The h2g2 Real Life Birthday Party - With Cake

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Early morning saw rain in East Anglia and much of the south of the country. But as the morning passed by the clouds parted and the sun came out. The ground dried and people came out to enjoy a Saturday afternoon in London. But as the sun shone down upon Hyde Park, something more sinister, but fun, was happening. h2g2 researchers were congregating upon the bandstand.

At previous meet ups there has always been the worry of how to recognise each other but now that there have already been two previous ones, with photographs to prove that we are human, or at least human looking, recognising one another is becoming easier. The main aid to recognition it has to be said, was Abi wearing an h2g2 T-shirt and having the logo emblazoned across her chest. Arriving as she did with Peregrin and his rather disconcertingly pink cartoon T-shirt with his name on it, there was no mistaking that these people were hitchhikers.

Upon arriving at the bandstand and taking over the large double bench type thing the game of aretheyarentthey began. The rules for this are simple. Arrange a meet up of people who don't know what each other looks like, then try and guess if someone who happens to be walking vaguely in your general direction is actually part of your intended group. I feel an apology must go out to all those poor individuals whose afternoon stroll in the park was marred by being the object of close scrutiny by a group of strange looking researchers.

As each new researcher arrived Abi carried out the job of introductions, and made a splendid show of how a memory is supposed to work. Although she did spend the first fifteen minutes insisting that Anne was called Karen.

A slobbing we will go!

So across to the lawns and a general slobbing around for a while. A bit of batting practice and a lot of throwing things that made a sort of screeching noise as the travelled through the air. Then Mark and Peta turned up. We knew it was them from a distance as they were weighed down by a bag full of beer. So cans were emptied all round and we soon had some piles for softball bases. Probably not the most professional way to do things, but hey it was fun. Then the softball happened. Two teams, eleven a side, Abi refereeing. Dr.Prunesqualler proved that he hadn't lost his touch from last years rounders match, and went on to score several runs. Baldrick did a superb job of bowling, and we all got the impression that he plays cricket, because he could actually play. Mark showed us all that you don't have to have played softball before to be good at it, as he proclaimed that he'd never played it but went on to show that he could. Beeline put in a stunning batting performance, with the fielders 'going deep' as he stepped up to the plate. Well actually it wasn't a plate so much as a rucksack and a few empty beer cans.

After the second innings a beer break was called as everyone who was playing was getting thirsty. But soon play resumed and a further two innings were played. The final scores were as follows...

Team A9612Total = 18
Team B212712Total = 33

So team B won, but I'm not sure who was on which team. More general slobbing around followed until the beer ran out and a grey cloud approached. So all was packed up and the 20-minute hike to the pub began. As we approached Lancaster Gate it started to rain, and as we exited Hyde Park the heavens opened and a torrential downpour began.

So it was an incredibly bedraggled group that arrived at the Mitre in Lancaster Gate, trudged downstairs to the Vaults and sat quietly shivering and then steaming until the staff were asked to turn on the air conditioning.
Unfortunately they also turned on the music, loudly. But we soon found a volume dial on the back of the speaker and solved that problem. Beer tokens were produced (literally) for the Bank of Moxon; complete with a caricature done by Wowbagger and the rush to the bar began. As we all settled down with pints and soggy clothes copious bowls of hot chips arrived and soon vanished, only to be replaced by more. The night progressed and conversations abounded. The pool table even got some use in, with Zebedee hustling everyone. Zebedee claimed to be unable to find everyone else in Hyde Park so spent the afternoon in the pub. In the dry pub. Dry. Not wet. Unlike the rest of us. Who were wet. Very wet.

Researchers filtered off during the evening to make their way back to the different parts of the country that they came from. Everyone seems to have enjoyed it, to meet in the flesh people we know in the virtual. It was also nice to be able to meet all of the h2g2 Editorial Team, and Jim and Bernadette Lynn who brought along baby Charlotte to be oohed and aahed at.

So, when's the next meet up?

More photographs will be appearing over the next few days, so check back! If you have any that we can show, just email them to me or let me know where they are so that I can 'lift' them.

Attendance List... 1


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1Not a complete one I don't think

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