Sunday 13 April 2014

Fforganisers assemble

Well, last week we had our ffirst Fforganiser meeting in a while. I'm sure you'll all be pleased to know that I got my cheese and marmite panini without incident.  It was the last one, but I didn't have to rugby tackle anybody to get it or anything.

It was good to see that the toast and battenburg are still by the till in Starbucks, though I'm not sure that the staff know what they are doing there - one of them gave me a very weak smile when I said "Ooooh, look, the battenburg is still there!"

Anyway those of us present (neither Elizabeth nor Derek could make it) went through the proposed timetable.  From reading the feedback I think that there may be some relief to hear that I will be simplifying the codes and ciphers part of the event.  They will still be there, but more of an optional extra.  We will also still be doing the scavenger hunt, but the clues won't be encoded.  The ffete will be back, bigger and better than ever, so you'll still have the opportunity to gorge yourselves on cake and win a greased pig (or something) and we may be morris dancing again.

We have, however decided to retire some of the more longstanding events...maybe not forever but they won't be making an appearance next time, so farewell lobster space invaders and name that fruit, goodbye bus tour....

Well, although I say goodbye bus tour we will be having a VIRTUAL bus tour, all the fun and none of the motion sickness. The wonders of Swindon without having to leave the hotel... and Derek will still be selling ice creams.

We also have several new ideas so watch this space...

Sunday 6 April 2014

Ooooh, look, a Zombie blog!

Dead for ages and now come back to life!  BRAINS! BRAIIIIINS!

I bet you all thought I'd forgotten this blog, or at least given up on it, didn't you?

Well, if I'm honest I don't suppose any of you had given it a moment's thought since it last popped up, but I like to think that there was somebody out there waiting for the next post and sighing extravagantly when it failed to appear yet again.

Anyway, the reason I have revived it is because my life as a Fforganiser is about to spring forth renewed!  Or to put it less dramatically today we are having our first  Fforganiser's meeting for the (ffanffare  please) grand tenth anniversary Ffiesta to be held in May 2015.  I'm really looking forward to it- the Ffiesta that is, not the meeting, though I expect that will be ffun too and it will be nice to see everybody again, and indulge in a cheese and marmite panini with my ffellows.   Anyway we will try to make it extra specially extra special, crammed with the return of old ffavourites plus some new things.

One of the best things about the Ffiesta (one of the best things?!  It's all best things) is the way people come back year after year and have made some real ffriendships.  There is a hardy core of us who have attended every one and I think that deserves a medal....

I will report back after my trip to Swindon....

On a related note TJ and I were very excited at the Farmers Market yesterday to spot some lobsters.  We even won a prize (though sadly not for the lobster spotting)

Thursday 11 April 2013


We had a Fforganisers meeting on Saturday.  We did all the usual stuff.....planned the events, decided on what merchandise we were going to have, off-loaded all the hard work on anybody who didn't turn up, took the mick out of Ted,  sat around and ate cheese and marmite paninis... The main thing we did though was make a short and entertaining film to advertise the Ffiesta... soon to be appearing at a You-Tube near you!

It was a lot of fun to make, even though it got a bit nippy out in the cold.  We drew not a few bemused stares and had to field a few puzzled questions... but it's all good publicity.  We had to make a few last minute changes due to Phil's absence (a potato related injury!) but as nobody except Laura really knew what we were doing anyway that wasn't a major issue.  As you might expect from something Ffiesta related there are lobsters, Danvers and a Pagerunner ( don't get excited, it's not a Minotaur or anything, just Ted with a label saying 'Pagerunner') water balloons and Spike.  I'm sure when it's been edited it will all look very professional!

Friday 5 April 2013

Philately will get you everywhere...

Normally at this time of year I would probably be starting to panic at all the things I need to do for the Ffiesta and haven't even started.  This year I'm just feeling a bit smug because the Ffiesta is ages away and I've already got quite a lot of things underway.  Mind you I did have a nightmare the other day that we were at there, in Swindon, all ready to start proceedings and I realised I hadn't prepared anything.  I got into a bit of a panic and some of you regular attendees began to turn into zombies.  I think it's the book I've been reading.  Or memories of Hamlet, Prince of Zombies.  Vicky Vagg was there, dressed as as a big baby, a big zombie baby, but not as cute as the original!

