Thursday, June 19, 2014

Spooning BH

I knew there was a long production/delivery time on the BH spurtles, so when I joined that illustrious group of spurtle winners by not only sending in the correct answer to the BH news quiz, but also having it picked from the many other entries, I wasn't overly concerned when the spurtle didn't drop through my letter box after a few weeks.

After a few weeks had passed several times, and the seasons changed from summer to autumn to winter, I still wasn't overly concerned. I knew, after all, that these things took some time to manufacture (they are hand-crafted spurtles, turned from a single piece of wood). 

During the following spring, when a young man's thoughts traditionally turn to other things, I didn't give it much thought. I did, however, continue to send in answers to BH's Sunday morning quiz--sometimes even the right answer. 

"What a hoot it would be" I thought, when I started to think about it again, "if I won again and I ended up with *two* spurtles. Or a spurtle and a spoon, as the spurtles have now been discontinued. I wonder if anyone has ever won twice? Is it even allowed?"

Spring became summer and a more than a year had passed since I entered the elated state that comes with entry into the BH spurtle fraternity. Still I had not received my symbol of office. Had they forgotten me? Is there another, different, Eddie Duggan who, remarkably, had entered a winning entry that had been picked, co-incidentally, the same week I had managed to muster a correct reply? Or were more sinister forces at work?

As well as the occasional attempt at the quiz, I sent in the odd query as to the whereabouts of my wooden widget. Neither form communication elicited any meaningful response. Undeterred, I resolved to contact a member of the BH production staff directly and looked at the BH website to find the name and contact details of the programme editor.  Armed with the knowledge of the identity of the editorice, I needed only to form it into a BBC email address which, fortunately, I knew to usually be forename dot surname.

I was startled at the promptness of Jo's reply: "we are looking into this".

The following day brought another email from a different member if the production team. Scott wrote to say in lieu of a spurtle, "an extra large spoon" was winging its way to me.

The day after that, a mysterious package was delivered to my front porch: the eco-cred shabby chic of a recycled BBC envelope all but confirmed my suspicions. Had any doubts remained, the half-inch of wooden shaft cheekily protruding from the corner of the almost-large-enough envelope would have been enough to put them beyond all unquellability. 

Not only have I joined that rarified tribe of BH spurtle (and, latterly) BH spoon winners, but I am also the proud possessor of a lovely note from BH presenter Paddy O'Connell. Got wood indeed.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Getting Organized

To organise a conference, simply make a list of speakers and titles.

Next, use highlighters to identify themes and then cut into strips with a pair of safety scissors.

Finally, arrange all the bits on a grid and just keep swapping them around until you have a schedule that works.

Et voila!