Thursday, 9 June 2011

Doing silly things and dressing up

Since the Ffiesta a number of my non-Ffiesta ffriends have remarked on the photos and videos that I have posted on Facebook, and I've had a lot of questions ranging from 'What's the FFiesta?' 'What do you actually do there?', 'Why are you all dressed up like that?',  'What have lobsters got to do with it?' and 'Wherever can you go on a bus tour of Swindon?'  to 'Why is Tyke wearing a tea-cosy?' (from my mother) and 'Is it anything to do with the quiz?'.  Oh, no sorry, that one was from the reporter!

This blog post is a possibly vain attempt to answer some of those questions.

The Ffiesta is a weekend of silliness inspired by the works of Jasper Fforde.  Jasper is a big part of the events.  He gives a reading from one of his books - one yet to be published - does a question and answer session, narrates at least one of the bus tours, sits on the judging panels and conducts the auction as well as taking part in some of the other events.  In addition he is around for virtually the whole weekend and mingles with the attendees.

However although without Jasper we would just be a bunch of people doing silly things at random, the books are often just a starting point for the events. 

Some things are taken fairly directly from the books, for example Danverclones feature heavily in the Thursday Next series, so we have a record breaking muster of Danvers complete with marching songs.  We all know that Mycroft loves to watch 'Name That Fruit' so we draft in Frankie Saveloy (and his lovely assistant) and play a round or two.  Thursday plays croquet so we have twice featured croquet at the Ffiesta.  The audience participation Shakespeare came from Thursday and Landen's visit to the Ritz to see Richard III, and developed from there.

Some things are more peripherally related to the books - lobsters are a recurring, though minor, theme in the Ffordian canon which was taken up in 'Hunt the Lobster' and 'Lobster Space Invaders' though what the latter has to do with lobsters is anybody's guess! (Kudos to Derek for his 'claw and step' manoeuvre though)

Other things don't really have much to do with the books at all, we just thought they might be fun - lego building, crusty cards, talent show, hanging out in the bar etc.

As for what you can see on a bus tour of Swindon, just use your imagination - or borrow Derek's/Jasper's.  There's the seven wonders for example (though we didn't manage to take in all of them this year), the magic roundabout, Spec-Ops HQ, the carpet shop and the roundabout nursery.  Plus the opportunity to eat ice-cream!

In summary I think I can say that most of our time at the ffiesta consists of doing silly things and dressing up as per the title of this post.

Incidentally mother, that isn't a tea cosy, it's a fruit-bowl hat!


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