2011 in Gigs

One of my pet hates is all that “review of the year” stuff that appears before the year is over. But I’m not planning to go to any gigs in the next three days, so I feel justified in reviewing the gigs I’ve seen this year before the end of the year.

According to Songkick I’ve seen exactly fifty gigs this year. That’s over twice as many as I saw in 2010.

There are two artists that I saw four times – Stealing Sheep and Martin Carthy, but as Carthy was a guest star on two of those appearances, I guess that Stealing Sheep are the band I saw most. Not bad for an act I first saw in August. There were two acts that I saw three times – Antonio Lulić and Ed Sheeran. I also saw Amanda Palmer twice – and as they were on a Friday and the following Monday, I expect she was the artist I saw with the shortest gap between performances.

I’ve seen gigs in rooms above pubs and one gig at Wembley Arena. Judging by my attendance at venues, my favourites are the Union Chapel and the Barbican Centre.

So what did I like? Actually let’s start with what I didn’t like. I walked out of two gigs halfway through the main act. I went to see Other Lives purely because Hannah Peel was supporting. She was great, as always, but they were terrible. Later in the year I decided to go to see Emmy the Great purely because lots of people I like say how she is. Unfortunately I chose her Christmas party gig with Tim Wheeler and it was horrible. I left after half an hour. In both cases I took a chance on liking an act and in both cases I was wrong. I suspect I’ll be doing a lot less of that next year.

There were a lot of nostalgic gigs on the list this year. Eddi Reader at the Union Chapel was great. Ian McCulloch a week later at the same venue was less great. I think I would have been better off seeing Echo and the Bunnymen instead. Later in the year I saw two great nostalgic gigs at the Bush Hall – Roddy Frame and Michelle Shocked.

I also saw some stuff from even earlier than that. Van der Graaf Generator were really good, but I didn’t really enjoy Yes that much. I even saw Hawkwind for the first time since 1982.

I’ve trying to work out what my favourite gigs were. But there such a wide range of stuff that it’s hard to compare them. Here, in purely chronological order, are ten highlights of my live music year.

  • Antonio Lulić, Jesper Ejrup, Trevor John, and Tess and Dibs at the Bedford. Didn’t see enough stuff at my local pub this year, but this was a brilliant night. All of the acts were top quality but the mad Danes in Jesper Ejrup’s band were particularly brilliant.
  • The Boothill Foot-tappers at the 100 Club. This was pure nostalgia. I’ve written before about what this band meant to me. It was great to have the chance to see them again.
  • Billy Bragg at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Hadn’t seen Bragg play for far too long. This gig proved he still has it.
  • Rain Dogs Revisited at the Barbican. Various artists playing songs from Tom Wait’s album “Rain Dogs”. I love these nights at the Barbican. There’s always someone fabulous playing that I’ve never heard of. On this occasion, that was St Vincent. As soon as I got home I bought both of her albums.
  • Pulp at Brixton Academy. I never saw Pulp in the 90s and I was seriously considering going to the Wired festival to see them in the summer. Glad I didn’t though as this gig in Brixton was very nearly perfect.
  • Amanda Palmer at Heaven. An Amanda Palmer gig is always a treat, and this was no exception. Certainly one of the maddest nights I’ve had this year. Saw her again (at the British Library of all places) three days later for a rather more subdued (but equally brilliant) night.
  • Kal Lavelle, Ryan Keen, and Antonio Lulić at the Bedford. Proof (I hope) that I don’t just enjoy seeing old farts play. Kal, Antonio and Ryan are part of an informal group of incredible singer-songwriters who are constantly playing around London (and further afield). At the time of this gig all three of them had recently supported Ed Sheeran at various gigs.
  • Roy Harper at the Royal Festival Hall. Someone else I should have seen years ago but never got round to. Plenty of interesting guest stars – including Jimmy Page.
  • Zappa Plays Zappa at the Barbican. Sadly, I’ll never get to see Frank Zappa play, but this is about as close as you can get. Dweezil Zappa plays note-perfect renditions of his father’s music. And at some points they had film of Frank playing which the live band jammed along to.
  • Stealing Sheep at the Old Blue Last. Must include Stealing Sheep on the list. This was probably the best I saw them play.

All in all it’s been a good year for live music. I’ve ticked off a few more old favourites that I hadn’t previously got round to seeing and I’ve seen a lot of new and interesting bands. I’m already booking tickets for next year and hopefully it’ll be just as interesting as this year was.

