I did my degree at Royal Holloway College, University of London where I was a member of the science fiction society. We used to have a drink every Thursday in a pub called the Royal Ascot on Egham Hill. Come Ascot week, the Landlord would tart the place up, attempt to lure in passing posh trade and stick us down the other end of the pub. So on Thursday 18th June 1992 we're sitting in the pub, away from our usual table and grumbling. I can't recall who exactly was there, I know it was a smaller than usual crowd due to end of term and people being away. Nick Waterman and Simon Banks certainly were, and I imagine that Patric Toms, Chris Haynes, Chris Lyth, Daniel Celano & Simon Richardson probably were. Dave the Barman's luck was in: a coachload of very drunk people pulled up outside. In walks a gentleman, enquires about food, and then says "Don't take the **** out of my wife's hat PLEASE". Then she walked in the door wearing this hat at which point we wet ourselves. SOMEONE (Simon Banks) then had the fun idea of trying to throw peanuts into the top of the hat and see how long it took them to notice. They didn't and the hat left the pub with several sitting in the top. The story passes into legend and every Ascot ladies day the Royal Holloway IFIS celebrate the Annual Peanut Throwing Competition.
Several years later I'm going through some video tapes and find something I recorded, first day highlights of England vs Pakistan at Lords in 1992. The programming had overrun earlier in the evening and I'd got a slice of the previous program: Ascot highlights including a montage of the hats at ladies day... and in it was our hat. So I did what any responsible person would do.... I passed the tape to a friend to have the hat frame grabbed for posterity.
So happy peanut day, wherever you are in the world. I'd hoped to be sitting with the IFIS crowd tonight but a combination of money, child care and accommodation has meant I've had to wuss out. But I'll be enjoying a peanut related treat of some description tonight.