After a 4 hour drive back from a family holiday in Scarborough, I have to admit the idea of getting on a coach to a mystery location and then taking part in interactive theatre wasn’t exactly top of my wish list.
We had tickets for the whole family to Warwick Arts Centre's production of Bank On It, a collaboration between Theatre-Rites and the University of Warwick’s Economics Department, as part of the sadly under promoted national Family Arts Festival. The show was aimed at 5+ and was to explore the current financial crisis and world situation. Yawn?
NO! From the moment we joined the queue at the bus stop inside the WAC my two daughters were excited. We were lead to a waiting coach and set off to the secret location. I do feel that a trick was missed on the coach as it was left to the parents to try to build up the anticipation, a crazy tour guide might have added to the experience.
However, the moment we stepped off the coach outside an empty building near the Bishop Street sorting office the magic happened. We hung our coats up and entered The Bank. Once inside the reception area we immediately were joined by a group of strange but beguiling customers
The first squeal of delight from my daughter was when a squashed face appeared inside the realistic cash machine on the wall. The Bank Manager was hiding from his customers and told us all to go away. We didn’t of course and started to chase him through the bank.
The set was incredible with corridors, rooms and offices. The attention to detail was amazing and in the filing room we were treated to a peek-a-boo Bank Manager, the Regulator who wouldn’t stop adding up, a song about the fiscal crisis (amazingly captivating a 5 and a 2 year old) and the brilliant filing robot. Date of BURTH…will stick in my head for a long time.
We learnt all about our customer guides and then split into smaller groups to go into 6 rooms and learn more about why the bank was in trouble. In each room we were told about how to spend and save sensibly, saving water, electricity, trees, the sea, rare elements and the bees. We made bees from pipe cleaners, drew trees and turned off the lights. The highlight for Tilly was the sea room where we all got to hold a fish projecting sweetie jar and play chase with each other’s sea life.
After we had learnt all about saving our planet, and our money, a secret seventh room was revealed. This room was the climax and a beatiful and magical scene was played out that reminded me of a mini Olympic Opening Ceremony. Lights shone, fountains squirted, music played and wishes were made. Everyone in the audience got a penny to make a wish with and this in turn made more magic happen.
After this show stopping scene, we all got to write another wish we wanted to share (the other’s were our secrets of course) on a filing card and have it approved by the Regulator. Jars filled shelves in this room where we could read previous customer’s wishes.
Overall, we left with a smile and delight in my daughter’s eyes as they clutched their pennies tight, second ones given to pass on to a friend so they can make their own wish.
We had a wonderful time, the set was stunning, the performances were intoxicating and the messages given and learnt were serious yet engaging.
If you get a chance, if the bank opens again near you, open an account!
So, we drag the losers into the interview chambers and expose all their weaknesses…quite frankly I’m surprised it wasn’t a 2 hour show. No pterodactyl impressions, Jordan even managed not to be sick despite being exposed as a liar, a fraud and quiet frankly a loser.
Behind every weak business idea though, there is a Neil Clough and despite being given about 24 opportunities to explain he would be willing to shape the concept with ProfessorCaptainLordSugar’s help. Then it was down the the girls, and I think it may just have been Francesca’s cheap clothes and ‘I can smell shit’ expression that knocked her into 3rd place.
So, this leaves us with a points table that means nothing as we now have only 2 possible outcomes…and with the shuddering realisation that the rules state that double points are awarded if one of your losers ends up in the position you predicted. This means the previous MAX tables may have been as flawed as their creator…but below you can see (don’t scroll if you like tension) the current table and the 2 tables that will be the final results depending on whether LUISA wins or not (which a certain organiser fervently hopes will happen).
Thanks for playing everyone, £161 for MIND and Macmillan is not to be sniffed at. See you next year, with more robust scoring systems.
So, it was Tuy Weak once again, I believe, and you may not have heard this, SirLordAlanSugarTits used to sell tut out of the back of a van too. The girls bought sensible cheap cool hats and tut that usually sell well at markets, whereas PM Myles decided to buy high end tut that only vaguely sells at Selfridges. High risk high gain? maybe but then don’t send the teeny Jordan off to buy candles you can get for 50p in Wilko’s and a vase that can’t hold a single daisy, but it looks….gopping.
At least Jordan had a receptacle for his boardroom sickness…
Here are the current things you care about
and the depressing table of hope, Green (you can WIN!), Orange (you might still win some meat!), Red (with regret, you’re fired).
You may think you aren’t getting value for money missing out on a weak, but look, 2 for 1! it’s like thinking you were losing Kurt and getting Natalie booted out in one go ;o)
So, here’s a quick recap of the last 2 weaks.
Weak 8 - the Dating agency. Alex tried again to get a date as Project Manager, and again he failed. But, to be fair they were lucky and got Jordan instead, he wanted a 50,000ft view of the project, so with his stature he would need to stand on a 49,998ft chair to achieve this. But when he did tower over the Cufflinks project he became a high powered sexual woman, who knew? He would make a good woman but Luisa would hate him regardless, as she hates all of the over 50s.
Jason, on the other hand demonstrated a perfect one night stand analogy with his team. Everyone got blood on their lips according to Jason Nice But Dim, maybe this was after they sunk their teeth into his weak assed neck…and ass and deposed him.
So, Friendship and Flowers wilted and Jason took some old roses to his grave…he was clearly too academic according to Sir Alord Ansuger…we all hate them don’t we ;o)
So, onto Weak 9 - the boils in a bag episode.