What did you see that you really enjoyed this year? Did I miss any absolutely essential shows? What’s going to be great next year?


Review of 2010: Favourite Posts

Here’s my list of my own favourite posts from the blog this year. As in previous years I’ve tried to pick one from each month (but August is missing as I didn’t write a single entry all month).

  • Andrew Wakefield
    The doctor who manufactured the MMR “controversy” was censured by the General Medical Council. I particularly wanted to draw attention to the nonsense found in the comments on the Daily Mail story. The Daily Mail was, of course, one of the papers that gave a lot of coverage to Wakefield’s nonsense – without bothering to check the facts.
  • Homeopathic Dilutions
    Another story that was inspired by the Daily Mail. They ran a story on homeopathy and one of the comments was from someone who obviously didn’t understand just how diluted homeopathic products are. This was an attempt to set him right.
  • The Learning Guitar
    A rare example of sentimentality on the blog as I lamented the end of the guitar that I had owned for over thirty-five years.
  • Modern Campaigning
    Some thoughts about the general election campaign – specifically on how it didn’t turn out to be the digital campaign that many of us were expecting.
  • Programme for Government
    Our new government issued a document describing its plans. I examined it for information about some of the subjects that the rationalist/skeptical community might be interested in. I was very disappointed.
  • On the Intelligence of MPs
    A discussion of how many MPs seem determined to demonstrate their lack of intelligence by supporting nonsense like homeopathy.
  • Greens and Science
    One of the MPs who signed an EDM supporting homeopathy was the Green Party’s first MP, Caroline Lucas. This seemed strange given her party’s policy on scientific evidence and medicine.
  • Where’s Your Data
    A look at some of the potential downsides of storing your data in the cloud.
  • 38 Degrees
    The internet is making it easier to contact your MP. But, if you’re not careful, that contact can do more harm that good. I looked at how 38 Degrees run the risk of annoying MPs.
  • Web Site Links
    A recurring theme this year (particularly when writing about Iain Dale or Nadine Dorries) was bloggers who don’t link to articles they are writing about. I explained why I thought it was a good idea to link to your sources and came up with some theories about why people might not do it.
  • The War You Don’t See
    A review of John Pilger’s latest documentary.

It was harder to choose the list this year – largely because I haven’t been blogging so much this year and therefore there was less to choose from. But I shall try to blog more in 2011.

Thanks for reading.


Review of 2010: Most Popular Posts

As is becoming traditional, I’m going spend a couple of posts rounding up the last year on my blog. Today I’ll list the ten most read posts and tomorrow I’ll look at some of my favourites.

  1. Alice in Wonderland
    I really wasn’t very impressed with Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland. But I saw it and wrote about it the weekend it was released – which no doubt accounts for this post’s popularity.
  2. Berlin time
    This post did very well for one that was written so late in the year. In the Daily Mail Peter Hitchins wrote some jingoistic nonsense about the campaign to move the UK to European time. It was really easy to puncture his arguments.
  3. Polite Discourse
    Ah, memories… The day I was called a “sack of shit” by one of the UK’s most popular political bloggers. What a lovely bloke Iain Dale is.
  4. Iain Dale Talks Balls
    And speaking of Iain Dale, here he is again. This time he’s running with a complete non-story about Ed Balls being a member of the Oxford University Conservative Association. I particularly wanted to draw attention to the fact that he failed to link to his source for this story – as the source makes it clear that the story is bollocks.
  5. The People’s Pamphlet
    I don’t usually do April Fools jokes. But I enjoyed being involved in this one. Tim Ireland, Sim-O and I all claimed we were taking a month off work to campaign against Nadine Dorries in Mid Beds.
  6. Snow and Global Warming
    A perennial story. We have a bit of snow in the UK and some idiot thinks that’s conclusive proof that there’s no such thing as global warming. On this occasion it was Ann Winterton speaking in the Commons.
  7. Amazon Kindle
    Usually, posts from the end of the year don’t do so well in this list for obvious logistical reasons. But here’s another post from November that proved rather popular. In it, I reviewed the Amazon Kindle and bemoaned the fact that book publishers are making exactly the same mistakes with DRM that record companies made before them.
  8. Press Complaints Commission
    Anther project I was involved in with Tim Ireland and some other sensible bloggers. We were trying to use the PCC’s annual open review to suggest some useful changes. Of course, we got nowhere.
  9. Homeopathy Petition
    In February I set up a petition on the Number 10 web site calling for the government to take notice of the House of Commons Science and Technology committee’s evidence check on homeopathy. Unfortunately, all petitions were put on hold during the general election and the new government has closed the site down.
  10. General Election in Battersea
    I’m glad this post was popular. Whilst the election was going on, I was monitoring the way that my local candidates were using social media to get their message across. With a couple of exceptions, the results were not encouraging.

