Final Festival update

Udder fail
Originally uploaded by d6y

So, the final week of the Brighton Festival saw us at four events:

  • Double Header: Hattie Hayridge & Norman Lovett at a very chilly Udder Belly. This was the first night on their tour, and it was an entertaining hour or so
  • The death and life of Sherlock Holmes at the Nightingale Theatre. This only starred Roger Llewellyn and he worked immensely hard for both 45 minute halves – especially given the heat in the theatre. It was a great play – with Roger playing Sherlock, Watson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Moriarty and a number of smaller, lesser characters. Excellent and real good entertainment
  • Brain Drain – a locally produced play at the Sanctuary Cafe. We missed the first half as we were still travelling back from the Hull City game at Wembley so despite Jeremy and Kirsty’s best efforts I never did quite work out what was going on
  • The return of the Ornate Johnsons at the Udder place – the most noisy venue I may have ever been to – with the traffic on the roundabout, the generator to keep the structure inflated and general people noise from both the Udderbelly and people milling around. It was quite memorable, however, first of all one of the microphones wasn’t working so quite a few scenes were played out with one of the cast shouting whilst the others were conversing normally – it broke things up a bit, but the level of professionalism was immensely high and they incorporated this handicap into the sketches. The background noise quietened down, and then the roof started coming down, until it was so low we had to be evacuated. After 5 or 10 minutes they got it sorted out (apparently a carrier bag blew into the fan – which was why it suddenly went quiet) and we started again. This was probably one of the best shows I’ve seen during the fringe – the level of professionalism that the cast showed throughout a troubled performance was incredible. I’ll look out for them again.

Hull City promoted to the Premiership

On 6th February 1999 Hull City were at the bottom of the football league, with little to shout about – the club was going nowhere, the owner wasn’t contributing and it looked like Hull City didn’t have much of a future. We were living in Ealing at the time, and when I spotted the Brentford v Hull match I decided that we should go and offer my team some of the support it needed. That started my adult attendance of Hull City games and we won 2 – 0 starting what became known as the Great Escape led by Warren Joyce. Over the next few seasons we attended quite a few of the Southern games including trips to Southend, Cheltenham, Leyton Orient (including for the play offs in 2001), Barnet, Hayes (for an FA cup match), Brighton (at Gillingham) and at the Withdean, as well as some games at Boothferry Park (vs Barnet Feb 2001) and later in the KC Stadium (vs Bournemouth Easter 2003).

I hadn’t managed any games this season – when we were in Hull, the Tigers weren’t, and when they were down here, we weren’t – but both Richard and I had been carefully checking the scores, and were keeping a very close eye on the end of the season.

When Hull made it through the playoff semi-finals and into the final at Wembley I knew that I had to do whatever I could to go (along with every other Hull fan). I was up checking the website at 8am last Monday morning, when the remaining 3800 tickets went on sale (to non-season ticket holders) but failed to get any – I kept selecting them and getting to an error on the website. Aagghh!!

I found some (very expensive) tickets via 1st4FootballTickets and decided that I really wanted to be at the match – the first trip to Wembley for Hull City after 104 years, I couldn’t afford to wait another 104 for an opportunity to see my team on what might be the biggest stage in Europe. I bought the tickets, they turned up without problem and got me access to the ground. Hurrah!

On Saturday we arrived at Wembley at around midday, leaving ourselves plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the experience. I have been to Wembley for a football match only once before, a rather poor 0 – 0 friendly between England and Norway in 1994, and so was keen to experience the “new Wembley”. The walk down Wembley Way towards the stadium was impressive, looking towards the stadium and the arc and seeing the familiar colours of black and amber lining the street along with the red and white of Bristol City.

We made our way into the ground, found our seats and then took a wander around to find a beer. I’ve never seen a Champagne and Seafood bar at a football ground before, but we were in the Club Wembley section which I guess explains it.

The atmosphere was great, and the noise was fantastic – the sounds of the supporters singing just echoed around the ground. We watched some of the warm up, the pre-match fireworks and presentation of the teams before the match started.

I’ve nothing to add about the quality of the football that hasn’t been said elsewhereDean Windass’s wonder goal – lots and lots and lots of attempts by Bristol City, but nothing really of power. Boaz Myhill and the defence did a great job and kept another clean sheet.

The final whistle blew, and the Hull supporters (and team) celebrated for all we were worth (I know I had little voice left yesterday). And so, Hull City are in the Premiership and Plymouth get the title of “Biggest town in Britain never to have seen top flight football” – Hull City still holds the title of “Only football club in Britain that has no letters you can colour in” though 🙂

Richard is keen to point out that we’re still on track to meet his prediction of being winners of the Premiership in 2017.

Why do I blog?

Libby asked this question last November at the Brighton Bloggers meetup. It’s taken me a while to get around to actually answering this question properly, and in fact it might be a better starting point to ask:

Why did I start blogging?

Richard and I started this blog back in March 2001 and back then it was to save bookmarks centrally, to leave ourselves reminders and to keep our friends, overseas or local, up to date with what we were up to. Since then, I’ve started 2 other blogs – Jane’s Technical Stuff and Jane’s Photography blog.