The teams met at the gherkin, although most of them wouldn’t know what one of them is, as they can’t cook, hate cooking and just survive on ready meals, maybe that is why Francesca is so bitter.
Alex got his dream at last to become PM, let’s hope that worked for him. Luisa admitted, right at the end, that she CAN cook but left her best mate Frannie in the kitchen to create, make and taste their Oh My Pow! meal…what do you mean she didn’t?? that would be STUPID.
Alex quickly dropped his little Popty in the canal from his gondola, thanks to Myle’s jedi mind tricks and went with poisonous food for kids. In my humble opinion, Horribly Healthy food would have worked better than Healthy Horrible food….maybe I’ll apply for the next series. Even little Jordan pitching the food to the Purchasing Managers, aka Mummy and Daddy couldn’t win it for the team. Somehow the Clough sold 3,000 units of insipid bland food based on the caveat “we will make it taste…tasty, promise”
So, here are the results from the Coventry jury for the last 2 weaks.
and here is a bonus table for you, based on the MAXIMUM points you can earn, Red means you have NO CHANCE to be in the top 5, ORANGE you can be in the top 5 but not win, and GREEN means you CAN WIN!!! whoop.
Sometimes even with the best of intentions, the devil poops in your toaster so things don’t pop up when you’d expect. Sorry for the delay, feel free to fire me.
Anyway back to our losers. The candidates had to sell caravans to basically the walking dead, according to the young cool dudes in the programme. The only loser with a chance seemed to be Kurt, as he had caravan experience…don’t ask. At the other end of the spectrum, Myles literally hates caravans and has persuaded the whole of Monaco to ban them…I’d love to see an F1 ‘van race myself but hey.
So, there was some experience with caravans but Jason ‘not nice but still dim’ didn’t even have experience with Birmingham as he’s never gone so far North…although the shots of the city centre would have confused him seeing as the NEC is miles away.Telly eh?
A few moments of comedy genius prevailed, not one moment as “one is one but two is unbelievable” beeped the android and Jason even gave us a comedy excentional opstra, just before he invited us to mount the steps and he’d follow us in…charmer!
Leah was her usual smiley self, even when she was offered up as eye candy but it wasn’t enough for our friends Kurt and Natalie as they packed up their troubles in their overpriced kid’s camping kit.
We have one definite loser now, well done Claire Avery…you have ZERO, which is the best score so far!
It was a weak where the teams of losers had to train other corporate losers on how not to be such losers. How could it fail? well, it could fail because no-one seemed to spot that a school doesn’t have wine tasting lessons, giant flamingos and you are certainly not supposed to engage in cupcaking.
It could also fail because Luisa told the most corporate man in the world that she hated him and everything he stood for and his children and his wife and his empty vacuous words, but could he give her a job?
It could fail because the Doctor could consult her team, get an overwhelming vote for a theme then overrule it, then change it, then do a medieval army theme in the pissing rain.
But in the end it didn’t fail for one team because someone called in one of the world’s leading motivational speakers…Sir Lord Neil Clough! da da!!!
In the end, one team lost and the other lost less badly so it was DEFINITELY going to be the terrible leader Leah or the moaning whiny Luisa that got fired, it couldn’t be the basically OK Rebecca, I mean it would almost be like the Director wanting the two women who hate each other the most to stay in for good television, that wouldn’t happe…what? NO!!!!
So, off to Dubai for our losers and that’s OK as Zeeshaan knows it like the back of his mahogany scented hands. Apart from the fact, he doesn’t.
The Doctor told him over and over again he was wrong sending her to the mall but eventually souked it up and did what she was told.
Jason ‘slimy but dim’ had prepared and learnt flawless Arabic although he did have to speak slowly and with a fake Middle Eastern accent to be understood, but he still had more chance than the Irish Doctor or the Welsh Android as ood od ooood odd sounds even less recognisable in their voices.
Strangely it wasn’t Kurt that ended up flying the tiny little flag or the rocket fuelled gob on a body that is Luisa but old Zee himself. This puts Paul up the ‘top’ of our loserboard with Catriona and leaves only 9 zeros at the ‘bottom’….well done me.
BTW, my records show the following people owe me their entrance fee. If you could get this to me ASAP I would be a happy man and can donate it.
JC, web_bod, Dr Lauren, cluck, Laura F, poppypurple, RaeMck, Helen, Mark Branch
If you have paid then please feel free to arm wrestle me into accepting this as fact!
9am - I put the names of 9 @coventrymarket stalls into the sock of destiny at home. All nominated by #covcashmob friends.
10am - I stopped at @taylorsbutchers to pick up a tray of locally made sausage rolls with a dollop of nice discount from Stuart.
10:15am - I drop into @bennzaksflorist to pick up 20 balloons on sticks and 20 ‘I <3 to shop local’ canvas bags, filled with bananas, apples, stickers and bags of Dolly Mixtures…all courtesy of @coventrymarket
10:30am - I arrive at the @ludicrooms Hub to dump all the bags, balloons with help from the delicious @arctic_sunrise and the #wewillgather bags and badges so I could meet the attendees in comfort at Shelton Square.
11am - Some people arrived at the empty shop and some met me in the square (I was easily spotted in my We Will Gather t-shirt - thanks @artistmakers!). The final count of humans attending (including a bundle of smurfs) was, according to @predacomDom's clicker - THIRTY-SIX!!! amazing.
