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Date Set For Fforde Festival

Swindon will be celebrating it’s new found, Jasper Fforde inspired fame next year in The Fforde Ffiesta over the Spring Bank Holiday. 

The event has been designed to give fans of Jasper Fforde’s surreal vision of Swindon a chance to get together, although few details of next year’s rendez-vous have been announced.
(from Swindon Advertiser) [^]

Now the big question is: can I think of a reason for myself and Mrs CannibalRabbit to be in Swindon for the 3rd to the 5th May 2008?  And a secondary concern would be, can we afford it?

The official announcement notes that:

“Early reports from the Chronoguard indicate that next year’s Ffiesta was a roaring success”

Leave No Child Inside – Good Trend from America

It seems as though someone has finally stumbled upon a really good idea – get kids outside.   Instead of having kids constantly under their parents feet, or being chauffeur-driven around to organised sports and shopping malls get them out into the great outdoors!   And all this from America!

Yes, there are risks outside our homes. But there are also risks in raising children under virtual protective house arrest: threats to their independent judgment and value of place, to their ability to feel awe and wonder, to their sense of stewardship for the Earth – and, most immediately, threats to their psychological and physical health. The rapid increase in childhood obesity leads many health-care leaders to worry that the current generation of children may be the first since World War II to die at an earlier age than their parents. Getting kids outdoors more, riding bikes, running, swimming – and, especially, experiencing nature directly – could serve as an antidote to much of what ails the young.

Source: Leave No Child Inside | by Richard Louv | Orion Magazine March-April 2007  [^]

I had a look at some of the place where I “experienced nature directly” in Swindon.   In Rodbourne where there  is now  “Pasture Close” and “Meadow Road” [^] there used to be Meadow and Pasture – and cows, mud and newts.   Where we used to slip and slide down the hill on the way home from school at Commonweal  between Okus Rd and Hillside Ave(?) [^] looks like it is under houses now as well.   It was fun, and probably worth the trouble that I used to get into.   But the big question is do kids still do it?

Only on the Internet

The things you find on the internet these days: The Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists [^]! At Beast Blender you create your own bizarre animal online from the bits that they provide (virtually).   The only problem is – no rabbits – what were these Americans thinking?

The truly strange thing was that I found the link to this from the Swindon Evening Advertiser website [^]  –  the reader blogs section, thank you  Plasticbird  [^].   So what the  interesting part I hear you say – well Swindon features in the Thursday Next novels of Jasper Fforde [^] where species re-engineering (Dodos [^] Thylacine and Mastadon . . . and William Shakespeare) is an everyday feature, and Chimera (strange genetically spliced creatures) have been known to appear as narrative detours.   Pete and Dave’s Dodo Emporium notes for the Thylacine says that they are “tame and docile and likes children but will make do with dog food.”   Sounds like the perfect pet to me!

The human mind is a wonderful thing, it likes to see links and connection – maybe even where they do not truly exist.   The original title was going to be “Only in America” but maybe “Only in my ramblings” would be a better idea.   Better still let’s blame the internet!

Crazed Squirrel Attacks

Crazed Squirrel Attacks Mum And Son (from Swindon Advertiser)
Three-year-old Reece reacted calmly but when Martine tried to shoo the squirrel away, it turned on her and sank its teeth into her hands and arm.

Anita Pile, a veterinary nurse  . . . said: “They’re quite capable of stripping bark off trees and cracking through nuts.”

And here’s me thinking that strange things in Swindon only happen in Jasper Fforde novels!


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