"To sleep, perchance to dream" (Hamlet)
Between departing from The Britannia and returning to it, I fell asleep, entering a strange dream world where Jo was serving me with cheesy nachos in the 1st class section of a long haul flight to the third runway of Marlow International Airport. In the background, Mick was playing Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" on an acoustic harp, with Barney accompanying him on the kazoo and paper comb. Gerry provided rich tenor vocals, which, given the froggy croaks he used to introduce the evening, pointed up the divine inspiration behind the dream. Sporting illuminated curlers beneath a glittery hairnet, Andy led us in a hymn dedicated to Polish barbers in Farnham Royal where the flashing of a bus pass means that the hair cut cost less than the bus fare you would have had to pay if you didn't have a pass.
As we came into land, I could see Rose, waiting on the tarmac beside a table sporting an outsize bowl of her Cumberland sausage trifle speciality. Behind her, Maggie showered the waiting crowds with armfuls of chocolate and almond confetti fudge as Dave, dressed in formal long johns with Christmas lights coyly draped about his wedding tackle area, tripped the light fantastic on the foredeck of the Royal Yacht "Britannia" (so aptly named) with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Super had laid a trail in sugared almonds with circles of crisp hot chips marking the checks. Being at the rear, I tucked in as we went, having far less conscience than I do at the real hash nights as soon as the food appears. Poppy ran by my side, coquettishly licking whatever parts of me she could reach, and casting aside the fearsome screaming bark that she uses in her real world.
Roger delivered a homily in under three minutes and in a language that even a recently arrived refugee would have understood. Rummaging through a pile of ladies' XXX size Taiwanese t-shirts, he then presented Judy with an eternal voucher for the patisserie counter at Waitrose. No reasons were given - we just accepted that she deserved it.
To reinforce the dream, Mat was on hand to laugh at my weak salmon and halibut remarks even as Sarah was delivered of Anthony look-alike sextuplets who promptly finished off the leftover flour from the previous week's outing. Three wise men, Kevin in badly creased yellow t-shirt, Deefor and Elvis, both bedecked with holly and Santa hats, presented Sarah with gold and myrhh. Our Kev, unable to remember what the third gift was, simply said to Sarah, "Frank sent me".
Of such things are dreams made.