And there we are. That’s the ten most read articles from the site in 2010. As in previous years, I’m glad that it’s a pretty good cross-section of the things that I wrote about over the year.

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for reading last year and I hope you continue to find something worth reading on the site this year.


PCC: An Important Update

Last week I pointed you at a petition that you could sign to support our suggestions for reforming the PCC. Things went fine for a day or so and the number of signatures easily sailed past 500. Then, for reasons we still haven’t understood, the petition vanished from the site where it was hosted. Despite valiant efforts by Tim Ireland to resolve the problem, the petition remains missing in action.

This leaves us with a huge problem. The deadline for submitting these proposals is approaching fast. In fact one of the deadlines is today. We no longer have access to the petition and we can’t even get the list of names of people who had already signed.

There is one solution. We can all submit the suggestions independently by email.

If you support our suggestions (and even if you have already signed the petition), can you please email a copy of the suggestions to the two email addresses below. The suggestions are listed on my previous blog entry. The two email addresses are Vivien Hepworth, Chairman, (PCC) Independent Governance Review – and Ian Beales, Code Committee Secretary, Editor’s Code of Practive Committee The deadline for the first address is today (hence the urgency) and the deadline for the second address is 31st January. I suggest you do what I’m going to do and send the same mail to both addresses this afternoon.

Apologies for the short notice and for asking you to support the same campaign twice.

More details over on Tim’s blog.


Press Complaints Commission

One of the major topics on this blog is the nonsense that is printed by a significant proportion of the British press. The press in this country is “controlled” by the Press Complaints Commission, but in the majority of cases the PCC either can’t or won’t adjudicate effectively.

Every year the PCC invites interested parties to submit suggestions of ways that its Editors’ Code of Practice could be improved. Along with a group of other bloggers with an interest in this area, I’ve been thrashing out a list of suggestions to submit to the committee. We’ve come up with a list of five suggestions which we intend to send to the committee before the 31st January deadline. Our suggestions are as follows:

SUGGESTION ONE: Like-for-like placement of retractions, corrections and apologies in print and online (as standard).

Retractions, corrections, and apologies should normally be at least equally prominent to the original article, in both print and online editions. Any departure from this rule should only be in exceptional circumstances, and the onus on showing such circumstances should be on the publication.

SUGGESTION TWO: Original or redirected URLs for retractions, corrections & apologies online (as standard).

Retractions, corrections, and apologies in respect of online articles should always be displayed either at the original URL or at a URL to which the reader is redirected.

SUGGESTION THREE: The current Code contains no reference to headlines, and this loophole should be closed immediately.

Headlines should be covered by the same rules as the rest of a story. Further, headlines and titles for links should never be misleading in what they imply or offer and should always be substantiated by the article/contents.

SUGGESTION FOUR: Sources to be credited unless they do not wish to be credited or require anonymity/protection.

Sources should normally be credited. Any departure from this rule should only be when the source does not wish to be credited or if the source requires anonymity/protection.

SUGGESTION FIVE: A longer and more interactive consultation period for open discussion of more fundamental issues.

We submit all of the above without implying support for the PCC, the remainder of Code as it stands, or even the concept of self-regulation, and request that the 20th year of the PCC be marked with an open debate about its progress to date, and its future direction.

We think that this is a sensible set of suggestions and that no reasonable newspaper editor could disagree with them. Time will, of course, tell.

Now, we could put these suggestions forward as coming from a small group of bloggers but we’d like it to be wider than that. We’ve put up a petition where you can register your support for our ideas. If we can get a large number of people signing the petition then hopefully that will make it less likely that the PCC can dismiss our submission out of hand. If we can get some press interest around our campaign, then that would be even better.

So please sign the petition and please pass on the information to anyone else who might be interested. With your help we might just be able to change something.

