August Update: S2006

Aye, that’s basically the same entry title I used to report on Statto’s party last August. Come on; you can’t expect me to change a winning formula – read the archive; last August’s posts rocked

Anyway, general brilliance aside, one of the best features of last August’s updates was the genius Radio Prune-like soap opera update I created after, for a solitary tense week I was mostly away from the ‘Net and annoying the people filming the Da Vinci Code in Lincoln…

…So I’m not doing that, this time. I can’t be bothered. Anyway, this is an entry to tell you about S2006, not Audrey’s brother’s wife’s gibbon.

So, anyway. On to the real reason you’re all here: You got bored of the rest of the Internet and came to rubberneck the Second Annual ElectricQuaker Party Review:

Three things of S2006 stand out in particular:

  1. The playlist was astonishingly dubious. I continue to maintain that Robbie Wiliams, R&B and Radiohead do not a party album make…
  2. It absolutely pissed it down. To the point where even I was starting to get damp, beneath the layers of dubbin-ed hat and Drizabone
  3. It was the first party where I tried to go to sleep, and in consequence, everyone else let the fire go out.

Right, that’s the grumbly bit out of the way!

S2006 is the wettest S on record – S2005 was a bit damp, I’ll grant you that, but it really did chuck it down last night – in the end, even I was starting to get damp, and that was under a well dubbin-ed hat and an oilskin cloak (Blessed +1 Drizabone). Consequently, I took a tent, and actually went off at 5am for a bit of a nap. I’d got a sleeping bag, as well, but that would’ve meant taking my boots off, so I ended up lying in a tent with the rain pounding down, and astonishingly high pitched animal noises coming from Sally away in the tent to my left.

However, I get ahead of myself. The party itself started shortly after I arrived (following an interlude in which we filled up on grub and Kerreth & I had a rant about the abysmal failings of the last episode of Dr. Who…) and people gradually turned up after that.

Once again, we broke out the Paddling Pool For Cooling Beer (except my ale, obviously, because that would be a) yuk and b) stupid since it was cold and wet) [CoolPool concept (c) Wiggin, S2003] and gave thanks to Coff and Ostler for bringing a small batch of ice to hurl in there to assist with the chilling.

To counteract the chilling of all non-beers, we managed to get a fire going with the clever use of lots of firelighters, some very dry kindling and Armstrong’s boat, which was a bit sad for him, I think, but which burnt fantastically well, albeit in a varnishy sort of way.

Once that was away and going we were able to settle down for the main business of the evening which was either a) having a good time, or b) wandering about and taking photos of people enjoying themselves, whilst likewise having a good time. Having half-inched my mother’s compact digicam, I went for option b, and I’m hoping Statto’s going to get some of the photos and little films organised and online presently, because things like Paw and Kerreth dancing drunkenly and attempting to sing along to Boney M’s Rasputin are fantastic…

Paw & Kerreth …Nah nah nah nah na- -reatest love machine! There was a Cat that- nah nah nah nah…

…doesn’t even begin to cover it. There was Cossack dancing, too.

Mansbridge & Abi turned up, late, but not as late as Wiggin or Ed, and I spent a good while chatting to him & various other people under the shelter of the awning whilst the rain came and went around us. Also, there were rhubarb & custard lollipops, which I’d been really enjoying until Rosalind suddenly said “Coo! I can see your huge fat stomach through your camera!” [I think, in fact, she may not have said ‘huge fat,’ but even so, it was a briliantly tactless means of saying “Hey, that digital camera’s got a small display screen on the back that shows you what’s visible through the lens!” so I found myself broadly amused…

Just like last year, a whole pile of people kept saying I look like Terry Pratchett, which was random, and Luke Ostler won several million bonus points because, as I ran at him in the dark, Drizabone flapping and shiny black hat beating back the rain, he yelled “Help! It’s V for Vendetta!”

Well done that man who’s apparently only seen trailers for the film. [Can you believe, I read the whole of that book by way of an edition with “NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!” written on the front cover, and I still went “Good God, have they tried to make it into a film?” when I saw some poster about it in Edinburgh? See me follow what’s going on in the world..