Why separate blogs rather than just one?

Originally, the technical and photographic blogs shared a home with the joint blog with Richard, but it seemed a bit weird to have no separation between work and home. If I documented some feature on my technical blog during the working day, then I might want colleagues to read it, without them necessarily having to search through photos of my garden. The photography blog is the least active of the three, and is a place for reviewing lenses, equipment and for sharing good podcast/vodcasts I’ve come across.

Has the reason for blogging changed?

Sort of, I still blog technically on things I’ve found out, especially if I’ve had problems finding an answer using good old google. I still use them a little bit for bookmarking, but only when I’ve got some extended comments to make about it – otherwise I use In 2003 I did an interview with the Mirror about being a blogger, reading the extract I took of it shows that actually my reasons haven’t really changed over the past 5 years.

Vegetables growing

Originally uploaded by Jane Dallaway

I’ve done much more planting than usual this year. Here are the majority of my pots/containers growing wonderfully. The potatoes have been a bit mad.


The bottom right hand corner are my potatoes 9 days before this photo – the potatoes here are again the bottom right hand of the photo. I’m really not sure at what point they prevent me being able to see out of the kitchen window. I’ve marked up this photo with notes explaining what all of the vegetables are.

More Festival delights

It is still Festival time, and as Richard mentioned the other day, we’ve made a real effort to see some of the many fringe shows:

  • Open Wide – A comedy sketch show with 2 actors covering topics from Justin Timberlake appearing on a history program, to Hitler being investigated by Columbo and the Sweeney. Not the funniest show I’ve ever seen but had some good sketches
  • Final Cut: Lightning Documentary Challenge – showing short films (2 minutes each) produced by teams in 24 hours covering one of the fringe acts appearing on Saturday. Some great films and even better an opportunity to catch some more fringe acts – the Pet Sounds v Sgt Pepper show looked good, and we even had live music from The Top Bananas whilst the judging was going on. Some of the films are now available on youtube
  • Catchy! The Great plague musical – A cross between a Carry On film and a pantomime. Smutty, funny and with some great tunes to hum along to. And a bargain at £8 for a good 2 hours worth of entertainment. I’m still not sure if the guy sitting next to me sneezing during a musical about the plague was a good sign though.

The festival continues for another 10 days or so and we’ve got a couple more shows to attend.

Festival so far

It’s festival time, and although we’re not doing much in the Brighton Festival itself, we have a punishing schedule in the Brighton Festival Fringe—which, I’m told, is the “England’s largest arts event, and the 2008 Fringe is the second largest Fringe Festival in the world”. Citation needed, indeed.

So far we’ve been to…

  • X-Files Improv with Dean Haglund, who turns out to be the long haired blond geeky one in the X-Files. A small turn out (30 people?), but a huge amount of fun. Essentially, an X-Files episode is created using audience suggestions, and it worked really well. A top act.
  • We spent an hour or so of a boiling hot day in The Last South: Pursuit of the Pole. Yes, there were initial technical issues with the sound, and yes the venue suffered from being on a roundabout on bank holiday Monday with motorcycles roaring passed, but this didn’t distract from a great play. It was Scott and Amundsen on stage, writing their journals, in step with each other, but with very different experiences. Touching, funny, etc.
  • Up to the university we dropped in on a professorial lecture, namely “Alcohol: a simple molecule with complex consequences for emotion and behaviour“. We learned about the experiments on memory and behaviour under the effects of booze, and it was eye-opening. I didn’t know, for example, that drinking enhances your memory (but only for events before the drinking starts). Naturally, there was a wine reception after.
  • And tonight we went to see Mike Leigh in conversation with Amy Raphael, discussing his films and watching bits of some of them. We headed back home to sign up to LoveFilm to get his back catalog.

One negative: the £1 per ticket booking fees are evil, especially as the booking system isn’t finished and the web sites are frustrating to use. And on top of that “internet booking fees” should be made illegal. But, there’s no competition, so we pay. I’d rather have to pay than not have it at all, is what it comes down to.

Old Bailey

Transcripts from the Old Bailey (from 1674 to 1913) are now online, which has generated plenty of press.

As I suspect many others have, I went searching for references to my family name and I’ve found a few…

  • In 1796, a 19 year old George Dallaway wandered into a warehouse and told the clerk that he wanted “half a hundred weight of sheathing nails”, but didn’t have the paperwork. The clerk gave him the goods, and thus a fraud was committed. Geroge was “respited to go for a sailor or soldier” which we take to mean he was given the opportunity to fight, but a few months later he’s in the proceedings as having a year in jail and a public whipping.
  • Matthew Dallaway stole 12 spoons in 1769 and was transported. Nice touch in that he took them while the victim’s house was on fire. And he would have got away with it had it not been for the pesky pawnbroker grassing him up. His defense: “I was very much in liquor”, a phrase I plan to use whenever the situation merits it.

It’s worth having a dig around the site for some of the history to the publication. For example, the Proceedings were popular (“…in the opinion of many people one of the most diverting things a man can read in London”) until the rise of newspapers, and even carried advertising for a while.