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Agenda for the Amsterdam Congress[editor's note: many thanks to Neil for this timely contribution. Admirers of comedy may wish to scroll down to the silly version: this first bit is the sensible part]
Gentlemen, This is how I see it.
Thursday 6th September
@ 21.30 Meet J/D/K/P at Schiphol Airport. Will be waiting outside the customs area.
@ 21.45 Transfer by car to Hornweg
@ 22.00 Arrive Hornweg. Light refreshments & beverages available.
@ 23.00 ish Retire, ready for a full day tomorrow.
Friday 7th September
@ 07.30 Visit Aalsmeer Flower Auction. The largest in the world. 750,000 m2
@ 08.00 Arise (Sir Kevin). Cooked Breakfast
@ 09.00 Neil or Claire takes girls to school (09.30 start)
@ 09.45 Depart Hornweg (2 trips) to tram stop & travel into Amsterdam
@ 10.30 Do Amsterdammy things (Canal trips, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum Dam Square.
@ 14.45 Depart Amsterdam to be at school for 15.25 to collect girls & return to Hornweg in 2 trips
@ 16.30 De-brief girls on school day activities. R&R. N & C prepare evening meal. Potential that Alice has to attend gym @ 17.00 to 20.00
@ 19.00 ish Evening meal
@ 21.00 ish Lucy & Alice to bed. J & C chat. N/P/D/K have a few hands.
@ 23.00 All retire. Congress for N & D with respective partners (wives, not bridge)
Saturday 8th September
@ 08.00 Arise (Sir Paul) & leisurely cooked breakfast.
@ 09.30 ish C & J depart for some adventure with L&A. Congress officially starts
@ 13.00 ish Lunch
@ 18.30 ish C, J, L & A return, assist with preparation of dinner & amuse themselves with "ladies talk"
@ 19.00 ish Dinner
@ 23.59 ish Retire after a keenly fought contest. It's neck & neck.
Sunday 9th September @ 08.00 Arise (Sir David) & leisurely cooked breakfast.
@ 09.30 ish C & J depart for some adventure with L&A. Congress continues.
@ 13.00 ish Lunch
@ tbc - 10 Frantic totting up & congratulation of victor
@ tbc Neil takes Paul to Schiphol for return flight. Victor goes back home next door. No-one even noticed him arrive. Remainder of evening for miscellaneous socialising.
Monday 10th September
@ 07.00 ish N takes K/D/J to Schiphol for return flight & goes straight to work from there.
How it will probably happen: -
Neil meets Paul & Kevin at Schiphol. They left Jan at Luton, waiting for Dave, who'd gone in search of some Dutchmarks to bring as spending money. Dave calls to confirm they will be on the flight arriving at 00.30 and is pissed off at having to pay Easyjet 60 quid for changing the ticket. He's realised his mistake about the Dutchmarks and advises he'll get some Euro's when he arrives. Get home ridiculously late open some booze, play a few hands (Jan retires) during which Dave complains continually about Easyjet's lack of flexibility & Neil complains continually about how many hooty points he's getting. Bed some time around 3am.
C & J have breakfast with L&A & take them to school. The only evidence of male life form in the house is the occasional thunderous fart. C&J return from school & all get ready to go out, having forced down some breakfast. We arrive in Amsterdam at midday, so time is limited. The girls want to go to the Van Gogh Museum, the boys to the Science Museum, so agree to split up & meet back at 2.30. The girls really enjoy the richness of art they see. The boys head through the red light district, also enjoying the richness of art they see, but stop at a bar, have a drink or four and play a few hands. Leave late, N&C in a state of hypertension in case they collect their babies late from school. Get home. Play bridge, ask the girls to ring for delivery pizza. End up doing it ourselves, as we're now in disgrace after Dave blabbed to Jan about the red light district. Paul is now leading, Dave is complaining that his bad experience with Easyjet has been detrimental to his ability to concentrate on bridge. Kevin finds a 4-4 fit in spades with Neil, but is distressed to find that trumps break 7-0. Neil is now keeping an Excel spreadsheet of hooty point values held, as he is so far behind on the scoreboard. Bed at 04.00. Vomiting heard at 04.30. All claim innocence. Neil is less than convincing.
Woken by L&A at 07.30, desperate to play with the guests. Long queue at bathroom. Unearthly noises, similar to that of an elephant in pain, emanate from the toilet. N, D, P & K all claim innocence, Dave is less than convincing, as he tucks his shirt into his jeans with one hand and munches on a kilo slab of Edam with the other. Bridge starts and all females in the house are ignored.
Dave complains about Easyjet. Neil complains about hooty points. Kevin complains about the way trumps break. Paul complains about the lack of pork sausages & bacon at breakfast. The first bottle of wine has been drained by 10.30. At this stage, Neil announces the "Dandelion Bonus Scheme". Henceforth, dummy digs up dandelions from the back lawn. The player who digs up the most dandelions is awarded 4,000 rubber points. A few hours & bottles later, Paul is struggling to say the word "dandelion". His most coherent attempt is "daddley-iron". Just before 6, the boys stop to watch the footy results. N, D & P discuss the relative merits of Fulham & West Ham. Kevin reviews the merits of smoked ham. We all chortle. At around 6pm, the boys head out to get some more booze, discovering that all the poxy shops shut at 4 on a Saturday and re-open on Monday morning. Bridge continues until 04.00 when all men retire. N & D hop into bed to be advised by respective (unless we're very pissed) wives that there will be no "congress" for the foreseeable future.
N or D come downstairs to find J & C thumbing through the Gouden Guids (Yellow pages) with the page open at "Solicitors - Divorce" The day is concentrated 100% on bridge as "Paul has to leave soon". Neil is now unable to recall his children's names. Eventually Paul leaves late for the airport as, during the last hand, Kevin spots an opportunity to attempt a rolling Swiss fruit-machine squeeze. Neil disappears for an anal squeeze. The evening is spent trying to persuade J or C to make up a four, followed by a few hands with Brother Anthony and lastly a desperate attempt to apologise to Claire & Jan for having ignored them all weekend.
N takes D/J/K to the airport. The journey takes place in silence. David is looking sheepish. Kevin makes a fatuous (but very funny) remark to Jan. She doesn't find it funny. Silence prevails thereafter. Neil makes up to Claire by doing all the cooking, washing, ironing & childcare for the next 2 weeks. However, there aren't any dandelions to dig out of the lawn* anymore.
* The "lawn" now resembles a WWI trench