Archive for the ‘summer festivals’ Category

Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

August 9, 2016
Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

Sole Luna wood-fired pizzas at Staycation Live

Pizza off the pizza truck Sole Luna at Staycation Live in Godalming.

I designed my own.

Excellent pizza cooked in a wood-fired  oven. On a par with Home Slice in Covent Garden.

Expensive, but that is due to high pitch fee of £600 for the weekend, which then gets passed on as high priced pizza. Which in turn leads to lack of custom, and they do not come again.

Far better model. Charge a reasonable pitch fee, charge no more than a fiver for the pizza. Once pitch fee covered, 10% of additional sales is donated to Staycation Live.

Hopefully Sole Luna will be back next year, but that is going to depend upon intelligent pitch pricing.

I recommended Sole Luna try the street food market every Wednesday in Winchester (they would be the best stall there) and Godalming Food Festival (an annual event first Saturday in July).

Staycation Live 2016

August 8, 2016
Staycation Live 2016 Sunday

Staycation Live 2016 Sunday

A hot sunny day, little fluffy white clouds.

Train to Guildford, then almost an hour wait for train to Godalming. Sunday service.

Excellent cappuccino off FCB coffee kiosk.

The Peas

The Peas

As I arrived,  The Peas, a two piece set were playing. They were good.

Next on a rock group, Spotlight Cannibal. What I heard, not good, and I wandered off in search of food.

Pizza off the pizza truck Sole Luna. I designed my own. Excellent pizza cooked in a wood-fired  oven. On a par with Home Slice in Covent Garden.

Expensive, but that is due to high pitch fee of £600 for the weekend, which then gets passed on as high priced pizza. Which in turn leads to lack of custom, and they do not come again.

Far better model. Charge a reasonable pitch fee, charge no more than a fiver for the pizza. Once pitch fee covered, 10% of additional sales is donated to Staycation Live.

A cappuccino off the coffee truck Cafe2U. Not good, and I poured it in the flower bed. Hopefully no long term damage done. It was too hot, but that was not the problem. At a guess, poor quality coffee beans.

Sadly yet another example of franchise scam. The guys running the van were keen. Dump the franchise, go and work somewhere like Harris + Hoole or an indy coffee shops, ie not the chains, learn all you can about coffee working alongside a skilled barista, then set up your own operation, be it coffee shop or coffee truck, but do not fall for the franchise scam.

The Free Radicals

The Free Radicals

I heard from outside the cloisters, what sounded like Irish music. I found The Free Radicals who  were excellent. Towards the end the music was Middle Eastern. A pity they have not recorded anything, or if they had, not available. If they do or have, then please release on bandcamp.



Soundation, an excellent reggae band played last year, and were back by popular acclaim. Neil will be familiar to many playing in Guildford High Street and of late in North Street near Harris + Hoole. They had an album for sale, but cleared off. I caught up with Neil as he was carting away his gear. I said I would pick up a copy off him when I see him next in Guildford.

Frank the Cat signing Under the Covers

Frank the Cat signing Under the Covers

Frank the Cat were amazing. Funk, R&B from 1960s and onward. Think Earth, Wind and Fire and you get the idea: lead singer, backing vocals, brass and rhythm section, percussion. I picked up a couple of copies of their album Under the Covers.

With the exception of the reggae band Jeramiah Ferrari Sunday was far better musically than Saturday. What a difference it makes, good musicians with good materiel.  I used to come away with a pile of CDs, not anymore, albeit I would have had more, if anything recorded.

Coordination between the two stages, cloisters and bandstand none existent. Easy enough to resolve.

Pin a play list up at the side of the stage.

The bands need to do a better job of making their merchandise available, have a little table at the front, sign and chat. If on bandcamp, direct people there, make it better known. After all, it was established as a meeting place for fans and artists, and both get a good deal.

A pitch fee of £600 for the weekend is too high. It forces up prices, custom drops off. have a lower pitch fee, lower prices, and when pitch fee recovered a levy of 10% donated to Staycation.

The food and drink, emphasis on local, independent and quality.

Where lies the balance?

