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The realisation that there was no choice but to get out and walk meant you couldn't complain when you had to do it. 

There's no option. 

Still, you won't find Hughesy out doing much of that kind of thing. As I've frequently noted, I don't need any more obsessions, particularly those that carry a hefty price tag for travel, photographic equipment and reference material.

With the walk over, we were booked in for the evening meal. 

Given the haste with which we'd arrived at the assembly point, I hadn't dressed appropriately for the deepening chill. I had to make my way back to the chalet with Alan and the non-diners (the dining room is next door to the theatre) to grab the fleece and walk back to the dinner venue.

 I hadn't paid much attention to the relative numbers of diners and non-diners. I was surprised to find the dinner party numbered exactly four - Madam and I and another couple including the bloke who'd probably been the most botanical-savvy member of the group on the walk. 

If he wasn't, he was the one who asked the most questions and made the most comments. 

That's not a bad thing I picked up quite a bit from the dialogue. The other diners run a gallery west of the Clare Valley in a town called Blyth, and that set us off on a five-way conversation that ran for the next three hours over pea and ham soup, and a roast chicken dinner that went down fabulously. 

It's been a long time since I've sat down anywhere for a three-hour dinner conversation without a glass or three. 

But the conversation was so entertaining that the thought of ducking back to the chalet to collect the bottle of Pinot Noir in the luggage didn't cross my mind.

© Ian L Hughes 2021