Who could resist the offer of a weekend away in Dordrecht in the company of The CEA with good food, cheese, beer, port, and wine in abundance…oh, and the odd peal attempt thrown in for good measure?? Well, it would seem not many as The CEA Weekend 28/30th November 2014 proved a resounding success with 22 members travelling from Germany, Belgium, France, Norway, and the UK to join our hosts in The Netherlands. With a Klockhuys almost full to capacity a fun weekend was had by all. Even by Dordrecht standards a rather extraordinary quantity of cheese was purchased and consumed during the weekend partly due to one of our party having a “meeting of the eyes” moment across the cheese counter with the proprietor of the stall requiring a return visit a little later on the Saturday…..say no more!
3 peals were scored. A tidy peal of Cambridge SM confidently conducted by HJ got the party started. A rather surprising success followed the next morning with Brian conducting a sparkling peal of Operation Market Garden – a rather tricky method for an early morning peal following the night before!!!….A bit of foresight on my part meant I successfully negotiated a swop with Dickon so was more than happy to leave that one to the experts.It also meant that I could accompany Mike and Clive on a fact finding mission to Gouda where we discovered the delights of Patat met Mayo (chips and mayonnaise) and tried to list 10 famous Belgians – still working on that one.
A delightful peal of 8 spliced S.M followed after lunch in which Cathy made it all look easy, the only slight kerfuffle occurring when the President suddenly remembered he had forgotten to buy not only the lemon but the tonic which he had promised he would organise for the ringer standing immediately to his right. Disaster was swiftly averted by Alban’s top of the form conducting and a good peal was secured – well done Cathy! ( In hindsight the lack of a G&T at that stage of the proceedings was probably for the best….and was made up for later anyway in The Postillion, oops.)
A potentially controversial piece of business was discussed and masterfully concluded by Dickon proposing a compromise to the problem. This was resoundingly approved enabling the evening to progress in the time honoured fashion of taking Port with the President etc etc. Naturally this continued for some hours thereby enabling Clive to perform his party trick , though he did keep us waiting for quite a while….
The Sunday peals were both mysteriously lost. This had absolutely nothing to do with the previous evening……Happily after lunch and further sustenance a successful quarter peal was rung with Thirza ringing her first of Lincolnshire SM and once again making it all look straightforward – well done Thirza.
Finally – huge thanks to Paul and HJ for their committment and dedication to the CEA and for making these weekends happen. See you next time.
More pictures can be found here