The rules were announced and were, for a change from me, very simple. We would pick a stall from the sock and head off to spend a fiver. HOWEVER, if you didn’t want to spend your money on the first stall, we would pick another BUT you HAD to spend it at that stall. This added a frisson of risk and got people planning their strategy. The only other rule that was invoked by me was the ‘No Double Sewing Rule’, if the Fabric Stall or Haberdashers was picked the other ‘boring girl’s’ stall would be discarded. Anything to maximise the chance of the Sweet Stall to come out!
11:10am - After swapping my sock for a sock from @flinton22's fostered daughter…who is called DESTINY! serendipity. The first name was drawn by @vornster's daughter…it was P. Shaw Kitchenware! Off we headed to the Market.
11:15am - A quite confused looking Phillip at the stall suddenly found himself mobbed by people waving fivers at him and buying bowls, whisks, rice cookers, oven gloves and SPOONS! After a little explanation by @vornster he seemed to be very happy, if a little too busy to really enjoy it ;o)
An interesting by-product was that we seemed to attract an audience who thought that there must be bargains on the stall, and we filled the aisle so much that a market regular wandered past moaning it was too busy!
@shivharrison couldn’t resist popping back later to capture Phillip’s thoughts about what had happened, she is a journalist after all.
11:25am - After I think everyone had spent at least a portion of their £5 we gathered around for another pick from the Sock of Destiny. This time @Mrs_Sunrise_’s son Aidan was the lucky sock diver. With everyone willing him to pick the Sweet Stall…he pulled out…@bennzaksflorist ;o(
11:30am - We rushed round the corner to a scared looking Florist who weren’t sure they had enough flowers left (it was a busy wedding day)…but we managed to purchase some single blooms and a selection of house plants. Happy stall, happy mobbers.
Here’s a happy @toomanydresses with a flower from @discorick84
11:40am - An executive decision was made by @mr_spoon, on pain of death by tears, to add in a bonus stall…so off to the Sweet Stall we mobbed.
11:45am - Literally stuffed with sours and jellies, the smurfs had a ride on the famous Market roundabout and the parent’s swapped tales of their mobbed goodies.
11:50am - Back to the @ludicroom Hub most of the party went, with @toomanydresses' party deciding to stay on for a while stocking up on zips and lunch.
12pm - The first ever Coventry Empty Shop Indoor Picnic was held, much to the amusement of passers by who must have thought it was performance art.
With many happy mobbers, many bargains and baffled stall holders, the first #covcashmob ended but segwayed nicely into groups splitting off to do the @ludicrooms Re-creation Trail, visit the Vintage Fair or enjoy the Jazz in the sun. We crossed paths a few times then went home tired but filled with community spirit and sweets!
Thank you to everyone who took part, it was a great day and let’s do it again*
Another weak, another firing…yawn. To be honest this series isn’t really lighting my fire, I’m not sure the losers are quite as stupid as usual.
DISCLAIMER : some witty comments may be stolen in entirety from the Guardian.
It’s happening in New York, it’s happening in Tokyo! And now it’s happening in Surrey Docks. Everybody farm shop!
I’d love to have been at school with Jordan, they had a van that sold ostrich burgers, although to be fair, at Garforth Comprehensive School we had a quail bar.
Alex the android wanted to sell cheese on toast, and for some reason everyone thought a farm shop sells hot food, now I like a hot pork pie sandwich as much as the next man but…
Francesca nearly bought a load of corn on the cobs. But Luisa tells her to “buy six” to dress the store up with. That’s business!
So Buffalocal and Fruity Cow were born, and died pretty quickly with only one large man accounting for 20% of all the takings. For some reason people didn’t want to buy a baked potato with beans, however pretty they made it.
It looked for a moment that one of the beards was going to go, but embarrassed Uzma was the fruity cow that got culled.
10 people with ZERO points and looking good* and a certain Mr Spoon is in there! whoot!
*I’ve realised in the shower this morning (keep that image) that what I SHOULD have done is reversed the points so your selected loser earned less points the better they do. I can’t wait for next year’s competition ;o)
So, another weak another absolute shower of flat packed poop and I need to do you an update and synopsis clickety-boo. As I type I am sitting on a chair or table that has a box of rotting fish underneath, and you know what? it doesn’t work.
As LordAlanSirSugar said the girls’ Tidy Sidy was a bit Wishy Washy Poxy Boxy but at least you could foldo up tiny Jordan and pop him in, what with him not being an average sized person. However if I had the chance I’d recycle Jason slimy “not nice but still dim” Leech…bleurgh.
However, the girls did reach a new lau and Big Al decided to fire Sophie, I don’t know why; her skill set is immense what with her quote “I don’t design, I don’t manufacture, I don’t sell and I don’t pitch.” She can certainly do market research…bady.
With that crushing news and the the fact that Alexbot created the best thing Lord Al has ever seen (remember this was the man behind the Amstrad Emailer Phone) we find Jim and Nick have been our first to fall with them expertly picking all three of the first batch of losers. The meat is not coming to you boys.
Still plenty of points to fight for and us lot on 0 are sitting pretty….on a grey box.
And now you’ve read this, scroll down to the next article and see if you fancy joining us for #covcashmob next weekend. Shopping with added fun!
You know when you ‘accidently’ find yourself bullied into organising a Cashmob? no? well you ain’t lived and #lovedcov.
What’s a Cashmob?
Very simply put, it’s an event in which people come together to shop at one shop at the same time, usually pledging to spend a minimum amount.
