Oakley Court Hotel, Sunday 29th August, 2010
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"From what had gone before this was certain to be..........A Picnic."
This was the fifth annual picnic we had held at Oakley Court and yet again a great time was had by all. Fan Club members and non-members alike from around the world met up for two days of fun and friendship, plus of course the chance to dress up at Frank's castle.
Steph, myself and the kids arrived early on the Sunday afternoon and had a chance to meet up with the others who had arrived early or indeed stayed the previous night at the hotel. A few drinks on the terrace is always a nice way to start the day off. Illya handed out the Picnic Show badges along with some cherry lips that we'd bought from the pick 'n' mix the day before.
As we arrived the hotel staff were putting up our "Transylvania" flag. This year we had one made by a professional flag maker and it showed. It looked simply stunning fluttering above Oakley Court once more. We chatted to the staff and they told us that the event had in effect sold out as they had no more rooms left, in fact they had a waiting list and had turned away ten people who wanted to book for the picnic. Make sure you get in there quick for next year guys!
The weather for the picnic was meant to be the odd shower and right on cue as the food was starting to be brought out there was a brief but effective rain shower. This didn't really matter as the picnic always has a back-up room in place in case of the weather not being perfect. We all moved into the conservatory and adjoining room for some fantastic food. By the time most people had got their eats and drinks the weather was bright sunshine once more so we started to move outside again.
A nice chill-out atmosphere ensued, as it always does, and we all spent a lovely few hours chatting and enjoying the chance to wear our costumes at Frank's Castle. There was a close race as to who had the most obscure costume. Time wore a perfect copy of the Supergirl outfit, as per the lyric "And Superheroes come to feast", but she was pipped at the post, quite literally, by Chrisy and his pink "Horse Brutality" costume. Honourable mention should also go to the young lady dressed as a Satanic Mechanic, complete with spanner.
Everyone then did the usual photographs, including our now obligatory Group Shot of as many folks that were still around. Lot's of the fans also got called over to appear in the wedding shots of the happy couples that happened to be holding their receptions at the hotel on the same day as the picnic. I think most of the wedding guests wished they'd brought some sequins too. It didn't take them long at all to realise what nice people the Rocky fans tend to be.
After an evening of relaxing we all headed to the restaurant area where they had set us up a cinema screen. This was the busiest picnic so far with at least eighty three of us there and we packed the room for the movie screening. As always the castle itself got a well deserved round of applause and cheer when it appeared on screen and I will never cease to be amused by the fact we are watching the movie, inside the building we are looking at on the screen at the time. I think a lot of people were also amused by the wedding reception next door's music choices, the shout out of "I predict a Riot too" was most amusing. Most of the ambient noise was drowned out in our room by our own singing, but it did manage to add something in the way of background music to the dinner scene. Doctor Scott with a backing track, unique!
JonJo gave everyone that attended the screening a really nice laminated sheet of Rocky images as a souvenir. Totally unexpected and very welcome. Thanks JJ.
After a final Timewarp we all headed off to the bar for a while and the lightweights (and those with kids) amongst us returned to our rooms just before 1am.
The next morning we met up for the usual chat after breakfast (the breakfasts at the hotel are to die for!) and took a few more photos in the morning sunshine. The best time to photograph the back of the house by the way.
As we started to head home, after saying our fond farewells, there was one question that most people asked: when is the next one booking?
(TimeWarpWebmaster) August, 2010
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