The first big piece of news is the birth of Emily Jane to Nick & Fiona on 12th April, weighing 8lb 5oz. Congratulations to you both! The proud parents hope to be able to bring the new addition to their household to John & Jill's wedding on 7th June, so many of us will have a chance to meet her then.
The other item I have to report is Chris (McCarthy) & Rachel (Targett)'s engagement which apparently took place in November but has only recently been publicised. Congratulations to them too! No date set for the wedding as yet but it looks like being early next year. Plans are in place for an engagement party - see under forthcoming events.
Thanks to Mark Hows, SHOT now has a Website. The address is http://www.mds.qmw.ac.uk/ medicine/inter/shot. I don't know whether it's registered on a search engine, but I haven't managed to find it using one, so you're probably best to stick to using the address.
Gustav has asked me to draw everyone's attention to the fact that he now has a direct line at work: 0161 295 4315. The address list has been updated accordingly.
If anyone wants to take a group of at least 6 people to stay in a YHA hostel before next Easter(ish), get in touch with Rachael H.; she has a YHA group membership card for SHOT, and we might as well get some more use out of it before it expires!
The last SHOT weekend took place from 28th February to 2nd March and was to a very smart bunkhouse (owned by Kay's old school) in Rosedale, North York Moors. It was very windy - 3 steps sideways for every step forwards - but as a large proportion of the group spent Saturday afternoon in the pub watching a football match, the weather didn't really matter.
Over May Day weekend a few of us went over to Dublin, on a trip organised by Rachael to celebrate her 25th birthday. Lisa's birthday was also coming up so we celebrated that too. An excellent weekend, but three days of solid eating, drinking & sightseeing meant that most of us went home with blown budgets and bad heads! (Incidentally, the extremely touristy Dublin City Tour, by double-decker bus, is worth the ?5 fare just to listen to the drivers!)
The fourth "dirty weekend" (working for the National Trust) took place over 9th-11th May, when ten of us (mainly non-SHOT) went up to Ilam in Derbyshire, just next door to Dovedale. The work this time involved removing tree guards (the kind that are supposed to be biodegradable but actually aren't) from young trees on a very steep slope. As a result of heavy showers we all got soaked on the Saturday morning and so were reluctantly forced to spend the afternoon investigating the pubs in Ashbourne.
The most imminent event (that I know of) is a barbecue at my house on Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May, around 6pm. Anyone welcome, but please let me know if you're going to turn up so that I have some idea of numbers. You're also welcome to crash if you like, although I realise that most people will have work the next day. The guest of honour will be Scott from San Diego, whom those of you who came to my housewarming 18 months ago (the strip party) will no doubt remember. I might also be having another do around August- time - contact me around the end of July for details.
Chris & Rachel's engagement party is also coming up shortly: a barbecue at their house on Friday 30th May, followed by a get-together at McCarthy's pub, Elephant & Castle, on Saturday 31st. Anyone welcome but please ring first to give them an idea of numbers, especially for the barbecue.
Then there's John & Jill's wedding on 7th June in the Wirral, with John's stag do in Edinburgh two weeks before the wedding. Details of the stag weekend are available from Mike Ashton.
The original 20 places for Neil's midsummer weekend (20th-22nd June) at the Punch Bowl in Swaledale (venue for Pete & Katherine's pre- wedding bash last year) are now fully booked, but more should be bookable if anyone else wants to go. Contact Neil if you're interested.
Jayne's organising a trip to North Wales, between Conwy & Betws-y-Coed, for the weekend of 12th July. Lots of good pubs nearby, bike hire available (book in advance), pillows provided, bring sleeping bags, some rooms ensuite. Open to all, 20 beds available, cost ?15 for the weekend. Please send full payment to Jayne as she has to shell out for it in advance.
I recently got in touch with the people at Contact, the Salford University alumni newsletter, to inform them of SHOT's existence & ask if they'd like to give us a mention and see if any more ex-SUHC people crawl out of the woodwork. They were happy to do so - apparently we're going to be in the autumn issue - and they asked me to give the Summer Ball a plug. It's on 19th July at the Pav and is a formal do, with posh dinner and all that stuff. Can't make it myself (I'll be visiting Darren in Japan at the time) but I'm sure it'll be a good do, especially if we get a group going along. If it doesn't happen this year then maybe it could be a possibility for 1998...
No Helvellyn barbecue weekend this year (Percy too busy).
The next dirty weekend isn't booked yet, but is likely to be either to the Brecon Beacons in mid/late September or to Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire at the end of August. I should have made the booking within a couple of weeks from now, so give me a ring for details if you're interested. It'll be accommodation free of charge & food ?10 for the whole weekend, as usual.
Next SHOT weekend is 3rd-5th October, to Upper Cantref Farm, nr. Llanfrynach, south of Brecon (South Wales), grid ref. 056258. This is a posh bunkhouse with prices to match, but we're going to subsidise it out of SHOT funds so that the cost is reduced to £7 per person per night. There are 24 beds available, and a ?5 deposit to Gus secures a bed as usual.
No definite details as yet on the New Year trip, being organised by Neil, but it could be Loch Tay. Contact him (e.g. on the Punch Bowl weekend) if you want an update before September, which is when the next newsletter is due.
And the boring bit... Yes, I'm afraid it's subs time again. The same rates still apply: £3 per person, £5 per couple or for two people at the same address. And no charge for offspring, up to a maximum of two per family. (That should cover us for a couple of years, I reckon.) This covers membership for September '97 to August '98, so the payment is due before the next newsletter comes out. Cheques to me please, any time soon. I don't mind writing & copying the newsletters, addressing 40-odd envelopes and buying stamps, tea, coffee, biscuits etc., but collecting subs is a chore that I really could do without, so I'd appreciate it very much if you could make life just that little bit easier for me and send the money without me having to chase you for it!
I think that's everything covered so I'll wrap up here & look forward to seeing you all (or most of you) over the summer,