For more details, see Tim’s blog post on the campaign.

These suggestions were decided upon by Tim Ireland, Kevin Arscott, Adam Bienkov, Dave Cross, Sunny Hundal, Jack of Kent, Justin McKeating, MacGuffin, Mark Pack, septicisle, Jamie Sport, Clive Summerfield, Unity, Anton Vowl.


Review of 2009: Favourite Posts

Following on from my earlier list of the most popular posts on this site over the last year, here is a list of my favourite posts. As last year, I’ve chosen one from each month.

  • Hope
    Not many posts to choose from in January so I’ve chosen one where I tried to sum up the hope I felt following Barack Obama’s inauguration.
  • Creationist Idiocy in the UK
    My reactions to the depressing findings of a poll which showed that creationism is on the rise in the UK.
  • Internet Genealogy
    A post summarising the changes that the internet has brought to the world of genealogy.
  • Overcomplicating Matters
    An attempt to understand why so many MPs’ web sites and blogs get the simplest of things horribly wrong.
  • Defending Homeopathy (Or Not)
    A post telling the story of how Neal’s Yard’s Remedies scored a spectacular publicity own goal by failing to engage with the Guardian’s readership.
  • Who Is To Blame?
    In June we had European elections. And the BNP won two seats. This made a large number of rational people very angry. In this post I tried to understand what had caused people to vote for such poisonous representatives.
  • A Life Well Documented
    In July I wrote about a couple of projects that were helping me to document my life.
  • Support from the Internet
    In August I alomost didn’t get to a conference because I couldn’t find my passport. I found it in the end and just made it to the airport in time. This post tells the story and talks about the incredible support I was getting from my friends on Twitter and Facebook whilst the saga was unfolding.
  • Building Web Sites is Easy
    Returning to an earlier theme, I looked at why so many organisations spend too much money on web sites and end up with unmaintainable monstrosities, when the open source solution is often better.
  • Nadnomics
    Nadine Dorries gave me a lot of material this year. In this post I attempted to teach her the basics of statistics.
  • He Blinded Me with Science
    Following the sacking of David Nutt, in early November AN Wilson wrote the most ridiculous pile of anti-scientific nonsense that I’ve ever read. In this post I pointed out some of his most obvious errors. This post was also featured on Mailwatch where it received rather more comment.
  • I Can’t Hear You La La La La
    One thing that really wound me up in 2009 was the number of people who used blogs and Twitter to broadcast their opinions rather than as a tool for interaction. This post has some examples from that well-known internet expert Nadine Dorries.
  • Thanks for reading. Happy New Year.


Review of 2009: Most Popular Posts

Last year I experimented with writing a couple of posts that summarised the year on davblog. It was interesting (if only because it gave me some useful perspective on what I’d been doing over the year) so I’m going to do the same for 2009. In this post I’ll look at the ten most read articles that I posted this year and in another post I’ll list some of my favourite posts.

So here are the ten most read articles from this site that were written during 2009.

  1. Thunderbird and Exchange
    I’m surprised to see this at the top to be honest. It’s a pretty standard piece summarising my experiments in sharing calendars between Thunderbird and Exchange. It was published in June but for some reason it had a huge spike in visits early in December.
  2. The Power of Social Media
    This is what I expected to see at the top. In October, social media had a particularly interesting week when it was behind three successful campaigns. I summarised the week in this post. This post had a huge boost in popularity when Graham Linehan mentioned it on Twitter.
  3. Headphones on the G1 I think that many people were experiencing the same problems as I did with the headphones on my G1. I hope this post helped them.
  4. Good Drugs vs Bad Drugs
    Very happy to see this in the top ten as it’s a piece I’m particularly proud of. following on from the sacking of David Nutt, this piece covers some of the points about drugs that the mainstream press don’t seem to be interested in covering.
  5. Simpler Facebook URLs
    Something I knocked out quickly when I got annoyed with Facebook’s ridiculous URL structure and saw a simple way to improve it. Later in the year, Facebook introduced a simpler URL structure which renders these ideas obsolete.
  6. There’s Probably No Bus
    A silly post containing a picture based on the Athiest Bus Campaign.
  7. Freedom is in Peril
    No idea why this was so popular. Another post that contains pretty much nother other than a picture. Good poster though. And I expect it nicely captured the mood of the time.
  8. Simon Singh vs The British Chiropractic Association
    Lots of people wrote far more eloquently than I did about the British Chiropractic Association suing Simon Singh for libel, so I’m glad that some people found my article interesting enough to read. It’s still an important case and nicely illustrates the idiocy of the UK libel laws. One good result of this high profile case was the setting up of the Libel Reform Campaign.
  9. Watching the Watchmen
    A pretty obvious title for my review of the Watchmen film.
  10. Please Don’t Label Me
    A post covering the launch of the “Please Don’t Label Me” campaign from the same people who brought us the Atheist Bus Campaign. This campaign addressed the issue of children being labelled with the religion of their parents before they have a chance to make up their own mind.

