne as the quiz prize being nicely offset by the awarding of a book for Champagne Moment Of The Year. Russell Woolf and Nick Clarke could have shared the award for their combined dismissal of Zimbabwean international Piet Rinke; John Gull's crazy fielding was almost enough to repeat his 2004 victory; and Tom Jordan would have been favourite but for the fact that his fielding efforts didn't quite result in what would have been a stunning catch off his dad's bowling . . . but in the end Geoff couldn't look past the return of the prodigal barista, Mike Jones picking up a wicket with his first delivery of the season on the way to figures of 4/17 in his only game of cricket all year. So congratulations, Mike, and don't read it all at once.

Mike Jones, recipient of this year's Champagne Moment award.

We also had the second presentation of the Remnants Discretionary Trophy, a monstrous cricket sculpture donated by Phil Watson with the decree that ``the previous recipient award to a member of the club for whatever reason they want''. Phil started the ball rolling last year by presenting to Russell Woolf as the Remnants Cricketing Tart, and this year Russell passed the beast on to Daniel Mortlock for generally spending most of his summer doing ``Remnants stuff''.

Russell Woolf, having just handed over the Remnants Discretionary Trophy to . . .

. . . Daniel Mortlock, who's as horrified at the appearance of the monstrosity as he is appreciative of what it symbolises.

A close up of the Remnants Discretionary Trophy.

After that Sally Hales unexpectedly took on Anton Garret's traditional role as finisher, repeatedly admonishing the waitresses for trying to remove plates of food on which she had long-term designs. Which was a good thing really, as it meant our steady supply of the house red continued uninterrupted, with the result that we suddenly decided Remnants CC needed to join Britain in having a motto. Sadly the best received suggestion came from one of Dave Williams's kids, who'd recently taken to belittling his father using the Star Wars line ``Your powers are weak, old man.'' But given The Chemistry Lab's description of us as ``a bunch of middle-aged cricket wannabies'' maybe it's just a sign that our self-image is matching that of the wider world.

Rupert Brown like the house red.

Geoff Hales looks on as Sally Hales deals with the left-overs while, in the background, the resident troubador tunes up between songs.

Either way, it was naptime, and so we all tottered off pre-midnight, some of us getting strange looks from gangs of local Asbo-aspirants as we wobbled along clutching a eight-inch high model of a batsmen smacking the ball over cow corner.