Anyway I have been designing stamps for each Kingdom.  Sadly my artistic skills are neither artistic nor skilful, so they look rather amateurish, but they are a labour of love nonetheless so I don't care.  I have designs for the Workers Republic of South Wales, the Duchy of Portland Bill, and the Kingdom of Kent all planned and those for the Isles of Man and Wight are complete so that just leaves Mercia and Anglia to sort out.  Better get cracking!

More news soon....

Sunday 10 March 2013

When lives collide....

Blimey, how long has it been since I posted anything in this blog?  Don't think it's because I've forgotten you all, or haven't done anything Ffiesta related.  No it's because, contrary to popular belief, I do have a life that is non-Fforde related.

But not always - every now and then somebody who doesn't know me from the Ffiesta or the Fforum will turn out to be on the periphery of the weirdness that is the Ffiesta, for example; I was on a march (pro NHS) up in London, wearing one of my Fforganiser T shirts (Waiting for the Great Leap Backwards) (which I thought was quite apt) when the person next to me said that she loved the Jasper Fforde quote.  Of course she knows that I am a fan and she likes the books too, so that wasn't too much of a stretch, but a couple of weeks later another friend of mine sent me a text to say that she was on a course with a woman who said she knows me.  It turned out to be a regular attendee at the Ffiesta, and the connection had come out because in the introductions that they had had to make the books of Jasper Fforde and the Ffiesta had been mentioned.  Then there was the occasion when I was at a works related event and the dinner in the evening was 'Wild West' themed.  The chap I was sitting next to was wearing rather an elaborate outfit and so in the course of our conversation I asked him if he often wore fancy dress.  He told me that he was a big Pratchett fan and would dress up at various Discworld event, usually as Rincewind.  We got to talking about books and it turned out he is a big Jasper ffan and is considering coming to the next Ffiesta.  I told him I was sure he will fit right in, as anybody who happily wears an inflatable horse to dinner is sure to find a kindred spirit there!  I also had quite a long conversation with the man on the other side of me about 'Shades of Grey' and I'm sure I don't need to qualify that to you lot by saying 'NOT Fifty Shades of Grey'

Anyway I have been working quite hard on the Ffiesta - do any of you fancy phphilately? This year there will be a stamp collecting element to the Getting to Know You team game.  At least there will if I get my arse in gear and get designs for all of the Kingdoms

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Less than a year to go .... the next Ffiesta!  Several months since the last one and no blog posts from me.  Have you missed them?

I'm not entirely sure what effect immersion in the world of the Ffiesta has done for my grandchildren or if Tyke just takes after his Grandma (lucky child). I do know that whenever he gets in the car he asks for 'a bit o'Billy' so his musical taste is coming along nicely. He's also looking forward to a visit to Sealife when we go on holiday next month - so he can see the lobsters.

I was quite taken aback though the other day when, whilst eating a gingerbread man, he started hitting himself around the head with it and saying 'Look Grandma!  Psychobiscuit!  He's beating me up!' 

I really don't know where he gets his ideas from.

Friday 1 June 2012

Drizzle all weekend?

Well, today's the day we set off for Swindon - quiz tonight and Ffiesta proper starts tomorrow.  So far today I have drizzled a cake and most of my kitchen.  I now need to ice the chocolate almond one, pack, take the dog to my mum and dad's, do some last minute printing, pick up Marissa and the kids and then set off.  If there's anything else I need to do then I've forgotten it and it probably won't get done.  Oh, I do also need to wash and dress which, you will no doubt be relieved to hear, I will do.

This year we are taking two cars as I have added Ted to my insurance for the week.  He's taking our car, packed to the gunwales with Ffiesta stuff and I'm taking Rissa, Tyke and Lacey-Mae plus our suitcases and anything Ted couldn't cram in.  I don't know how we would have managed in just one vehicle, unless it was a pantechnicon, I just didn't realise how much there was to take.  Trying to fit it all in the car was like trying to do some wierd three dimensional puzzle.  Heaven help us if he gets a puncture and we need to empty the car at the side of the motorway to get the spare out!

Anyway I have just looked at the weather forecast for the weekend, and it is not promising.  I just hope it stays dry for Saturday as we don't need the cakes any more drizzled on than they already are.