O, aye, and on a side note, in the event that I get a job I may yet be up for further graphic novels, by way of passing the time, so any suggestions much welcome, darker the better, leave a comment at the foot of the post…]

Having just got myself establised Worlds Coolest Masked Mentalist [you have no idea how sore my cheeks are from trying to keep up a frozen-mask smile…] Sally said we should all go for a walk, which somehow ended up with lots of people apparently lost on the airfield. How you can manage to get lost on a dark flat field from which you can always see the lone purple light in the control tower, I have no idea, but it took some time for everyone to get back together, and that with the help of a variety of flashing torches, and people disapearing in seach of people who probably intended to lose the other guys in the first place. Daftness, but what else is 3am for? [Don’t answer that one, cheers…]

Shortly after that, it came on to rain again, as it had been for pretty much regular 30-minute invervals ever since the end of the playlist at midnight. Presently, people began to head off to their own tents (or other people’s tents, as the case apparently was a little over 60% of the time) except for Tamsyn, who got exiled from her tent after a camera-shy bloke called Ben knocked the awning over, and then contrived to undo all the guy lines…

O, aye, and except for the people who had it away to the snug comfort of a spacious 406 they’d brought with em, so as not to mix their high-society colonialness with the common people. Bloody Mansbridge and his sloping off to the warm…

I hung on for a bit, although I may be getting the chronology wrong at this point, and watched a couple of old episodes of [post BBC are reactionary dicks and fire Angus Deaton] HIGNFY on a small DVD player with Josh & Paw, and then I started to feel the damp through my coat with increasing shiverfulness, so about 5am, in the absence of a nice reviving cup of coffee and a DVD of South Park BLU to tide me over till everyone else got up at half eight, I wandered back to my tent, where, as I’ve already said, Sally’s screeches and Joe Armstrong’s HGV-shifting-into-first-gear snoring created an interesting stero effect.

With my usual organisation skills and forward planning, I’d brought with me both a roll-mat and a sleeping bag. With my usual “Christ, it’s 5am, I’m tired, I need coffee and I’m sure as Hell not faffing about with a sleeping bag that I’ll have to stuff back into its bag in the morning” attitude, I pulled off my coat and hat, shoved on the uberjumper that kept me sweating in the -10 frosts of the Real Ale Ramble and went to sleep.

I can’t pretend to have slept especially well – few people would, I think, on a hard floor, in a cold and damp tent, with the rain pounding on the canvas as if God himself wanted Sally to stop screaming so he could get in a bit of kip before the daily staff meeting, but I managed three hours of fitful dozing, and then I hauled myself back out, to see the fire was nearly out (Thanks Harper, for trying to speed that one up… Daft bugger…) and Mrs Statto was up & about distributing cups of tea.

I’ve said many times before I’m not a morning person, but by God I’m good at mornings if I’ve just pulled an all-nighter and there’s a handy cup of tea. Thanks to that I was perked right up and made it back to Newport in the back of Mavis, the Barlow Nurseries plant factory truck with a contingent of troops off to get the 1100h 481 to Telford.

And that, all in all, was a hugely wet S. Roll on 2007, and hopes of a marginally less sodden mid-August.

Do continue to check out the Party Website, where I’m told Statto is planning to put up the pictures and webcam feeds and so on and such like.

Have fun!

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  1. On August 21, 2006 Scatman Dan says:

    Good review.

    Like the maths-based “are you a human” test. Hope that works out for you: but it’s not so noticeable (particularly on big monitors, whereit’s way over yonder) as it might be: perhaps an explanatory message somewhere or something. Cool, though. Let’s see if it works.

    Hmm… it turns out that the answer is – it doesn’t! I was given “8 + 0 x 7”, and, as every GCSE Maths student knows, multiplication and division comes before addition and subtraction, so the answer is 8 (7 x 0 = 0, 0 + 8 = 8), but it didn’t like that answer: presumably it was expecting 56 (8 + 0 = 8, 8 x 7 = 56). Or maybe I mistyped. It is 7am…

  2. On August 21, 2006 Scatman Dan says:

    Oh; fucking great. That smiley in the middle of the post? That should be a number 8 followed by a closing bracket…

  3. On August 21, 2006 Mister JTA says:

    Fixed it. There was a random “Turn emoticons into tiresome little pictures” automatically option I’d forgotten to turn off.

