The Gerrard Chronicles 2023 - Ken’s 80th Birthday

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A boat trip on the Thames

Family lunch on Saturday 17th June 2023

Liz & Paolo Rizzi (Liz is a cousin-one-removed) arrived at 12:22, shortly followed by the Baldrys, nieces Mara & Zoi, my brother’s daughters with Zoi’s son Raphael. After deep debate, we went to the Crown Fish Bar & then, Caffe Nero until it got too cold, so we all came home where tea was served by me. They all left by 6, me taking the Baldrys to the hotel by car, as Raphael is sickly & asleep in Zoi’s arms. There were flowers for me back home, stuffed behind the dustbin but no sender name! It turned out they had been sent by my pianist friend, Maiko Mori, who has a gig in Tokyo this weekend.

From the left: Zoi, Avis, Paolo, Liz, Ken, Mara, Raphael,
taken by the Boss of the Crown Fish Bar.

Sunday 18th June 2023 - Ken’s birthday boat trip on the Thames

The boat was the “Golden Star” we used for Avis’ 80th birthday thrash 8 years ago. It is run by Capital Pleasure Boats (google them).

When Denise arrived at our house, it was obvious that we could not move the food by bus, so she ordered an Uber on her account (!) to Temple Pier. I managed to carry the food ( fairy cakes she had elaborately iced all morning) & a birthday cake in the shape of the Matterhorn with a little icing Ken on top, dressed in more-or-less correct climbing gear & carrying a flag saying ‘80 Today’.
Zoi took a picture of us (right) while we waited for people to turn up. Denise, characteristically, was responsible for my tee-shirt with “ It took me 80 YEARS to look this GOOD ”.

Avis, Ken & Denise ©Zoi

People drifted in with the family first except Justin, who was still in plenty of time. We were allowed to let them board early, as it was rather cool at first. As usual, I introduced everyone on the Tannoy. A surprise was Robin King, the Architect. I think this is the list: Zoi Economu & Raphael Economu; Mara Baldry; Liz & Paolo Rizzi; Justin, Nanako;, Yousuke & Kaisei Dowding; Avis’ famous son, Jason Watkins & his son Gilbert. That is the family. Philip Carver, faithful attendee at Ken’s European History class & the next-door-neighbour from Heaven; Lady Catherine Osborn, from the U3A & Richard, the oldest couple on the boat at 88 & 90; Viv Duckett & Peter Hunter from the Claremont Project; Peter Prince, the Singer from Caffé Nero; Martin Klute's Jazz Band & he is also one of our local Councillors; Hazel, our Cleaning Lady & her sister Sharon; Maria & Valeria, our Ukrainian sisters; Stephen & Ann Barry; Rene Peel; Stan Rosental; Hilary Roodyn. all from the U3A; Penny Vickers & Nigel, Reuter contacts but Penny was also a BBC Singer; Michèle, Kens Best Friend & Alan Molloy, her husband; School friends Don & Dame Elizabeth Hoodless; Michael & Valerie Weathers; Melvin & Fiona Higgins.


Catherine & Richard

Elizabeth & Don Hoodless

Jason & Gilbert

Nanako & the Boys

Denise’s Matterhorn Cake

Poor Denise was seasick while the boat was just rocking at the quay but the Driver decided to go downriver, as it was rougher upriver. The tide was ok but that’s his shout. Denise did buck up towards the end. The food was hardly the “meagre rations” we had promised. There was quite a bit wasted & we brought Denise’s leftovers home, as not going toxic, unlike the meat & prawns.

Martin’s band

The band was good as usual & Peter sang with them, “It’s a Wonderful World”. Maria sang a Ukrainian Battle Song as well, to great applause. Apart from Hazel & Sharon, a bit shy, people mixed well, so Ken set Michèle onto these two ladies (right).

Sharon & Hazel

There was general agreement it was the best party ever, not the least due to the lovely crew of the boa. It did sprinkle a little rain as we disembarked. We & Peter skulked in the Columbian Pub while Denise Ubered-up another car to get us home. Ken opened the cards & the goodies bags, finding chocs, wine & book tokens (!). People seem to think Ken needs more books. Exhausted but very happy

Anja Steinbauer, who runs Philosophy for All, added these pictures:-

Ken’s welcome speech

Jason Watkins, Robin King & Avis

Ken on the Matterhorn Cake

Peter Prince sings ‘Wonderful World’

Ken in the rations queue

Guests fanging their rations

Peter, who sang “It’s a Wonderful World” also added pictures:-

Ken’s welcome speech

The Ukrainians Valeriia, Mariia & Ken

Guests fanging their rations

Art Scene (not yet)

Travel to Scotland

Xmas 2023 Index page

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)020 7359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 1/12/2023 ©Ken Baldry 2023 All rights reserved but print it off if you want to.