I was hoodwinked on Friday evening. Five shameless politicians tricked me into venturing down a bumpy track to an apparently deserted barn for a nefarious and completely incorrect reason. When I arrived, as instructed, in black tie, I found Sir Tony Baldry, Cllr Charles Shouler, Cllr Barry Wood, Cllr Kieron Mallon and Cllr Norman Bolster similarly attired and gathered round a dining table groaning with food and wine. The occasion was, in their words, to Dine Out the ex-Leader of the County Council.
We had Canapes with Frexienet 2009 Vintage Especial; Salmon Pate with Melba Toast washed down with Puilly Fume de Neauville 2006; our main course was Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks in a Minted and Rosemary Red Wine Jus with Roast Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables accompanied by a copious quantity of Bordeaux Superieur Chateau de Rougerie 2010; to conclude, we had Tomato Bruschetta and a Cheese Board will we passed Dows LBV 2001 Port. We closed with coffee.
Grace was given in a splendid manner by Cllr Barry Wood; the Loyal Toast was given by Sir Tony Baldry MP; the health of the Conservative Party was proposed by Cllr Norman Bolster. Cllr Charles Shouler said some very kind things about me and Cllr Mallon continued tributes in song before the company drunk to my health. I replied as best as I could.
My hearty thanks to these five very good friends for dining me out in such style and to my complete surprise.
….. and before any tut-tutting, none of the six of us drove anywhere after the event. Chauffeurs had been arranged for all!