The pizza van not local, on the other hand very high quality.

The cocktail van rubbish, and did they really have to have their moronic music blasting out. We are there to hear the bands on the stage, not their poor taste in music.

The Little Beer Corporation did an excellent job. All the more so as not something they have done before.

But please, not a stall selling drink from an industrial complex.

The coffee truck, there is far better locally. Invite  the  Vintage Pop Up Tea Room found in Gostrey Meadow in Farnham on a Saturday during the summer.  Or The HoBo Co or Jimmy Bean.

Dylan ice cream an excellent choice. Quality and local.

I do not know the criteria for picking the music, but last couple of years standards have slipped.

There needs to be hashtags for twitter. Suggest

Shame on the organisers, starting a rumour that Roger Taylor, drummer with Queen, was playing with his own band.

Nevertheless, a great festival, always fantastic atmosphere and the organisers do an excellent job.

Staycation Live 2016

August 6, 2016
Staycation Live 2016

Staycation Live 2016 Saturday

A lovely day, clear blue sky a few fluffy white clouds, hot.

I arrived around one o’clock Nothing on the main stage, whether I had missed anything, I do not know.

A wander around. More food stalls, most not good.

Pleased to see Dylan ice cream, The Little Beer Company had two stands (not something they have done before). But why rubbish coffee? There are plenty of indie coffee vans serving quality coffee.

In the cloisters, a guy who could not sing or play a guitar. I have come across better in a karaoke bar.

Free Recovery

Free Recovery

Back to the main stage. A heavy metal band, Free Recovery, loud noise and distortion.

Time to go into Godalming, grab something to eat and fruit and vegetables.

I looked in Changing Perceptions. Nothing worth having.

Cafe Mila, was not very good last time I ate there, but the roll with lentils and salad was excellent.

Back to Staycation Live.

Jeramiah Ferrari

Jeramiah Ferrari

I caught the end of a reggae act Jeramiah Ferrari. They were good. I even bought a couple of copies of their album Jeramiah Ferrari.

They can be found on bandcamp, but clueless in its use. make entire album available, not one track.

Back to Cafe Mila for afternoon tea and a cake.

On my return, Ushti Baba, a hillbilly act gone bonkers. No idea who they were, until I checked later. They were dreadful.

Jenna and the G's

Jenna and the G’s

They were followed by a pop act, Jenna and the G’s. OK, but nothing worth going out of your way for.

Whilst they were I had roast pork off Thee Milford Meat Roaster, It was excellent, tasty and succulent. Washed down with a  pint off The Little Beer Corporation stall, though a guest ale, not one of their own. A very dark beer, but not stout.

Between acts, The Scarlet Vixen, an exotic dance act, were excellent.



One good idea, putting group merchandise in front of the stage.

As usual, programmes like gold dust. Why not pin up the running order by the stage?

Lack of coordination between the two stages.

Let us hope Sunday is better.

Strictly Prom

July 24, 2016




Strictly Come Dancing comes to the Proms.

Or looked at another way, the dance, the music, without the crap.

Real dance, breath taking, sends shivers down the spine dance, not the dumbed-down garbage of Strictly Come Dancing, that does for dance what X-Factor and Britain Ain’t Got Talent does for music.

Indeed why even link to Strictly Come Dancing, as that gives the impression of dumbing down the Proms. Why not simple call Dance Night at the Proms?

To see full concert, watch on BBC Four, broadcast last Friday, or access via BBC iPlayer.

Godalming Food Festival

July 3, 2016
Godalming Food Festival

Godalming Food Festival

Last year very hot, so hot I would rather have sat under a tree in my garden. Many others must have thought the same.

On my way, station where I bought a ticket yesterday, said we owe you money. True, as I had paid for a ticket and not been given a ticket. I replied, issue tickets today and call it quits.

Good timing, on arrival at Godalming Station, the streets were very wet, although I had not noticed rain on my way down.

Godalming Parish Church

Godalming Parish Church

I popped into Godalming Parish Church, a candle lit, prayer card writ, to give Jeremy Corbyn the strength to stand firm against the coup plotters.

