Tuesday 21 February 2012


I'm currently trying to compile a crossword for the Ffiesta, and it's proving quite tricky - there have been a few cross words muttered in our house, I can tell you.

When I was young, my dad used to do the Telegraph crossword every day and he used to let me help him. (Disclaimer:  I have no idea why he read the Telegraph, which does not reflect his political views at all (for those of you not from around here, the Telegraph is often known as the Torygraph and is rabidly right wing))  Anyway he taught me a lot of tips and wrinkles for working out the answers, so if a clue said that something was muddled or mixed up you could be pretty sure that you were looking for an anagram and 'sounds like' indicated that there would be homophones involved.  'Sappers' in the clue meant the Royal Engineers and you would find the letters RE in the answer, things like that.  After a while I got to be quite good at solving the clues and I even began to recognise the different compilers - you can start to see the way their minds work when you get used to their individual styles.

I admired the way that the lady across the road could solve a crossword in a few minutes - I was a bit surprised by this, because I knew she didn't even know how to spell words like essential - she used to ask me.  Admittedly it was only the quick crossword, but nonetheless I thought she must be very clever.  One day I looked at the completed grid and it was only when I thought 'Hang on, there isn't such a word as PFXT!' that I realised how she did it.  She would put in the answers she did know and then fill in the rest of the squares with random letters!  I was much less impressed by her skill after that.

I was reminded of this whilst trying to get the words in my crossword to intersect in any way at all and am strongly tempted to add in or take out a letter here and there just to make the wretched things fit.  Still I shall persevere and you may see the results in June.

Oh, and don't try and get an insight into the way my mind works from my crossword, you'll only end up feeling sorry for me.

Monday 20 February 2012


Out shopping the other day I bought a cherry pie as a bit of a treat.  It looked delicious, all golden brown with sugar sprinkled on the top.  Ted was a bit peckish when he got home from work, so he had a piece whilst I was cooking tea.  He ate it with no complaints.  After dinner I sat down with a cup of tea and a slice of pie.  One mouthful and - urgh, it tasted disgusting!  That wasn't sugar on the top, it was salt, and it was not nice!  I'm not sure if my culinary experiments have fried Ted's tastebuds, or if he just inhaled his without tasting it, but when I asked him if he'd noticed anything wrong he just said 'I thought it tasted a bit weird'. 

I took the remainder of the pie back and got a refund.  There had obviously been a problem with a whole batch, because when I was waiting at Customer Services the chap behind the counter just said 'Salty pie?' when he saw what I was carrying and gave me my money back.

It reminded me of Shades of Grey where all sorts of substitutions are made when there are problems with the availabilty of ingredients.  You will no doubt be pleased to know that we are not planning any similar taste sensations for the Ffiesta, although of course one never knows what unlikely sounding combination of foodstuffs will taste good - cheese and pineapple, pork and applesauce, peanut butter and jam (jelly), prunes and bacon, raspberry, papaya and chamomile - oh no, that last one is my shampoo.

Marmite chocolate anybody?

Saturday 18 February 2012


This year we are having a Murder Mystery, so don't annoy Elizabeth, or you may end up as a corpse.  We did have a Murder Mystery once before, but it was over dinner and rather static, whereas this one will take place in various locations around the hotel.  The Fforganisers will be the suspects and you will have the opportunity to question us about motives, means and opportunities.  I can tell you that if Ted is a dead body you would do well to place his sister at the top of your list of suspects.  I'm surprised that she hasn't murdered him before as he really knows how to wind her up and she has a bit of a temper to match her hair!  (They love each other really)

There is no point asking me for hints, as I don't know whodunnit, but it sounds like it should be fun.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Psycho biscuits! ***WARNING*** contains Fourth bear Spoiler

We had the 'biscuit or cake' discussion at work recently, which led into a digression about the difference between biscuit tins and cake tins.  We decided that this is simply that cake tins are used for keeping cakes in, whereas the common or garden biscuit tin is used for the containment of biscuits and jaffa cakes.  

I was able to insert a reference to 'The Fourth Bear' into the discussion by pointing out that the difference between cakes and biscuits is an important plot point.  Although I do feel that, cake or biscuit, the Gingerbread Man was always going to turn soggy and disintegrate under the full force of the fire sprinklers.

Anyway Tyke has developed quite a fondness for Gingerbread men, despite the fact (or perhaps because) everytime I buy him one I chase him down the arcade with it yelling 'Psycho biscuit!' and he runs away giggling.

I rather fear that in years to come he will find me an embarrassing grandma.  Mind you, I don't think that that's as embarrassing as my dad making me and my brother and sister line up outside the bakers, with out noses pressed to the window, and instructions to 'Look hungry and a bit pathetic, maybe they'll take pity on you and give you free cakes' every time he went into that same bakers when we were little.  Fortunately bought cakes were a very occasional treat in our house when I was small, as my mum is a super cake maker and we usually had delicious home made ones instead.  Otherwise I think we might have been taken into care for vagrancy and begging!  Mind you this is the all the same bakers as the one where my ex husband worked until he ran off with the shop manageress, so I think they might have a very distorted view of me anyway, so chasing a small child whilst brandishing a biscuit is probably considered merely slighly odd.

Tyke and I have also taken to practicing our biscuit making in preparation for the Ffiesta, something else to which he has taken with great enthusiasm.  Just a small tip, if you are offered a gingerbread man/lobster/transient moose/dragon at the Ffiesta, I'd stay away from those with a slight marbling of grime (goodness knows where that comes from, I'm scrupulous about making him wash his hands) or those which have been 'pre-tasted'!

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Guess Who Again!

The main reason why I called my post 'Guess Who!' yesterday was because I intended to mention that one of our new events is going to be a human 'Guess Who!' but I got sidetracked and didn't say anything about it.  Nought out of ten for sticking to the point.  Must try harder.

Anyway I use the term 'human' with some reservation.  It is to be based on characters from the  Ffordiverse with special reference to the Nursery Crime books, so will contain aliens, bears and gingerbread men along with Mrs Danverses and members of the NCD.  No veruccas though you will be pleased to hear.

The reason I called it 'human Guess Who!' is because all the characters will be played by humans, that is any of you who come along to the Ffiesta and who want to join in.  I assume that you are all human anyway. 

It could be fun, or it could be not, but unless we try we'll never know.  It'll be an opportunity for a bit of a sit down anyway.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Guess Who!

Oh dear, this blog has been sadly neglected of late. Nought out of ten for effort Mrs Kiely, must try harder.

But just because I haven't been posting doesn't mean that I haven't been Fforganising.  We have already had a number of fruitful meetings and there are lots of things afoot, of which more later.

Now I know that for some of you custom cannot stale the infinite variety of the Ffiesta but we like to tweak things to make them even more enjoyable, should such a thing be possible, so this year we'll have some new things and some old favourites.  Some of the events which are returning will be served up with a twist.  Name that Fruit will be back all shiny new and improved (fret not, the Wonky Wheel will still be making an appearance) those wishing to do the Speed Soliloquy will have a choice of speeches (Hamlet or Richard III) and Literary Karaoke will be making a return,  We are also hoping to do more with the 'Getting to Know You' game.  Ooh, exciting!