Post-Christmas lunch – Matt Young writes:

15 hardy Yorkshire folk braved freezing temperatures and lethally slippery pavements (not to mention “total signal failure” at Darlington) to attend the YTI post-Christmas lunch, held at the Red Chilli Chinese restaurant in the centre of York. It was my first visit to this particular establishment, and I was slightly taken aback by the sheer size of the dining area as well as the modern decor. After a brief period of chit-chat while lounging around in enormous armchairs by the foyer, we were shown to a giant round table that had just about enough circumference to fit us all around. It was actually the perfect type of table for a gathering of this size, as it meant that anyone could chat easily to anyone else without having to lever interlopers out of the way. I’m relatively new to the YTI, and I was glad to be able to make some new acquaintances. Everyone seemed quite satisfied with the food on offer, in terms of both quality and quantity. My main course (Gong Bao Chicken with chili) was so substantial that I briefly considered taking the remains home for a weekday lunch. As we all know, there is no finer freelancer lunch than three-day-old leftovers. However, the efficient service meant that my dish was cleared away without my even realising. Time fairly flew by in the convivial atmosphere, and before we knew it, most of the party had to take the short walk back to York station to get trains back to the furthest reaches of the county. The sight of the departures board reading “Delayed” for almost every train heading north or south from York was somewhat disconcerting, but I was going West, and the journey home was both on time and significantly less arduous than the journey to York that morning, when Northern Rail did not see fit to heat the balsa wood train that they insist on running up my line. So, all in all, a very enjoyable day and I’m already looking forward to the next YTI social event I can attend.