In Church Street, a girl selling French Champagne, and no, you do not serve in opaque blue plastic. The plastic probably no choice, as in the street, but at least clear.

French Champagne

French Champagne

Not going to be selling us any Champagne then? She did not understand. I explained the EU is threatening UK with trade sanctions, and the French had a lot to lose, as they sell us wine and cheese, and we are the largest purchasers of Champagne.

Dylan’s Ice Cream was there. Why was you not at the Garden Party last weekend? Apparently the dates had been switched. Maybe that also explains why no Curries from Home doing the food.

A lot more stalls than previous years. This year past the Pepperpot and up the High Street.

excellent soup in Changing Perceptioms

excellent soup in Changing Perceptions

I popped in Changing Perceptions, to say hello to the lady who was there last week, but she was not there. I decided to stay and have soup. It was excellent, served with two big chunks of quality bread and a lump of butter.

It was packed when I walked in.

As I was enjoying my soup, a moron backed a massive 4×4 all the way down the street, then unable to get any further due to the market stalls, parked blocking the street

Pork off the hog roast from the local butcher. Not as good as previous years, maybe I should have got there sooner and not had the soup, as previously they were still slicing off the roasting pig. No crackling. They knocked 50p off the price. Although not as good as previous years, it was still good.

cocktail Dragon and The Bell

cocktail Dragon and The Bell

Dragon and The Bell, had some strange cocktail. I tried it, and it was good. They were asking people to post pictures of their stall on Instagram. I said no, a very bad idea. Instagram claim the right to use these pictures, and they are not visible on twitter.

I explained far better, ask people to post pictures on twitter with hashtag

and pick from the best. And that they should change the poster on their stall to say this.

Whether or not they heeded my advice I do not know, but they thought it an excellent idea.

Café Mila had a juice bar. Ride a bicycle and it drives the juicer, or pick your own fruit and vegetables off the adjacent fruit and vegetables stall, and we will make to order.

I decided upon a zinger, but a variant on what they serve. Three carrots, apple, an orange (which I bought off the fruit and vegetable stall) and a piece of ginger.

The girl tried it, and was impressed.

A chat with the Greek guy who was running a Greek stall. Last year we discussed the situation in Greece, and how terrible it was. I told him of my experience of Athens last October. He said he had lived in England for 60 years, and was proud to stand with the British and vote against the EU. He said Greece and UK, must stand together and fight the EU, but was disgusted that Greece had been betrayed by Alexis Tspras, who now headed a puppet government of the EU. He found it tragic that there were Brits who voted to support the EU. He questioned what did we fight the war for?

Changing Perceptions

Changing Perceptions

A cappuccino in Changing Perceptions. Not undrinkable as cappuccino in Godalming Food Company, but not good. I suspect poor quality beans and lack of skill. It was very weak. They also topped with chocolate. Never serve a cappuccino with chocolate, or at least not without asking.

I enjoyed the flapjack.

£3-30. In Costa it would have been a fiver, less a few coppers, for disgusting undrinkable coffee, factory cakes, and an unpleasant corporate contrived atmosphere.

Why oh why do people drink the disgusting coffee in Costa, Cafe Nerro or tax-dodging Starbucks?

Steve, of Café Mila, plus one of the photographers who took the pictures, said take a look at the photo exhibition in Godalming Museum.

They always have excellent exhibitions, and I regret to say I did not visit the watercolour exhibition last week.

The exhibition was excellent, a must visit. I suggested also exhibit at Guildford House, Guildford Institute and Café Mila. I also wrote my suggestion in their book.

It was then wander back down the street as everyone was packing up.  And pop in Waitrose for some cheese.

I had almost forgotten just caught the butcher before he closed.

Waitrose was packed. But at least they man the tills and provide service, unlike Waitrose Farnham.

A long chat with a pleasant girl who was carrying out a survey.

Bus to Guildford. ideally, 70, 71 or 72, as direct. Along came a 46, which goes all around the houses. All around the houses, it went all around the countryside. I began to think it was heading to Aldershot not Guildford, and I had caught the wrong bus. I had assumed it was going to Guildford from the bus stop, I had not actually asked. It did eventually arrive at Guildford.

