Three eighths of the way to an octogenarian - (A report in the formal style in honour of those currently writing up theses.)
It may have escaped your notice but none of us are getting any younger. This especially applies to Mr Spanna who recently celebrated his thirtieth birthday. Much fun was had by all, the following being a vaguely accurate and occasionally exaggerated description.
Just before that though, a huge thanks to Nigel and Cath for once again being exemplary hosts and Spanna for letting us all help him celebrate.
Now I know that all you want to hear about is who wore what but there was actually more to Spanna's birthday than copious quantities of fishnet tights. By 3pm on Saturday, the 3rd of May, all the participants had arrived and were raring for celebrations. Hand-eye co-ordination, something that was sorely taxed by the drinking later on, was tested by playing with remote control cars and then it was off to the pub. The first thing we learnt was not to trust Nigel's directions nor his memory for pub names. Having found the high street with the banks on it (as opposed to a dead end) and returned to the only Weatherspoons we could find (despite it seemingly being incorrectly named) the drinking commenced. Coke was followed by orange and lemonade with a few reprobates pushing the bounds of respectability by trying drinks with alcohol in! Two other pubs followed in rapid succession before we descended on Pizza Hut. Having gorged ourselves on cheesy, doughy goodness, we returned to Nigel and Cath's.
Two by two, the partygoers furtively disappeared to change into their Rocky Horror inspired costumes. The star of the show was the birthday boy himself who's transformed self bore a spooky resemblance to Cher! The ensemble had been chosen carefully to minimise any embarrassment involved with buying the clothes, thus being a testament to internet shopping! The long copper wig naturally led the eyes down to the slinky black top (showing a flirtatious hint of midriff), blue mid-thigh denim skirt (frayed at the edges of course), black tights and black 3/4 length boots. Nigel and Cath managed complementary school uniforms, Nigel obviously chose to ask his Grandma for a skirt and we didn't ask where he got his pigtails from. Subtly red tights and Nigel's old school tie nicely set off Cath's. Sara looked like, well, there's no pleasant way of saying this, she looked like a tart so congratulations! Julia appeared as a French maid and Keith, a lab-coated scientist in tights and black boots. That only left the lab girls, who took hours to get changed in a futile attempt to avoid wolf-whistles. The waist length lab jackets lent all three a superficially similar look. However, Ruth's fishnet top and purple/burgundy brassiere, Allie's hair tied up in bunches with red shoe laces and Tina's cherry red undergarments and spangly tights made each distinct.
Just before watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the first of several martini-drinking games was held to get everybody off to an alcoholic start. Half a bottle later the film was started. We split into two groups, five Brads and five Janets, the idea being to drink whenever your character's name was mentioned during the film. This idea was observed fairly well, helped along by obvious clearings of the throat and gentle nudges - well, a few kicks as well. The films artistic and technical merits have been discussed elsewhere [1,2] (or [HAL99] [VIR01] if you prefer that system) but it's fair to say that different people liked different parts. A few more party games were essayed after the film but the activity soon faltered as people sat back and chilled out. Bedtime was around 1am and Allie stopped talking some time around 2am!
Sunday morning arrived and it was truly a beautiful day. Deep blue sky, wispy high cloud, the occasional biplane and the infamous 747 display-team lead to much contemplation and sitting on of garden swings. Spanna determined that the correct number of doughnuts to eat with morning coffee was ... well, quite a few! He did then use the energy to good effect by running round the house shooting people (with a birthday present laser gun set) so that was okay. A pub lunch was on the cards but first we had to bid adieu to Ruth who had other pressing engagements. Undaunted by this departure, the fellowship of nine went on a delightful walk around the Maidenhead countryside observing the local aerodrome and getting beeped at by a train as we waved from a bridge. The pub was the same one from the New Year party but instead of ferocious rain we had buckets of sunshine everywhere. After the main course we studied the desserts; truly there were more tarts on display than the previous evening. After we'd stuffed ourselves to distraction, we slowly ambled home passing some horses, getting a multitude of horn blasts from another train and witnessing the wheelie skills of one scooter rider. The final entertainment of the weekend was seeing how many plastic balls could be pushed up Allie's jeans (note that was 'up' Allie's jeans Diccon!). The gathering then departed via trains, cars and rubbish tips!
There was food, drink, merriment, good company and a determination to ignore advancing ages and behave like kids. What more could you want.
 [HAL99] Halliwell's Film Guide, Collins International, London. pp
 [VIR01] The Virgin Film Guide, and some more, made up, references. p ??? 2001