So it a) supports a local business b) raises people’s awareness of great local businesses c) gives the participants some social fun IRL and d) means you might end up with some random tut…but for a good cause.
Why am I doing a Cashmob?
Mainly because @vornster can’t be bothered…and has ‘hired’ me to run this for her, but also because why not? The man behind the Cashmob challenge is the one and only Dan Thompson and he is using his We Will Gather initiative to inspire and entice 10 groups to mob before 25th May. If we pull this off in Cov, we can inspire more and maybe win £100 for a future We Will Gather event.
When are WE doing #covcashmob?
Saturday 25th May 2013 at 11am.
Where are WE doing #covcashmob?
We will meet in Shelton Square, we will Cashmob, we will (hopefully) retire to a local (non chain) food place for some scran and to scrutinise each other’s purchases. We will tweet the shit out of the event, we will Instagram the hell out of each other’s smiley post mob faces and we WILL win £100 for more shizzle in the future.
Where will WE shop?
Over to you, my original pitch was to pick 3 stalls in Coventry Market so we have a choice of goodies to spend our spondies on…BUT this might dilute our chance to make an impact on one local business.
SO PLEASE EMAIL ME firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @mr_spoon to nominate one or more local, independent shops/stalls.
All the names will go into a sock (I haven’t got a decent hat) and we will pull out, and set off!
What else can we do on #covcashmob day? Where will we eat? tell me Spoony.
Don’t worry, I know I how needy you lot are, I know that you need more to entertain your hyperactive minds….so here’s the lowdown.
11am - Meet, get badges, bags and sweeties.
11:15am - The sock of destiny gets used and we set off to the chosen shop.
12pm - Meet at Ludic Rooms Mysteries Hub (next to Superdrug on Market Way) for an indoor picnic AND then a chance to play the Recreation Trail!
1pm-4pm - or whenever you finish the hunt…pop along to Priory Place for the Vintage Fair and Jazz Festival all afternoon!
How much is this going to cost ME?
A fiver*…I know! bargain! and some lunch money for later.
Morning mentors, I cannot apologise enough, I was partying all night and crawled into bed at way past midnight (just)…not knowing which loser was fired last night. It turns out it was wet loser Tim. So here is the league table after weak two.
And remember, 0 points is GOOD at this stage, it means you have 4 potential scorers left.
It was a relatively calm start to the series, mainly because the losers decided on team names without so much as a fist fight and Jaz broke the sound barrier for Project Manager selection. The first real test was getting Jaz’s hair in the cars with those equally large egos but she did, but in a patronising way.
The highlight of the programme has to be the comeback of Freddie Mercury, or at least an android version with very tightly stretched skin, and from Wales..who knew.
The gorgeous but wholly manufactured by machine (maybe half by Jaz) that was Luisa showed her real class with phrases such as
“I’ll be on her like a fly on shit”
just shit really Looloo.
However, the quote of the episode has to go to plastic Freddie who got to know his team well. How could he forget Neil, he was always there shouting from the back.
Alex: “I’ve worked with Liam all day.” Lord Sugar: “Sorry. Who have you worked with?” Alex: “Liam.” Lord Sugar: “His name’s Neil.”
Tut was sold, and cat waves were done in celebration and that cafe had it’s first customers. Bye bye Jaz.
So, with Jaz dancing off here is the first league table:
Tomorrow sees episode 2, the ‘make a flavour of beer that takes major breweries years to perfect, in only 24 hours’. I bet it tastes bitter.
Updates may be slower after this one as I am out on the town tonight and will miss the ‘fun’.
Colleagues, friends and wannabe Apprentice mentors,
Each year, Catherine Thomson and I run (she tells me to) a sweepstake competition for BBC’s The Apprentice. As we are all professionals we enjoy the series and taking tips and tricks from some of the countries brightest and most eligible future CEOs. It’s also funny when they fall over.
Usually we sell you an Apprentice to mentor (you can’t influence them much but if you shout at the screen really loudly I’m sure they hear you) and charge you a couple of quid and some of the money goes to charidee and some goes to pay you bloodsucking money grabbing entrepreneurs if your apprentice is the least worst. This year however I have harnessed the power of Twends (Twitter friends of course) and drummed up a great selection of prizes. SO, all your hard earned lucre is going to go to MIND and Macmillan. Both amazing organisations that support people in very difficult times.
Points for final position 16 for the winner, 15 for second all the way down to 1 for the loser.
Multiplier for candidates finishing in the position you selected x 2
Bonus points for selecting the loser and getting it right - 15
A £25 meal voucher for Aqua Food & Mood Lebanese restaurant in Warwick or Coventry
A meal for 2 voucher with a bottle of wine for Blue Bistro in Spon Street, Coventry
A £25 voucher for John Taylor & Son butchers in Earlsdon, Coventry
A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children to see a Coventry Blaze ice hockey match of your choice next season.
A voucher for a bouquet of flowers from Ben n Zak’s florist in Coventry Market
Booby prize – a nasty flammable teddy bear ‘Booby’ from Tinderbox Toys in Earlsdon, Coventry
The top 5 point scorers will win a prize of their choice with the highest point scorer choosing first. In the event of ties for position (which I suspect will happen as my scoring system is untested and possibly flawed like its creator) I will instigate a picking from a hat system.
How to enter
An entry costs £3 although you may pay more, you won’t get anything extra except a warm feeling in your soul.
You will pick 4 candidates from the list based on your business intuition or their silly face.