    D’you happen to know how to bully WP2 out of making me do posts in rich text? Every time I did a “save and continue editing” on this post it hid all my HTML, which makes it a right pain if you realise you’ve put a link tag round the wrong thing and have to go back and delete four lines to get to write the link again!

  4. On August 21, 2006 Statto says:

    Good review.

    As for playlists: give me some suggestions next year. It’s not like I provided a special box on the party reply form, now is it? Also, Chloë’s absence will probably reduce the shit music content quite significantly.

    As for archives: photos and videos coming as soon as I get chance, so probably a rather annoying mid-September. Cheers again for the photo/video input, and glad you enjoyed the 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF!

    As for mathematics: I’d like ot wish Dan a merry BODMAS

  5. On August 22, 2006 Scatman Dan says:

    You mean a merry BOMDSA?

    Like the new theme.

    Oh yeah; it’s quite easy to turn off the nasty “easy” formatter. Or replace it with a better one. No problemo.

  6. On August 22, 2006 Mister JTA says:

    New theme isn’t too bad – can’t work out how to make it do the date properly, though! ‘s all nasty Americanised “first we work out the month, then the day, then the year” gubbins…

  7. On August 23, 2006 Statto says:

    It’s in the WordPress preferences, and you’ll need to use PHP date format. You could just swap ’round the fairly obvious-what-they-represent letters, or you could take the first step towards learning PHP by reading and making a proper customised date string…

    Also, try replacing the Celtic knotwork or whatever that thing is at the top with a photo of you or something for a bit more personalisation!

    Even so, the theme makes me sad because it is fixed width and resizes in an evil way. Poor us who’ve made the effort to buy a nice big screen and therefore have 2/3 of our screen real estate pissed away on slightly off-white background!

  8. On August 23, 2006 Mister JTA says:

    Does it? Bugger.

    Where are the WP prefs? I’ve got something under general options, but that should be displaying dates in a nice, honest, [day] [number]th of [month] [year] sort of way, which the theme obviously isn’t.

    Good suggestion on the knotwork, however; I shall ask Dan if he can lash me up a mughshot…

  9. On August 25, 2006 Statto says:

    I think you’re adjusting the right thing, by the sounds of it.

    Gay American dates by the side of the post title look like they’re coming from the template. Look through it in the template editor. I’m not totally au fait with WordPress template functions, but I think it’ll say something like the_date("PHP date string");, so just adjust the PHP date string bit using the knowledge you gleaned to adjusting the other one.

  10. On August 25, 2006 Mister JTA says:

    Nah. It says

    .storydate {
    float: left;
    margin: 0 0.5em 0 0;
    padding: 0 0.5em 0 0;
    border-right: 1px solid #CCC;
    font-family: “Lucida Grande”, “Lucida Sans Unicode”, Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif;
    font-weight: normal;
    color: #999;

    That’s the only reference to date in the whole stylesheet.

  11. On August 25, 2006 Statto says:

    It’s not in the stylesheet, you muppet!!

    It’s the actual XHTML on the page which determines its content, the CSS only changes how taht content is displayed, in terms of colour, size, position etc…

    You want to edit one of the other things in the theme editor. I had a quick glance at my ‘blog and “Main Index Page” looks like the most likely candidate.

  12. […] S2006 also went down pretty well, as JTA has noted, and it was recorded in high levels of detail this as every year. When I get home and have access to a computer with Photoshop and such, I shall see to it that the pictures/video/audio make it online. […]

  13. On November 23, 2007 Brooneype says:

    Saudi Arabia and Libya were the source of about 60 percent of the foreign fighters
    who came to Iraq in the past year to facilitate attacks.

  14. On November 23, 2007 Mister JTA says:


    I can’t tell if that’s spam or not. So I’ve removed the link to the random hosting website.

    In the event it isn’t spam, I’d rather be keen on a) sources, b) context of how that’s relevant (the lack of which is why I think it’s spam) and c) clarification on how “last year” as of 2007 matches a post in 2006 (whose “last year” was, of course, 2005).

    Just in case you’re actually a person with a point to make, rather than a crummy link to plug.