At Guildford Station, I watched my train disappearing. Half an hour wait for the next train.

Godalming Food Festival is better than the street food market in Winchester on a Wednesday, but not as good as the South Bank Street Food market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

antiguas bicicletas

February 14, 2016
antiguas bicicletas

antiguas bicicletas

Amazing vintage bicycles, only they were not, they were modern reproductions.

Talking to the guys, they said they obtained the designs out of books showing old bikes.

The gleaming mudguards, made of bronze.

Gran Coso del Carnaval

February 14, 2016
Gran Coso del Carnaval

Gran Coso del Carnaval

Gran Coso de la Carnaval del Puerto del a Cruz.

I missed the beginning of the parade.

I start at the end and work my way backwards.

Organisation as always lax. Starts too late, groups bunched together, then large gaps.

Ideally, start early afternoon, then parade finishes in the daylight, not in fading light and darkness.

Some of the floats passing through in the darkness, which is a shame considering the amount of effort put in.

The only ones to benefit from the darkness are the big disco lorries.

Farnham Parish Church Fete

September 12, 2015
Farnham Parish Church Fete

Farnham Parish Church Fete

Farnham Parish Church Fete

Farnham Parish Church Fete

Farnham Parish Church Fete

Farnham Parish Church Fete

Along the River Wey, up through Gostrey Meadow into Downing Street, then into the churchyard.

As I walked in, a teddy bear on a parachute came floating down from the church tower. The only one I saw.

There did not seem to be many people or that many stalls.

The usual rubbish, though may have been better had I arrived earlier.

The book stall had a few good books. I picked up a copy of The Shack.

No food left at the barbecue. On a previous occasion, lots left.

Inside the church quiche and salad. Followed by cream tea. Though I was baffled why the jam and cream in little plastic pots. Appalling waste of money and bad for the environment.

I am no great fan of FairTrade, but shocked to see the coffee Nescafe.

Why does the church not invite the tea van I see in Gostrey Meadow (though not he last few weeks) and share the proceeds or charge a reasonable pitch fee? Similar with the ice cream, invite Dylan’s ice Cream.

rare Bible

rare Bible

The church has a very rare Bible, rarely seen. Today was one of those rare occasions.

Known as the Vinegar Bible, due to a misprint. The Parable of the Vineyard in the Gospel of Luke has become The Parable of the Vinegar.

I then realised four o’clock, I would be lucky to catch the butcher. Luckily I did. Sadly he has not ordered copies of Flatpack Democracy. Asked would I? I agreed yes.

I popped in the piano shop in Downing Street and let the lady know about the programme on BBC Radio 4 on Steinway (broadcast Thursday evening rebroadcast Sunday evening).

A walk around Bishop’s Meadow, into the field with the horses, then back via Manor Field.

A patch fenced off. No notice explaining why. It is vital Bishop’s Meadow Trust keep people informed, as that is how you continue with public support.

Waitrose fortunately not too busy.

Garden party at the Old Vicarage

August 29, 2015


garden party at Old Vicarage

garden party at Old Vicarage

sunken garden

sunken garden

Curries from Home serving delicious Indian food

Curries from Home serving delicious Indian food

bridge over the stream

bridge over the stream

Sadly something of a washout. It rained all afternoon, at times heavy torrential rain.

On arrival, after a wander around the garden and grounds, delicious Indian food off Curries from Home. I had wanted chickpea, I got chicken, but I was ok with that.

Dogs running around like crazy.

Most of the time in one of the marques. One was lined with a long table for people to sit and eat and chat, the other straw bales to listen to the live music.

Varied live music, a guy on guitar and vocals when I arrived, then a duo a girl singing, a guy on acoustic guitar. Then a trio, a girl on vocals, guy on guitar and another on drums. They were very talented. I had a chat when they were leaving, and suggested if they recorded anything, for tracks or work in progress, use soundcloud, for albums, use bandcamp. I suggested they contact Godalming Town Council and express an interest in performing at Staycation Live next year, if not the bandstand, then certainly the cloisters, as they were better than most of the acts this year.