Email me at email@example.com with your entry list. I’ll get your money somehow over the next month.
Mentor your candidates by screaming at the telly and/or tweeting things at them.
Laugh when they are kicked out and end up back at McDonald’s or in court.
There are many albums I’ve loved this year but I’ve tried to keep it to ones released in 2012 and that have spent longest in my ears and car CD player. So notable absences for the amazing Wes Finch - Mayflower and Duke Special - Oh Pioneer but I just haven’t spun them as often. A new year’s resolution? Also, Wilful Missing and Barricades Rise have been played a lot more than some below but 2011 was their year!
Hope & Social - All Our Dancing Days
My favourite discovery of 2012, an amazing band from Leeds who have SO much fun it is infectious. Amazing music, great people and the best live gig I’ve been to in ages. This album was ‘cobbled together’ in 2 months but you can’t tell, some great stomping tunes to hit your steering wheel to. ￼
The xx - Coexist
So relaxing to pop this on and sit back for 10 minutes before the kids are back. Love the way it perfectly compliments the first album, nothing new but nothing needed changing. ￼
Bell X1 - Field Recordings
It takes a special song to make you buy an album off the back of only a few listens, and to buy a double album? I adore In Every Sunflower from this live, acoustic, stripped back album on Spotify so much I did exactly that. ￼
Alt_J - An Awesome Wave
Unlike anything I’d heard before, so that’s nice. And with a tenuous Leeds connection I am proud to say I like these before they were famous-ish…2 recommendations to listen to them because they had a song called Matilda helped too. However, I really fell in love with the band from the comments they had added on the free Soundcloud stream of the album where you can read about what all the songs mean, sweeties.
Luke Leighfield - New Season ￼
One more introduction from the Stylusboy/Atlum Schema camp and I’m very grateful. Luke is a wonderful singer songwriter who on this album appears to have turned his guitars up to 11 and cranked out some great arena fillers. Sounding not unlike the much missed (he’s still here really) Jake Shillingford and My Life Story…what could be bad?
Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts in Snow ￼
Scottish rock pop that just makes me smile.
Kishi Bashi - 151a ￼
Discovered via a Bandcamp recommendation, Japanese American violin with looping pedals and a smear of Olympic majesty.
Of Monsters & Men - My Head is an Animal ￼
Thanks to Monday Night Listening Club for giving me the chance to listen to this all the way through. Mumfords with a woman singing! yay.
Richard Hawley - Standing on the Sky’s Edge ￼
The Hawley is back but with a rawk sound. It’s a grower but can’t wait to see him on my birthday where the sound will be immense.
Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind
13 years without BFF is too long, they came back sounding like they’d never been away and we went to a great gig where they proved they shouldn’t have gone.
It's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife
Right, so…well…err. This is another blog about my love for Twitter…but with a twist.
My name is Richard Spoon and I’m addicted to Twitter.
phew, that’s the hardest bit…well ok, maybe not addicted but recently I’ve realised that I have a problem.
Not with Twitter, not with you lot, not even with the amount of tweets I shit out some days but more with everything I end up doing around it.
It’s been a difficult couple of months at home and work and my family is supposed to be what calms me down and makes me smile. But I’ve found myself getting stressed and snapping at my poor wife and certainly the cat. It took a recent snap when I was ill to realise (this is what lying on a short settee trying to sleep gets you) that the calmest time we’ve had as a family for a long time was when we go camping…because there are no distractions. I get tense and stressed at home a lot of the time because I’m wanting to do other things. Those other things might be Twitter or Olymtwics stuff, or finding new music for my blog, or running a photo challenge etc. etc. I LOVE all these things that I do but they sure take a lot out of me and me out of my family. So…I’m taking a break. Not from Twitter, not for you lot but just from the current regime.
I’m going to put my phone upstairs as soon as I get home from work and it stays there until the kid’s are tucked up and Shiv and I have had a bit of quiet time together. I’m postponing the Winter Olymtwics even further (we’ll have a big push around the actual Winter Olympics time in February) so I don’t have to do anything on it until 2013. I’m taking a break from The Spoon Player…I’m sure my 5 regular readers will survive. I’m even pausing the Spoon Shooter Challenge after this Friday until January. Even the #mondaynightmixtape is pressing PAUSE until the second Monday in January.
So, it will be quieter from me for a bit but it’s a good thing! for me!
Sorry if you were looking forward to me twatting about playing games this Christmas but don’t worry…I’ll be back. I just need to breathe.
This is kind of a follow up blog to the now famous ‘How I Changed My Life Using Twitter' blog…but also I've realised could be a nice static #FF page I can tweet every week with very little effort.
I also get frustrated when muggles ask “are they actually friends? have you actually met them? you know they are not real don’t you?”…so a thumb of the teeth to these non-believers.
I-Spy the following twits. These are people I didn’t know before I created @mr_spoon and still want to know now! This is not an exhaustive list as there are many more twits I’ve said hello to or had a brief chat but I don’t tweet very often at all or met again.
In some kind of order but don’t be offended, or just unfollow** ;o)
**please don’t, I’m needy
I-Spy Points : 25
These are twits that we’ve met, befriended, shared ‘drunken’ (@ShivHarrison of course) nights with, sworn at (possibly via Mario Karts online), hugged (but not like that Helen, tossed off with or stalked…and got our sausages out for.
@predacomDom and @PsychoMumma
How we met: We met IRL to search for some treasure on Hearsall Common (geocaching) after Shiv made friends due to mutual babies 2 years ago. And it was love at first sight.
