Party Goals

The year seems to be flying by the summer appears to have come and gone in a flash there is now a definite chill in the air. The other weekend Lynda and I went to Northampton to celebrate a friend’s 60th Birthday, something which we did in style as it turned out. I will be honest with you nowadays a great night out for me is one where you have an amazing time but you are still in bed by midnight. This is not exactly how this tripped worked out.

Neil Quigley

We headed there after I had got home from work on the Friday. It was about nine when we checked into our hotel and by half past we were in their local pub having a drink with the birthday boy, his girlfriend and some other mates. It was a great night just chatting and laughing. We stayed there until closing time, then went back to their house for a few more drinks and got to sleep at 3am in the end.

The next day we had to be up reasonably early as a big group of us was going to see the rugby team that the couple we knew supported. We met up at midday and found ourselves in a pub just down the road from the stadium an hour before kick off. We went to see Northampton Saints play London Irish in the Premiership which is the main rugby union division in the United Kingdom. It was the first time that I had been to their ground and to a top flight professional game. The atmosphere was great and there were plenty of places to get drinks and food, sadly though I could not eat any of it.

The home team won and I did enjoy it although a lot of the time I was not totally sure what was going on. I mean I did know when a try had been scored but that was about it. I had no idea that you were meant to stay silent whenever there was a kick to be taken. That does not happen at the football when there is a penalty kick in fact normally the crowd make more noise at that point. The first half lasted an hour as unfortunately one of the London Irish players suffered a nasty injury after being knocked out.

At the Rugby

After the rugby we went back to the hotel and because I had not eaten at the game or was not totally sure if there would be gluten free food at the party we were going to later. I ordered a takeaway from Pizza Express. I ate that while I was watching the first half of Tottenham against Leicester on my phone. At halftime we walked down to the local pub again to meet everybody else and I watched the second half of the game. Obviously I was very happy with the 6-2 win and it was brilliant to see Son get a hat-trick. A nice way to sign off before the international break. We got a minibus from the pub to the party venue which was about a fifteen minute drive.

We arrived and nobody had any idea where the function room was so we ended up going in the furthest door away and then twenty of us had to all trudge through the restaurant and bar there to get to the private room. It was a nice little set up with its own bar, toilets and outside area away from everybody else. We saw a few people we knew so had a good chat to them. There was a barbecue which did have some chicken and salad that I could have. There was also a band who were great. The played a nice mix of cover versions and even got me up on the dance floor a few times. That is quite a rare occurrence nowadays.

The party finished at midnight then we got the minibus back to our friends’ house and just continued the celebrations there. We got to bed around 4am this time. This weekend away did prove to me that I could still be rock and roll when I needed to be but it is a lot harder doing it than it used to me. We headed back to Lynda’s house on the Sunday afternoon after stopping in to see our friends’ for a cup of tea and a quick debrief of the previous night.

Neil Quigley

As it was now a Bank Holiday Weekend we decided to go to Prezzo for a meal and to raise a glass or two for Queen Elizabeth the Second the day before her funeral. I enjoyed a three course gluten free meal there with some Prosecco. That just happened to come free with the food thanks to an offer they were running. I mean we could have stayed in after a busy weekend, but I am glad we went out. We did however have a fairly early night in the end to try to catch up on some sleep and because I did want to watch all of the funeral proceedings the next day. I am a royalist and support the whole family but the Queen was always somebody I held in very high regard.

Neil Quigley

I started watching the television coverage just after nine in the morning. The first journey for the coffin was a relatively short one but it was still a very impressive spectacle as Queen Elizabeth The Second was taken to Westminster Abbey. The building in which her Coronation had taken place nearly seventy years earlier. I thought the ceremony was lovely and I was holding myself together well until I noticed Prince Edward crying and then that set me off.

Once I had recovered my composure I watched almost transfixed as the procession made its way gracefully to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park. It was so well marshalled and organised but then you would not expect anything less from the armed forces. Everyone who took park in that parade was immaculate. It was a fitting send off from the capital for our longest reigning monarch.

I stayed with the coverage as she was transported by road to her final resting place at Windsor Castle. As she arrived there it was beautiful to see a couple of her Corgi’s and her favourite riding pony on the grass to welcome her “home”. The committal service was very emotional particularly at the end when they removed the Jewell’s and the Crown, then the coffin started to disappear into the vault below.

It is still going to be odd not seeing her or hearing from her ever again. But I do take comfort from her being buried with her parents and her beloved Philip in the King George V chapel. I did not realise that there are quite a few royals laid to rest there at Windsor Castle including Henry VIII.

Queen Elizabeth II

Last Sunday Lynda and I went to see a play that had been on our radar for a while. First of course we went for a meal at Wahaca. They are really good with Coeliac Disease sufferers and have a special gluten free menu plus they send out all my food with a special little allergen flag in it, which I really like. After a three course late lunch in there, a dessert is a must at all times, we took a slow stroll to the Criterion in Piccadilly.

2:22 A Ghost Story

We were there to see 2.22 A Ghost Story. It has been playing in various theatres in London for quite a while now and they seem to regularly update the cast. It is written by Danny Robbins who also has his own podcast and Radio 4 series called Uncanny which features real life ghost stories. The play however to the best of my knowledge comes from his imagination. We both really enjoyed it the plot was very clever. It makes you jump and laugh in equal measure, it is funny but it touches on a lot of very modern real and serious subjects with a constant spookiness running through it as the title suggests. And I hope this is not a spoiler but there is also a clock on stage.

The cast in the current show are Laura Whitmore, Matt Willis, Tasmin Carroll and Felix Scott and they are all brilliant. We had seats in the stalls and you really do fee part of what is happening on stage. It is very clever how they create the atmosphere and at times leave the whole audience feeling on edge. The other great thing is they have a performance at 6pm on a Sunday which means you can see the show and still be home at a reasonable time ready to start the week.

Neil Quigley

I went to the England game at Wembley on Monday with my dad and a mate. There are few bigger games in world football than us against the German’s. Although the first half did not really live up to the billing, it seemed very slow and more like a game of chess. It did pick up in the second half and ended up being an entertaining three all draw, which was about the right result in the end to be fair. I did enjoy seeing Harry Kane get his 51st goal for his country with an unstoppable penalty.

After the game only to wait for the queues for the train home to die down you understand my dad and I found a nearby pub. We plonked ourselves down on a couple of seats at a table with another lad who had also taken his father to the match. As it happened both kids and parents were around the same age, so we had a great chat for about an hour or so. They were both ace gentleman from Cheshire who had some good stories and who had done some fun and cool things. In is always interesting to meet new people randomly and have a good laugh with friendly strangers. We left them in the bar and wandered to the now nearly empty platform to get our train home. Another successful family night out for me and the old man!

England Game

A reminder that you can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings

Neil Quigley

Yesterday I had a day out at the races with a group of friends. It was our annual Ascot trip which had to take an enforced two year break, so it was good to all be together having a few drinks and watching the races. I will tell you about it next time we speak. Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.