I suggested to Lou, Jewelia if available for next year.

One thing I find, and what I am finding everywhere, I found the same at Staycation Live  in Godalming, the excitement and interest in Jeremy Corbyn and that people wish him well. It only shows how out of touch is the political establishment with the ordinary people.

Interesting conversation with the guy handling the drinks. Capitalism has ran its course, we must move to postcapitalism. Continued growth, is incompatible with a finite planet, it is ether capitalism or the planet. The market does not work, we saw that with the banking crisis of 2008, which trigged and economic crisis and now a social crisis. We bailed out the banks, no strings attached, obscene bonuses for bankers, and we now face the same again, only this time there will be no bail out. Austerity used as shock doctrine, slash and burn of public services. welfare cuts, library closures. If the marginal cost of things tends to zero, there are no price signals. Price is a signal to the future. The value of oil companies should be low because they cannot recover most of their oil reserves to keep global temperature rise below 2C. In essence they are overvalued. The share price does not reflect this.

I suggested read This Changes Everything, PostCapitalism, I could have added Sacred Economics, as much of what we were discussing.

I had seconds off Curries from Home, this time I did get chickpea curry, though they added some chicken and a vegetables. Last year they ran out of food, this year food left as not many people. I suggested for next year Godalming Food Festival and Staycation Live, contact Godalming Town Council.

The Old Vicarage is at the back of Farnham Parish Church. It borders onto Manor Field and Bishop’s Meadow.  Information was on hand on Bishop’s Meadow Trust and members there to answer questions.

Sadly not many people. Not really a day for a garden party, but those who made the effort, rain or no rain, enjoyed themselves.

I stayed until night, then walked to Farnham Station and caught the train.

Many thanks to Lou for hosting in her lovely garden.

Celebrating Aldershot

August 16, 2015
The HoBo Co quality coffee in Aldershot

The HoBo Co serving coffee in Aldershot

Yesterday lunchtime in the centre of Farnborough, pools of water and mud, and yet only light rain. Had it been the day before, thunderstorms and torrential rain, a linear lake would have formed, surface water streaming along the surface. The disaster, cheap paving slabs, shoddy workmanship cost £1 million. It is what the imbecile leader of the council calls a success.

Building upon the ‘success’ of Farnborough, the dysfunctional local council decided to do more of the same to Aldershot, only this time spending £4.5 million.

Is this what we are celebrating in Aldershot, spending £4.5 million? To achieve what? Paving slabs relaid in Union Street, widening of the footpath in Grosvenor Road, where the road was only resurfaced last summer, where there is no footfall, no shops, the entrance to Grosvenor now difficult for buses and lorries to negotiate, creation of a lorry bay at the back of 99p Stores that is only the width of a car, an eyesore amphitheatre staircase into the ugly multi-story car park, that the street lights no longer work. Or maybe the lack of a pedestrian crossing connecting Upper Union Street to Union Street.

Or maybe we are celebrating the boarded-up shops, pound shops, an empty shopping centre that would do justice as a film set for a zombie apocalyptic movie, Wastegate, disgusting tacky fast food outlets, charity shops, binge drinking bars, gambling dens. Or maybe we are celebrating that M&S will close at the end of next month, the final death blow to a dead and dying town.

No consultation, no publicity. Local businesses were handed posters. These they binned in disgust.

Those who did hear of the event thought it must be a joke. What is there to celebrate, they asked.

Surely a wake would be more appropriate.

And how was it celebrated?

The pedestrianised centre lined with stalls, mainly tat, a fruit and vegetable stall, a couple of food stalls, half a dozen vintage vehicles including a couple of army vehicles. Oh and a crooner.

More interesting was the park with the bandstand, a theatrical performance of Around the World in 80 Days. Hobo Co with their battered old Citroen van serving quality coffee. Surprisingly the park was packed.

What Around the World in 80 Days shows, if you make the effort to put on quality, it will bring people in. A lesson the dysfunctional council has yet to learn.

It was also VJ Day.