Main qualities: Car fixing, general geekery, eggs, introducing us to many more wonderful twits, digital/analogue fun…and 80% of the time wonderfully funny and kind.
@RaeMcK and @baxterglen
How we met: Playing @barryfromwat’s Blankety Blank, I battled with Rachael (and @emmersimms, @rockchickgill and some weirdo @markwardropper (now vanished)) and somehow made an amazing friend from Oxford…but with her heart in Cov!
Main qualities: THE NICEST WOMAN ON TWITTER…and a good fella too!
@GarethStringer and @daveyjay1985
How we met: Can’t really remember how we met the big man, possibly a Priory Place link with Shiv…and the wee man comes as part of the package (ooer).
Main qualities: Juggling, a shared love for @taylorsbutchers’ meat, Lego and generally love/hate for Coventry gossip.
@arctic_sunrise and @Mrs_Sunrise_
How we met: A pure introduction via @predacomDom…more loveable geeks.
Main qualities: Experience designers, hot chilli, wonderful handmade chocolates, Mario Kart and some of the kindest people…ever.
@poppypurple and @loonytoon
How we met: Another @predacomDom matchmake. Now we regularly inhale puddings, fix fences and scream at each other over Skype.
Main qualities: Phone advice, virtual nightclub flirting, IRONMAN, girly girly advice on pink clothes…shits and giggles and sweary nights on #twiitups
@lisacov19 and @stevesharratt99
How we met: We think she followed us, put us in a sweepstake…and she just won’t leave us alone.
Main qualities: Everyone’s mum (she is hardly old enough…but Mr S!), tweetup organising and bitching, teachy advice and Heat magazine dealer.
How we met: Possibly a link with arty farty Coventry types? We think he liked my wife’s Blitz.
Main qualities: THE NICEST MAN ON TWITTER…roof boxes, music appreciation and the BLOODY CUBE in his conservatory!
@taylorsbutchers and @traceytaylor79
How we met: An introduction via @claireemma79 shortly followed by a meeting at Godiva Festival…and he offered me a free pork pie…sold!
Main qualities: MEAT!…and boozy nights, meat, garden games, meat…lovely friends with access to meat.
@TinderboxToys and @RichHarrison72
How we met: Not 100% sure, Earlsdon, kids, meat lovers? But meet we have and Biggus Dickus is the bigger brother from another Mother now and we enjoy a good toss every now and then.
Main qualities: Look at the name! and handy for excellent toys in their shop, his sausage making skills are prize winning (I was robbed) and he looks like a Policeman.
How we met: Probably just bullied her way into our lives ;o) Definitely met at the Godiva Festival but was chatting before then.
Main qualities: Up for anything, in a good way ;o) Introducing us to the Meat Boy and sooooo competitive.
How we met: I don’t know how we met as he must have been living in France at the time. I believe the first time in real life was a random invitation to a wonderful BBQ at Chez Coulon…top homme.
Main qualities: If you are bored at the weekend, have kids and like moles…he can find you something to do!
How we met: I listened to a few tracks by Steve aka Stylusboy then found out he wanted someone to photograph his gig at a local festival. Boom! a beautiful relationship was born.
Main qualities: Wonderful music and the nicest guy (apart from Matt of course) on t’internet…and a massive conduit for introducing me to more local music!
@barricadesrise and @JC_Barricades and @HeidiMcEntee
How we met: Another living room meeting for the boys and a pub meeting for the laydee. I was introduced on-line to the Barricades boys (Michael and Jonathan) by Twitter’s favourite busker @stylusboy and invited them to a living room gig.
Main qualities: Foot tapping, floor breaking, finger bleeding grumpy Mumford inspired music. Wonderful twits with great senses of humour, photography skills, two gorgeous boys and one of them owns a bookshop…perfick!
I-Spy Points : 24.5
These are twits that may feel they deserve to be in the 25 point category but haven’t done enough yet ;o) Wonderful humans that we have spent a good few times with but WANT MORE!*
*for the purposes of the point I’m making, just people we meet up with slightly less and I haven’t been to their toilet.
How we met: If there is an event to be photographed, Mark will be there…and that’s probably how we met.
Main qualities: Great photographer, takes the pressure off me when I can’t be bothered ;o) All round nice guy…and Mary Mary quite as good a tog as him.
How we met: I’m sure I would have met Steve anyway as he works on the floor above me at Warwick but it wouldn’t have been more than a grunt on the stairs. Now he is my go to guy for all things geeky at work.
Main qualities: Impartial advice on smartphones (as long as you agree with him), a big enough garden to put a tent up in, bouncey castle supplier and general all round loveable geek.
@chillchamp and @DrEmmaWilcox
How we met: I think we finally took the plunge and invited them to Harewoodstock 2011? met them many times since at craft fairs and the like.
Main qualities: Crafty and creepy (you know which one is which!) and can be relied on for some smut.
@etranger81 and @GoonerSoph
How we met: Can’t quite remember how we met on Twitter, possibly another kid related link but it could also have been Mark’s amazing dry humour…honest
Main qualities: Wetherspoons drinking games, pub advice and bum advice from the pharmacist. If you want to feel grumpy with a laugh, follow Mark.
@Coleone21 and @blewbies
How we met: We met Andy and Clare for the first time last weekend and discussed how we ‘met’ initially. We think we narrowed it down to Andy butting into a Twitter conversation about boobs. Wonderful couple with beautiful miracle daughters and a sense of humour to match my own…i.e. none.
