Ladies and Gentleman

Welcome, thanks to Mark Fuller, wonderful stuff etc.

We have just a few awards, We’ll list the nominations and some reasons and then the winner, who’ll please come forward to receive their prize.

The awards are for
Karaoke Champion Truant
Mr (or Mrs) Nice Guy Truant
Survival against the Odds Truant
Rookie Truant of the year
Most Entertaining Truant
Special Achievement Award
Hero Truant
Top Truant – the one who got the most online donations

But first a word if I may about our founder and chief whip, and his huge support team, or Sharon as they are all called etc …….

So enough of telling you what you know already, let’s take you back to the desert, to a big tent of food and fun and an evening none of us will ever forget, except for Barry who never remembered it at all, for our first award is for the  Karaoke Champion Truant

Well Mike Hole was my nomination, he only got the one, but I nominated him because for Karaoke to be true to itself it must be bad, and Mike’s was exceptional in that regard.  He’s welsh is Mike, but he might as well be Wombat, for all the tune he can hold.  But he gave it a go folks, he gave it a go.

Steve Pennington and Paul F and William, Will I Am, the crystal hat music maestro were also nominated, but the voting was close between Paul Curran, without whom there would have been no karaoke, though his singing was awful and he thus played the same role as the CD player normally does; and Eric Flipper, whose Carpenter’s medley was the evenings classiest note, and of course Bazza, who’s Ian Dury Blockhead impression has several of us calling for oxygen and wet wipes.

But I’m delighted that true singing talent won the day and Eric beat the Baz by 1 vote.  Spot on!

Now on to the Mr (or Mrs) Nice Guy Award

Well the winner here is one I disagree with strongly, for I know him to be a double crossing malevolent force of evil, a slum landlors and ruthless evictor of the innocent and blameless who find themselves short of  Bob for their Mayfair rents. He’s like a skinny Tony Soprano, but my views are not important here, or anywhere come to that.  But we’ll get back to him later…..

A few of you voted Kulveer of course, but he’s really only nice when he needs work, and once in work he recommends concreting over entire Thames estuaries, whereas Eric and Chris attracted the charitable amongst you because of their cherubic, nay beatific, beaming faces and perpetual smiles. Illy too got votes for gracing us with his extra-terrestrial presence, but as to why a Washington lawyer was nominated when his tribe is responsible for global warming, war in the middle east and the world financial crisis speaks wonders for your collective naievety.  You fooled 3 of them Dave, but Romney like, you got found out in the end.   Gunnar on the other hand is Swedish and thus automatically nice and cuddly, but the biggest votes fell to the man I scandalously libelled earlier.  In truth, before I learned of his dark side, when he told me on Saturday he had set the bailiffs onto L’Wren Scott (Micky Jagger’s babe), I have often called this man the nicest guy I’ve ever met.  Ladies and Gents you voted for Mike, don’t worry you take my bike and I’ll carry yours all the way home, Hole.

 Now for the serious stuff, there is no doubt some of us took our lives in our hands by deciding, after a lifetime of indolence, to suddenly pedal across the desert like they were 6 Bradley Wiggins strapped together.

Nominated for the  Survival against the Odds Award were:

Simeon, Jason, Will, Luke Burdess, Adam Robin and Steve Pennington

Well it’s clear the reasons for your votes  are various.  Will and Steve achieve recognition for their many dozens of joint and several trips to the loo.  For those who think answering a call of nature is nothing to boast about, I’d take you back to the loo’s at the at the lunch stop on day 2.  Talk about pile it high! Real courage needed their folks! But Luke and Simeon achieved your votes for partying so long and consuming so much alcohol and tobacco and other surely noxious fluids and gases that no one expected them to finish alive,  but appropriately enough the weight of nominations in this category ignored Robin’s extreme veteran status and went to the Sumo Cyclist extrodinaire, the man with the strongest knees in all Islam, the sand-dune of flesh himself, my best mate,  Jason Peers.

Now, for those allof you who we surely hope will try it again, Nominated for the Rookie of the year were:

Alex, Dave Shack, Kulveer, Carol, Johnny G, Adam, Illy, William

A great team of beginners, from the heroically odd Illy, cycling in tights and a snood, to the impressively substantial Adam, and his slim alter ego Dave, and our congratulations to you all and thanks to you all too for trusting yourself to the God, or Rod as we often call him is error, but for all your genius rookies there is but one clear winner, the RAF’s answer to Tommy Cooper, A lady who gave as good as she got and more, a trouper, a sport and with a smile to light up even  a bedouin’s dark heart…. Carol Tindley.

Now, in a crowded field the following achieved most votes for the coveted – Most Entertaining Truant Award

Moi, Barry, Simeon, Paul Curran, Alan B and Mark Fuller

Well what a stellar list, who can forget mark Fuller’s naked demolition of a pack of wild dogs or Alan Bennie’s Mr Bean like struggles with his saddle.  Paul Curran could have won this as a sort of karaoke runner up award, and for his eerily accurate portrayal of the nastiest type of Dickensian prosecution barrister at the last fines session. Wheras Simeon who is of course exactly that thing in real life, is while playing truant at least, possibly the best man on earth with whom to get stick in a drunken corner.  Even I, who have been listening to the endless, and very often verifiably true, tall tales from the plume of cigar smoke do not tire of another few hours of them;…BUT  but only one of us truly brought the surreal to Truants.  From firewalking across flaming logs, albeit in his shoes, to hilarious interpretations of what might be a loo in a tent, to the amazingly good rabble rousing karaoke impression of Iain Drury, your overwhelming vote went to the Blockhead himself, the man only alive because Gunnar has taken upon himself a life work of keeping him that way, Bazza!
And now the Special Achievement Award

Paul Again, Robin, Moi Ousi, Sarah and Carol too

While all indeed special needs in so many ways, with others recognised elsewhere and Paul’s talent sadly escaping acknowledgement from the voters, the award was rightly voted to the only one lady who has has come back for more so far, the elegantly glamorous will o the wisp and grimly determined athlete Sarah Bennie!

And our penultimate Award, the one for our Hero. You recognised the big men, Jason, and Victor here, and the talented Eric, and uber cool Alex and ever cheery Chris, but by a runaway landslide and despite his judicial corruption and cruelty, you voted for Ancient of Days, our own Methuselah.  It appears for all our obesity we thought the one most foolhardy, the one who was taking the biggest chance of killing himself was the hanging judge himself, Robin Moore!

 But our last award is the big one, our most important by far.  It wasn’t voted on, it was decided by effort and fact.  The TOP TRUANT Award for most online donations goes to a man who got 153 separate people to donate online, reaching a superb total of  donations  of  over £12,000, others came close, 2nd Adam Tyrer with 131, and 3rd Alex Milas with 121, but our winner, the best of us all was ……  Dave Shack!

Ladies and Gentleman I hope Dave’s effort inspires you to fund raise harder next year. Rod is too polite to do more than hint at it, but I think you’ll agree that one shouldn’t come and have all this fun unless you pay your way and raise £5k!

Lots of love…