In the course of a lunchtime chat about the pleasures of Yorkshire, I was reminded of an incident which occurred in Harrogate in 1990. A friend and I had been invited to a course for senior grown ups in a major UK defence company. We were by comparison to the other delegates lower than a dachshunds testes. So as the end of course dinner began to damp down we felt it was appropriate to thin out and go in search of more suitably junior devillment! In the basement of the victorian spa hotel we were using, was a big function room. Earlier in the week we had used it for some of the lectures. Today it had been subject to knockings and bangings and quantities of booze and sound equipment had disappeared into the room. Our partydar was giving unusually high readings and there was an odour of cheap perfume and free drink calling us... We made our way, suited and booted, into the cellar and found a veritable Bacchanalia of a company Christmas do was in train. However it was obvious from the moment we walked in that this was a closely-knit team, a small regional branch or the like of a financial institution...let's call it the Ripon and Masham Building Society. A party goer formed up to us and began the interrogation but before he could out us as crashers a more senior party goer hove into view. He asked us a question, which to this day I hold we gave a true answer to. "Are you the guys form head office?" Naturally alert we replied yes we were and inspiredly apologised for being delayed. "Oh that's alright" quoth Brian, regional manager/director/commissar. "You're here now and we can crack on." Handed glasses of long and fizzy stuff, we were then propelled forwards to the stage. Where, over the course of about twenty minutes, I presented awards for "Best salesman" "Most mortgages underwritten" and "Ugliest YTS in god's creation" or some such. I was then asked by Brian if "Alan" had given me a message for the troops... Oh boy! I gave a brief five minute pep talk, praising the branch and saying how much we in the London office looked to them to set a lead. "Ovation, standing ovation, all stand.."wasn't in it. Especially when I insisted the free bar be extended until midnight and charged back to Head Office... I even had my picture taken for the company magazine presenting "Man of the Year" plaques to one of these happy campers...I imagine the real head office bods were quite stunned when they saw they had in fact been at the do after all! I like to imagine that the branch, inspired by my erm..situational leadership...went on to greater things in 1991. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when "MRBS Monthly" hit the MD's desk...Most of all however, I would have loved a sight of the "Harrogate Branch, Christmas do bar-tab 1990" correspondence. I fondly imagine a bible thick tome full of angry memos. Oh and if Sandra is out there somewhere in Yorkshire, with her little ginger soldier now 18 years old; well you said you didn't mind not using contraception and frankly if you believe anyone called "John Milsom" could do that, there and that often...you probably got what you deserved. As for me, I'm all grown up and normal now. So being that bold and bad is alright as it is history!