How we met: Original on-line meeting was via Shiv but once you meet your virtual Auntie there is no letting go. A Tweetup veteran and also been part of two of her wonderful bijou craft fairs in Fillongley.
Main qualities: Lego love and virtual hugs. mmm
@atlumschema and @NicNoz
How we met: I was given Andy to stalk by @stylusboy and stalk I have. Met Andy for the first time in our living room for Harewoodstock 2011 and several times since when I’ve watched in awe at him play around the city.
Main qualities: Wonderful music, amazing looping and podcasts that will make you think, laugh and confused!
How we met: Matt is a weird one…kind of met him before Twitter as he is friends with people at work, but I wouldn’t have done more than nod politely at him without him joining into Twitter based pub quiz team Team Twix.
Main qualities: Film knowledge, toy collecting and basically good in a quiz…if the questions are about films and toys.
How we met: A wonderful opportunity offered by @stylusboy and Rob to spend a morning as a photography hanger on has been my only IRL meeting, but it was inspirational!
I-Spy Points : 15
Twits that are certainly people I’d claim to be friends (even if they might not) that we bump into regularly and share banter (they may call it rude behaviour).
How we met: The nicest Irish man on Twitter (except maybe @DukeSpecial and others) introduced by @matthogan. We’ve had a few great nights out…but not enough with this twit.
How we met: Whenever we go to a Council hosted event, she’s there being a Twitter star!
How we met: Yet another @predacomDom import but he now seems obsessed with capturing me on video whenever he can. Had some good times with Jon and I’ve also seen Prometheus with him.
How we met: His ‘Tales from the Attic’ YouTube journies into his pickled brain meant we just HAD to meet. A regular at Harewoodstock, we can’t get enough of this Postie from heaven.
How we met: Even though I’ve never been in their shop, Ben and Zak keep popping up, courtesy of @lisacov19, lovely guys ;o)
How we met: I’m sure we would have actually met the wonderful Janet via @shivharrison’s work which introduces us to many weird and wonderful theatrical experiences. I wouldn’t normally talk to artists though, but Twitter made it possible!
How we met: VJ managed to infiltrate a boy’s only pub quiz team, just by being lovely and actually very useful!
@Phillipa_Cross and @jpdale
How we met: Usually crop up at events where @predacomDom is, but John also works at my place…being a very useful geek indeed.
@RayClenshaw and @Jess_Ra
How we met: Another semi-Twitter intro as @shivharrison has worked with Ray for a while reporting on Belgrade genius but again Twitter has given me the key to them too! Borrowed many a garden lantern thanks to 140 characters too.
@bruciestokes and @Sue_Stokes
How we met: Our paths seem to cross at events that need photographing and @TVermar can’t make it.
@helenwoodward and @covcarhack
How we met: Shamed on a couple of occasions hosting a craft stall next to Helen’s amazing jewellery, but saved by sharing baby woes with Daddy.
How we met: It’s not always a success, Mark has embarrassed me in public at least once (it’s once) thanks to his role as a Queuing Olympic Ambassador. Unfortunately he also tends to spoil Pecha Kucha’s for me and everyone by unloading his brain on stage. LOVE HIM!
How we met: After driving down a road just to take a photo of her skip, it took until a Council workshop for me to meet AND HUG Faye, unleashing her inner hugger on the world!
How we met: One drunken (mainly her) night at a Christmas Tweetup was the first and despite helping her stick a @RaeMcK spoon up @skyblue1987’s bum I felt the urge to hand deliver her some of @taylorsbutchers best to her house, she’s that lovely.
How we met: I would have met Steve anyway as he pretends to help me develop apps for work, but having met before we met was so much nicer!
How we met: The other half of @stylusboy, I feel privileged to have met her several times and enjoy her beautiful singing and model poses.
How we met: Oliver works with @arctic_sunrise and @predacomDom in a dungeon near the canal. He pops up and piroettes at parties and wherever arty farties hang out ;o)
@BH28EW and @lesleyjmcdonald
How we met: Pecha Kucha attendees and although now moved to Scotland can be seen lurking in Cov sometimes.
How we met: The lovely Jen is a colleague/friend of the geeky boys again and it’s nice to bump into her at gatherings.
How we met: I feel like a bonus point should be awarded here as Simon is someone I got to know about due to @stylusboy/Cov music scene introductions but Twitter has helped and despite living in the house opposite us I could have seen us never talking (it’s not like Coronation Street round our way) but now..we do!
How we met: The King of Tweetups! Not only does Jonathan bring twits together but he does it in style! We’ve had backstage tours of Coventry Cathedral and Stowe House thanks to super architectural geek Dr Foyle…and led to a few more introductions below.
I-Spy Points : 5
Twits we have played with doing things we might not have done if we hadn’t found them drifting around in the Twitterverse
How we met: Enjoyed his #1 tour in Scotland taking photos of Auld Reekie thanks to Twitter chats.
@peteashton and @mattmurtagh
How we met: A tenuous link via friendsofED was the initial impetus to follow Pete but then admiring both men’s photography art has led to two Birmingham photo classes and hopefully more.
@le1gh and @Alan_Collins13
How we met: Sent out one evening to pick up a set of amazing cupcakes has been my only contact, but what cupcakes!
I-Spy Points : 2.5
Twits we’ve met possibly only once or twice, but you need to get points, what’s the fun if you can’t categorise people.
How we met: A quick chat at Leamington Arts Fair after admiring his painting and on-line 24 hour comedy gig!
