Rogues' Gallery

Originally uploaded by fred pipes
Why is travelling to and from our capital city always so fraught! There's an excellent London-to-Brighton rail service and I have my bus pass (oh, and also a dud oyster card!) but just getting from A to B is always hard work. Last night A was Farringdon station and B was the Barbican, just one tube stop away, but as aforementioned oyster card wouldn't top up, I hadn't bought a Travelcard and I was buggered if I was going to spend 4 quid on a single, I ended up walking (the busses were all full)! I was meeting Peter, Lisa, Foz?, Nick and Rob to see Rogue's Gallery, an evening of rollicking sea shanties (or chanteys as they call them) based on Hal Willner's CDs. After a quick pint of London Pride at The Sutton Arms, Foz? and I took our seats on the row behind Peter and Lisa. Hoards of performers stormed the stage and we set off with Baby Gramps singing 'Cape Cod Girls' banging his battered National guitar and sounding like Popeye the sailorman! Then it was a procession of stars, some I'd seen, some never before, taking turns to be backed by the excellent house band led by Kate St John and a mass choir of other performers. We had the Carthy family of Martin, Norma Waterson and Eliza, Neil Hannon in fine voice, Shane MacGowan playing harmonica and singing 'South Australia' and 'The Leaving of Liverpool', sexy Martha Wainwright, the Thompson siblings Teddy and Kami, cheeky Robyn Hitchcock (who used to live in Guildford), new romantic Richard Strange (singing the very rude 'Good Ship Venus'), Suzanne Vega and, the star of the show, cartoonist Ralph Steadman singing the cannibal song 'Little Boy Billy' plus many more. But Tom Waits impersonator Sandy Dillon ruined 'Bully in the alley' for me by not taking it seriously enough! It was whole festival in a evening - 3 and a half hours with no interval. We had musical saw (David Coulter), harmonium (Roger Eno), all manner of other stringed instruments (Leo Abrahams), violins, accordians, traditional folkies, pop stars (but no show by Pete Doherty) and rousing moving music - but you can have too many laments and it was maybe a tad too long, meaning Foz? and I missed our last sensible train and came home on the 1am from Victoria, after an eventful crossing of the Port o' London - but that's another story!


Pease pudding

Pease pudding is a new blog on the art of budget cooking from my old friend Lois Blackburn up in the Peak District.


More Watercress

Originally uploaded by fred pipes
On my second trip to the Watercress Line with Worthing Coaches, it was a full 53-seater so I sat piggy-in-the-middle on the back seat with several entertaining old ladies who told me all about the war. When we arrived, LMS Class 2MT 2-6-2T No. 41312 was in steam, doing some work experience, so I popped off to the working Post Office in Arlesford to post some proofs, thence to the pub for a pint of Fagin. The train coming back from Alton (and the one to take us there and back) was pulled by Spamcan 34007 Wadebridge, and I tested out my new Flip camcorder on it. It proved susceptible to wind noise and camera shake, but see my Vimeo pages for the excellent film quality. The cream tea was very welcome and I got an extra scone from my old ladies, plus a pot of Watercress Line jam to take home (unfortunately no watercress, the 60p bunches I saw in Arlesford looking a little wilted!). Another nice day out!



blast.png 633x851 pixels: play the ukulele!


betty bib's fairyware

betty bib's fairyware: been helping Lesley to set up her blog.