Legge House 2006 - The Gospel according to the Simpsons

Written by Alison Mares – BANG! Chair 2005–2006

Once again an intrepid bunch of BANG!ers set off on a cold February evening bound for Legge House. The advance party of Anne and Christine had gone on ahead in an eventually unsuccessful attempt to beat our online shopping to the centre leaving the rest of the party (minus Ed!) to travel fairly uneventfully via train and bus.

On arrival at Legge house there were a few surprises including thin sausages, a shortage of baked beans, and most notably a complete lack of chapel! Alison and Ruth then spent an hour or so converting a bedroom into something resembling a chapel complete with fairy lights, candles, an altar with cross and a few more bunk beds than is traditional! Others wasted no time in starting on games of snooker etc.

A dinner of sausages, chips and beans complete with a comedy grace by Tom and a chip dance from Anne was eaten and was followed somewhat inevitably by cake; happily the meal also heralded the arrival of Ed who was due to lead the evening session! The session got underway after some had washed up and Adam had eventually wrestled the video player into submission and led by Ed and Tom we looked at “Homer the heretic” which provoked discussion ranging from how we should interact with those of other faiths to whether or not God has a beard.

Following a cake break we moved on to a time of evening prayer in the “chapel” led by Tom. After this various games were played culminating in werewolf with new werewolf cards which ended around 2.15, when everyone left awake toddled off to bed, some to fall asleep and others to be disturbed by certain BANG! chairs who overestimated their own ability to climb down from a top bunk in a sleeping bag without slipping, turning a pirouette mid air and landing flat out on the floor giggling helplessly.

Very early on Saturday a brave few ventured out for a sunrise walk whilst others turned off alarms on the grounds that it looked cold outside, for the second year running they failed to see the sun but they did encounter some horses. A cooked breakfast followed and in what is fast becoming a tradition bets were taken on what time Ed would appear. He did appear in time to lead morning prayer based around the Lord’s prayer which started our day off on a holy note!

Our second session was led by Alison and Christine on “One fish, two fish, blowfish, blue fish” and the discussion covered topics from death to what the past tense of the verb to smite might be.

After some more random games and cake, lunch followed and consisted of rolls, cheese, ham, salad, fruit, cake and random discussion to fill up Ed’s quotes page. At this point we were also enlightened by this year’s guest star walk leader Old Steve about his themed walk; the theme was monopoly and properties on which people were able to charge rent should we encounter them on the way, were bid for with due enthusiasm.

The aforementioned walk was embarked upon by almost all once the washing up had been completed; it provided many chances to make and lose monopoly money, with those on the verge of bankruptcy mysteriously winning the lottery! Other highlights included our illustrious leader changing direction and fining those who went on ahead, unless of course they could give an accurate or hilarious definition of coppicing; the style stiles which had to be crossed in style to make money and those who didn’t need anything from the co-op being fined for waiting outside by a no parking sign! Oh, and it should be noted that Ed wore his dressing gown but left the reindeer at home. A lot of money changed hands and in the end Adam won with Anne in second and Ruth in third receiving respectively a pocket snooker set; paint your own 3D fish and a rubber egg in a springy egg cup!

On our return there was, guess what…a cake break! This preceded our final session ably led by Anne and Katie on “Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th commandment” with discussion on everything from what counts as a little sin to what the definition of theft is.

Saturday evening’s meal took the form of a pasta bake with garlic bread and salad (and there was even wine!) prepared by Christine and Alison, first helpings were enjoyed by all, seconds partaken of by some and thirds forced upon people by Christine, it had to all be gone before they could have any cake! As ever this was followed by washing up which was partaken of by most whilst Christine and Alison played rubbishly at pool and Anne hid for a few minutes!

The evening’s games session took a relaxed form, with random singing and dancing to worship songs, snooker, card games and later “i’ve never…” and some more werewolf. Later we returned to our makeshift chapel for very organised evening prayer led by Alison; we emerged to find that Old Steve had reappeared having gone to lie down for “2 minutes” about 3 hours earlier (he must be getting old, hehe).

At this point more cake was necessary to avoid serious cake deprivation and so Ruth’s cake and some drinks were called into service; some sensible people retired to bed at this point whilst others played strange games involving fruit and signs and Alison and young Steve played pool (and I even beat him a couple of times!). Again at about 2am people retired to bed with Alison and Christine deciding on the cleaning rota in the bathroom in the way!

Sunday dawned with 2 random strangers ringing the doorbell and being met by Anne and a half-pajamed, half dressed Christine; the manager was called and they soon departed but the incident did provoke random police dog related discussion over breakfast at which bets were taken on both Ed and Laura’s arrivals.

After breakfast and some light washing up we took a brisk walk to Wroughton Parish Church where we surprised the locals, sang loudly, wrongly assumed the gender of the organist and were called upon to explain who we were and what we were doing at Legge House into a microphone during the service. We returned to Legge House with some running, skipping and hopping and realised we’d forgotten young Steve who had stopped to buy a book and explain which of the Simpsons is which to the vicar!

After a brief card game everyone set about packing, cleaning and preparing lunch which was duly eaten and washed up from. Since everyone had been umm strongly encouraged to clean up earlier there was time for another couple of games of werewolf (including one narrated by Ed with no werewolves!) for most whilst Anne, Christine and Alison finished off the cleaning and checking.

Lifts to Swindon station had very kindly been offered by the manager and so we left in 3 shifts with the majority of people arriving in time for the joy of the first rail replacement bus and Anne, Christine, Alison and Ruth arriving with a while to wait for the next one and meeting young Steve who had been to look at a garage (well he is an architect!).