So there it is. I think that’s a pretty good cross-section of kinds of things that I’ve been writing about over the last year. Thank you for reading and I hope you continue to find this site interesting over the next twelve months.


Review of 2008: Favourite Posts

As promised a couple of days ago, here are my favourite posts from this year. I’ve chosen one from each month and they are listed chronologically.

Colossal Caving Adventure
A piece about my experiences trying out “adventure caving” in Cheddar Gorge. I really didn’t enjoy it very much.

This Film is Not Yet Rated
I enjoyed the film “This Film is Not Yet Rated”, but I thought that some of the participants were a bit naive and that it missed the real problem with the US cinema rating system.

Nadine Dorries is Confused Again
Nadine Dorries is always a ripe seam to mine for nonsense. In March she presented as fact a well-known (and completely debunked) story about a foetus interacting with a surgeon during an operation.

Apple Shopping
Probably my favourite post of the year. In this entry I described exactly why I dislike shopping in the Apple Shop so much.

Pointless Battles for Geeks
Explaining why geeks shouldn’t waste time complaining when people top-post or sent HTML mail. Yes, it’s annoying; yes, it’s stupid. But it’s the way that most people expect email to work. Complaining is just a waste of time and energy.

Food Chain
A description of our cat’s attempts to work out his position in the local food chain. I think he’s worked it out now and he continues to bring us dead mice and (occasionally) pigeons. Not sure if he’s given up on rats or whether he’s killed all the local population.

James Cross, Lifeboatman
Something a bit more personal than is usual for this blog. This was a post about my great, great grandfather, James Cross, who drowned whilst involved in a rescue on the Clacton Life Boat. This post was indicative of my revived interest in my family history.

Why Corporates Hate Perl
Only a small entry on this blog, but it was a pointer to a longer article on my O’Reilly blog. It seems that this piece struck a chord with a lot of people. It generated the most email of everything that I’ve written this year.

Their Own Worst Enemy
A post about why the GNU project’s insistance on staying away from de-facto standards like Flash video means that most people won’t see their videos. Over at the Digital Citizen, J.B. Nicholson-Owens objected quite strongly to my post (but he didn’t bother to actually tell me about his response – I just found it through Google’s blogsearch).

Non-Magic Bus
A description of the astonishing (and very heartening) success of the Atheist Bus Campaign.

“Selling” Photos
I was trying to think through the best way to license the photos which I upload to Flickr in order to maximise the exposure they get but without allowing just anyone to use them without paying me.

Twitter and Passwords
I’ve wirtten a number ot articles over the last few years about the cavalier approach that most people have towards their passwords. In this post, I tried to explain exactly why it’s a bad idea to give your password to third-party Twitter utilities like Twitterfeed.

There you have it. The best of davblog for 2008, in my opinion. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog over the last year and I hope you continue to read it next year.

Happy New Year everyone.


Review of 2008: Most Popular Posts

This blog has been running for over six years and I’ve never done a review of the year before – so this is all very experimental. Today I’m going to list the ten most popular entries from this year (as measured by number of views) and tomorrow I’ll list my ten favourite entries.

So here are the ten most read entries. If nothing else, the list certainly demonstrates how much of my traffic is driven by getting high placings in Google.

1/ The BBC’s Merlin
My rant about the BBC’s terrible recent new version of the Arthurian Legend is incredibly high on Google. The entry was only published in September but but it has almost twice the number of hits of the next entry.

2/ Pub Quiz
3/ Derren Brown – The System
A couple of entries about Derren Brown took second and third places. In February I wrote about his TV programme, The System, and in April I wrote a description of a night I spent being an unwitting part of another Derren Brown show.