@depict and @kevdepict
How we met: A strange but enjoyable evening at the Fishbone Gallery thanks to these two amazing togs.
How we met: Let him into our house after selling him a camera, however met randomly without knowing a link to another IRL friend.
@AmandaFarren and @fazzc
How we met: Attended one of Amanda’s many amazing Mumpreneur events and bought some lovely baby toys.
How we met: Grew and compared moustaches with Craig, another point for @predacomDom.
How we met: Spent a lovely post-Daniel Kitson play drink with Misha thanks to many chats at ANY TIME OF THE DAY OR NIGHT, Coventry’s most prolific?
How we met: Popped up at a few creative city events round Coventry…possibly a Tweetup too?
How we met: Met in a very wet beer garden for @lisacov19’s birthday, soggy.
How we met: I let the Schumi hating man into my garden so he could pick up some chit.
How we met: I know we’ve met once at the Christmas Tweetup, and think maybe again?
How we met: After entertaining me many mornings as I tweeted whilst I sheeted, I’ve met JD a good few times, and he hasn’t been drunk for all of them!
How we met: A lovely semi-spontaneous couple of meetings at the bloody OLYMPIC PARK!!! what a great Games Maker!!
How we met: I’ve tried to wash the image of his crack with @RaeMcK stuck in it at the Christmas Tweetup but I can’t…also a MoBro.
How we met: Had the pleasure of meeting Kerry and Alastair (now vanished from my radar) at Godiva and showing Tilly that Policemen are lovely people!
How we met: Attended a Circuit Bending workshop run by Nikki thanks to the geek boys telling me I’d love it…I did.
@leesmithjones and @thethreeinone
How we met: A quick drink at the Christmas Tweetup a few years ago.
How we met: Another crazy, another one introduced by @lisacov19. When he isn’t watching EVERY FILM in 2012 he popped up at Lisa’s 21st birthday party.
How we met: Another colleague that would have blipped across my radar at work but thanks to Twitter I now have cakes to talk about when we do meet.
How we met: I believe @ShivHarrison met Wes at the BBC when he played there once but I managed unbelievably to persuade him to perform at Harewoodstock 2012 and a gentleman and talented one he is. Gorgeous music, gorgeous modesty.
How we met: Met this doorknob at both of @JonathanFoyle’s intellectual Tweetups. Keeps promising to meet me at 4am at Warwick Castle but nothing so far :o(
How we met: Another Foyle twit and an amazing architectural photographer. I hope one day to entice him to campus to partake in making brutal concrete look pretty.
How we met: Just a quickie with the Horse so far outside Waterstones watching a soggy Lady G put her nightdress on.
How we met: A very pleasant unexpected meeting in a quiet bit of Taylor John’s during a night out to see some twits performing.
How we met: The last of Foyle’s Twits on my list, crazy lady who wants her own sausage night.
How we met: I’ve tasted their beautiful wares at @anglais_in_sete’s craft fair.
How we met: I took off with the Aeroplanes at Ditch the TV (which I wouldn’t have dreamt of attending without @stylusboy’s say so) and very much enjoy her beautiful singing in my car…a lot.
How we met: Less delicate singing than @sarahaeroplane but another band I’ve chatted to thanks to Taylor John’s and therefore @stylusboy.
I-Spy Points : -69 (aka The @richboden category)
How we met: I’ve had the pleasure of Dicky’s company thrice, once at work, twice with @flylilypad in a neutral environment and once he enticed me to his front door with the promise of a spare Sky Box.
Main qualities: Smut, filth and if you want anyone to say what no-one else will…it’s him, rat lover, Vimto lover, people hater ;o)
I-Spy Points : 7
People from my home town that my Mum might have taught, were in my year at school but I never really talked to, until Twitter! Now I chat about planes to Matthew and listen to music thanks to the @mnlclub run by Rich.
I-Spy Points up for grabs
These are the next twits on my list, you’ve gotta catch ‘em all!
How we met: Actually how we met isn’t the big deal for Claire, but without us pestering @Battsby (I know) to join Twitter he wouldn’t have met Claire, and he wouldn’t be getting bloody married to her!!!! Anyway, I hugged her and gave my blessing on Saturday outside @taylorsbutchers shop with a Philly Cheesesteak in my gob.
We currently have 43 adults and 16 children attending so it should be good and noisy!
We said a start time of 5pm to invitees but music will be starting around 6pm…so sometime between then would be good to arrive.
Wes Finch (hand injury permitting) will be playing first and will no doubt get everyone in the mood with his gorgeous acoustic music about sunshine and wild garlic! We then will host the tumultuous return of Barricades Rise after a long paternity absence for both boys. They will rock the joint and snap our laminate flooring! whoot! There may be more musical surprises but we just don’t know yet…eek.
We are asking people (hopefully politely) to chuck in some money in a ‘we support local music’ hat and split this between the bands. We really appreciate both artists for giving up their time for this gig and it should be an amazing evening!
We will provide some basic drinks (bear in mind I’m teetotal ;o) and nibbles, with at least 2 Hermans baked specially. We would of course welcome people turning up with food and drinks…so don’t stop! There will be no BBQ this year as a) Ash isn’t attending to cook and b) I want to listen to the music. I’m sure there will still be plentiful Taylor’s Butchers meat so don’t fret!
Parking isn’t an issue…in so much that we are not worrying about it! There should be spaces in streets surrounding the house, you just have to find them yourself ;o)