The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society

        1982-2017  35 YEARS OF BEERS





"Pirates of the Aegean"

The final count at the check in desk was 15 pirates.  The absentees were NICK (missed an AGM to attend a wedding that never took place, nice one), RAY (working too hard), DON, STEVE R, KEITH (holidays!  Guys, the 1st weekend in September is GASS, what don't you get), STUART (family illness), NEIL (no bloody idea).  We missed you all - and you all missed a great opportunity to have fun and let your hair down.  Try and do better next year - the first weekend in September is GASS - "dear diary please put aside the 3/4/5 September and the 10/11/12 as well, just to be on the safe side".

PISTOL PETE:  At check-in Pete was called on by security to witness them opening his bag and extracting - wait for it - A GUN..............  Yes, Pete had packed a replica pistol in his carry on luggage, along with no less than THREE large containers of banned fluids.  The security guards face was a picture (and the guards refused to let me take a picture, and trust me I begged!.  I was dieing to have a photo on the website of Pete with his gun on the security desk).  What was even funnier was Pete being surprised he could not take it on board.  To be fair it was a replica - but still - a GUN!!!

On arrival in Turkey we were shown to our Pirate ship, and what a beauty she was.  90 foot long, masses of space, individual cabins, shame they were mostly doubles!  Cue massive scramble for rooms, punch ups over who had ordered what, stressed out secretary doing his best, thank God for the lovely Marina Vista Hotel where those who did not feel like cuddling up with another GASS member headed.  Fantastic hotel, lovely breakfast, loads of real meat to eat (the boat was a bit too veggie for most tastes).

The days were spent as planned, up for breakfast about 11'ish.  Quiet cruise to a bay for a swimming and a long, languid, liquid lunch, then back in time for an even longer liquid dinner, followed by hitting Bodrum's very lively and long-lasting nightlife.   Bodrum really does do variety.  There were bars, restaurants and clubs to suit everyone.  Great live music, blues club's that stayed open until 6am, night clubs, foam parties .................. did I mention foam parties?

THE GREAT FOAM PARTY DEBACLE:  Just down from the mooring was the biggest nightclub in Bodrum.  A very smart open-air club holding a thousand or more, and they have weekend foam parties, but not until 4.00am.  GASS decided to go, but as the evening wore on several members found the 4.00 bit a little difficult to achieve.  Pacing themselves was not on the agenda.  Hence the final crew was about half strength when they finally turned the foam on at about 4.30am.  Let the pictures tell the tale!




As you can see - a good night was had by all - apart from Andy that is - he just enjoyed six co-codamol pain killers.



The boat was lovely and the four days sailing was enjoyed by everyone.  Here are just a few photos to remind the crew what is was like.








The AGM itself was held on the boat, out at sea, as is appropriate for a Pirate ship.  Here are a few photos and a video to give you a flavour of both the AGM and the fact that it was de riguer to appear dressed as a pirate, (or as a girl, or as a beer bottle, or as a slapper, or as an elderly aunt ......... we really should have made it far more plain that Pirate was the only option - too late now I guess).  In any case this is how we looked.............









and of course the 'group' photo - smile everyone!




and last, but by no means least, the video.....  worth it for the rrrrr's sequence alone




Apart from all the dressing up we did actually have an AGM, in between rrrrrrrrrrrrrr'sing about, so for the record this is what was decided.


THE CHAIRMAN:  Normally a close fought contest between several reluctant megalomaniacs, but not this year, for two reasons apparently.  The first reason being that everyone has finally twigged that what Jeff Wilding said all along was true - it's Brian's club .......  a simple and unpalatable truth, like it or lump it.  Why we still call it GASS is frankly beyond me, BRIAN'S CLUB has a much better ring to it.  The second reason was that for the first time in a long time we have a chairwomen who has had a successful year, been universally popular, entertained us with her speeches (they don't tend to mean much, by by God they are good). and generally kept the place tidy.  I refer of course to Alana Stranger.  Alana was unanimously voted back into the post of Chairwomen of Brian's Club for a second term and we offer our best wishes to all who sail in her.

THE SECRETARY:  In the new democratic style being forged by Peter Mandelson, Brian is the leader, unelected he may be - but boss he certainly is.  The velvet gloves are off at Brian's Club.  All hail Brian.  Oh, and he is still secretary too.

THE TREASURER:  As a result of a small (20,000,000 small) financial hiccup our esteemed treasurer of the past eight years, Aunty Len, has had to step down, along with his trusted sidekick Ann.  They will be sorely missed and we owe them both an enormous thank-you for all their effort (well mainly Ann obviously).  The King is dead!  Long live the King!  Step forward Ron who was keen (some say TOO keen) to volunteer for the post.  The only fly in the ointment is that Ron was the accountant for the firm that had the aforementioned 20,000,000 hiccup so things may get stormy from here on in - come back Danny, all is forgiven!

THE FINES SECRETARY:  Ian, the outgoing fines secretary, who raised the princely sum of 5 in fines all year, was fined 500 for doing such a pants job.  Fortunately as you know from the video Capt Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise was among us that night and he was duly voted into the post.  He promptly raised 41.33 in 4 minutes.



Lenanne presented as fine a set of accounts as we have seen in years.  After a string of quality meetings we are in the perfect financial position, the 'Goldilocks effect' has been felt in Brian's Club.  Just under eleven grand blown on pissing it up, Everyone paid up to date (almost), and a bank balance of 4958.67, just 41.33 short of the magic 5,000 that Brian's Club is supposed to have as seed money to cover the coming year, and even that was covered by Picard's fines to the penny!  Perfect.  Now the last time that happened was when Danny left.................  A year later poor Phil Grey was explaining that GASS was bust.  I merely mention this as a word of caution Ron.



We have loads of ideas, more than we need - but we have a paucity of organisers.  The ideas are listed on the main MINUTES page.  If you have not arranged a meeting in the last two years then the pressure is on you.  You really do have to pick one and get it sorted.  It's not hard, just put a bit of effort in and make it memorable,  No pressure - yet



At this point the Hon Sec started to suffer from the effects of way too much red wine and the notes of the evening tail off a lot, in fact they tail off terminally.  I seem to recall being boarded and boring the boarders to death, I see me losing money hand over fist, I see a wobbly boardwalk and normal people staring at a lone drunken pirate, I see a statue of a small Belgian boy weeing - then I dreamt I was staying another four days in Bodrum with Hew - after that it is all a blank, nothing. ............................... 





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