4/ Quantum of Solace
In January, the title of the new James Bond film was announced and I used that as an excuse to write about my dislike of Bond films and my opinion that the they’d be better if they followed the books more closely. It picked up a lot of Googlejuice early on but, of course, now the film is out it has been pushed out by sites with far bigger SEO budgets.

5/ Is Sarah Palin a Wiccan?
A Guardian office joke gets turned into a blog post. I can understand why it’s the first Google result for phrases like “sarah palin wiccan” (there aren’t very many sites containing that phrase), but what puzzles me is why so many people a searching for the phrase.

6/ Baby Bible Bashers
Something a bit more serious (at last). Channel 4 broadcast a documentary about some children whose parents had encouraged them to get involved with christianity at an obscenely young age. It was a deeply troubling programme.

7/ Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
A post about the massively backfiring publicity campaign for the creationist propaganda film. I’ve seen the film since and keep meaning to write about it – but it’s hard to find the right words.

8/ Proof of Residence
A pretty standard rant about my local council preventing me from doing something pretty simple.

9/ Recording TV Revisited
A follow-up to a 2005 post talking about the combination of technologies that we use in my house to ensure that we never miss a TV programme that we want to watch.

10/ Combining Google Accounts
A post which made it into the top 10 despite only being published in November. If I had treid to combine my Google accounts earlier in the year, this post would almost certainly have been much higher.

So those are the posts that you’ve been reading over the last year. Thanks for showing some interest in my witterings. Tomorrow I’ll list the ten articles that I like the most (and which, for some reason, weren’t popular enough to make this list).


More York Reviews

Finishing the reviews of things we did in York last weekend.

The Biltmore
Had a bit of a lucky escape here, to be honest. We walked past one lunchtime and it looked nice so we went in and booked a table for that evening. It took them ages to find someone who knew how to take our booking and we were on the verge of walking out. When we got there in the evening, it was completely different. It was like the set of Footballers’ Wives – full of really tacky and loud people desperately trying to impress each other. Not our kind of place at all. We changed our mind and walked out.

Four High Petergate
Having walked out of the Biltmore, we went here instead. And we were so glad that we did. This was exactly our kind of restaurant. Top quality modern British food served by knowledgeable and friendly staff. The place just exudes class from the second you walk in. It’s apparently a hotel too. We’ll definitely consider staying there the next time we’re in York.

It’s over thirty years since I was last in York. And Jorvik wasn’t there then, so I really wanted to go to see it. It was ok. I suppose that when it first opened it was revolutionary. But I’ve been on so many “dark rides” that they stop being exciting. I thought it was quite expensive for what it was. It would have probably seemed better value for money if we had spent more time in the bits of the exhibition after the ride. But it was quite crowded so we wanted to get out pretty quickly.

York Castle Museum
This was a bit of a spur of the moment thing. We saw the signs as we came out of Jorvik so we decided to have a look. And I’m really glad that we did. We spent about half an hour in Jorvik and for a pound less we spent about two hours in the castle museum. I particularly enjoyed their Sixties exhibition.

Nice little wine bar that we went into for lunch. Particularly enjoyable plate of nachos.

El Piano
Very interesting restaurant that we popped into for a quick bite before going off to the concert on Saturday evening. Almost like a tapas approach – all the food turns up on small wooden boats – but completely vegetarian. Another place where we would have spent more time had we discovered it earlier.

The Black Dyke Band
This was completely unplanned, but on our first evening wandering round the city we saw a poster advertising the Black Dyke Band playing in the Minster on Saturday night. It’s not really my kind of music but I thought that we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to see one of the world’s best brass bands in such a great venue. We managed to get restricted view tickets for a tenner each. The concert was largely enjoyable – although we both agreed that it could have been a piece or two shorter. I was surprised at how much of the material was classical pieces. I didn’t realise there was such a bit crossover between brass bands and symphony orchestras.

York Art Gallery
It was raining heavily on Sunday morning, so to kill a couple of hours before our train left we decided to wander round the city art gallery. Unfortunately, it was the kind of art gallery that takes about half an hour to see. There was a big Stubbs exhibition on, which would have been great if you like Stubbs – which I don’t. There was an interesting exhibition about political cartoons and some nice stuff about still lifes. But it didn’t engage our attention for long enough so we ended up back in the Guy Fawkes Inn.