From the Cerbyd diaries
I am sitting at my desk at the Glynn Viv eating my lunch. Having completed another successful animation session with the drugs project. My lunch consists of pre-cooked tortellini mixed with olives, pine nuts and Parmesan. I am particularly enjoying my lunch when my mind wanders and becomes pregnant with thoughts of Cerbyd.
Cerbyd will set off in three days, I consider potential problems – arguments escalating into violence – sculptors with their beautiful hands round the throats of performance artists who throw their heads dramatically back and fore, our ominous welsh weather, car sickness even mutiny.
My thoughts return to the present as my blackberry jigs and flashes alerting me that Briaan is calling. Now Briaan doesn’t call, he sporadically sends text messages in BLOCK CAPITALS that however well meaning always make me feel as though I am being shouted at. On any other day I would be shocked to be receiving a call from Briaan but not today. Three days before the beginning of Cerbyd and Julian Barrett from the Cardiff Humanists left a message on my phone yesterday morning in response to my ‘Just checking everything is ready for Monday, Julian’ message which I left two days previous. Disappointingly Julian’s message stated that the Humanists were not going to be able to take part in Cerbyd. His reason being that their regular meeting place, The Model Inn, was closed for refurbishment.
I had left a few messages for Julian but with no response. Each of my messages asked whether the Humanists could still take part in Cerbyd if we booked another venue?
Julian hadn’t replied, the conversations were played out in a shrewd game of answer phone tennis. But Briaan was on his case or so I hoped. I answered my phone and got this:
“I’ve spoken to Julian”
“Hurrah” I say
“I told him we have the Tair Pluen booked but he has still limped out and won’t be taking part.”
“Shit” I grunt
Why had Julian done this? I had first spoken to him thirteen months back, uniquely both Briaan and I had spoken to him about the project, emails were sent back and fore. All was fine two weeks ago, I’d even joined their bloody facebook group!
“I think the Humanists are going on holiday. The last thing they want is to be hanging about explaining themselves to a bunch of artists when they could be topping up their tans in Marbella.”
I’m guessing Humanists holiday in Marbella. Briaan agreed.
The Humanists pulling out so late really rocked me. Made me think-What else can go wrong?
Briaan reminded me of the Cardiff Humanists dodgy track record. In the midst of the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten’s Muhammad cartoons scandal. The Cardiff Humanists had organised a draw Muhammad competition and their general perspective seemed to be more why not organised religion rather than why Humanism. I suppose, they are the lose canon of the groups and maybe this is a blessing in disguise.
“Time to call in the favours” I say
“We have the venue booked”
Briaan chips in “It’s a pub – let’s get them drunk. It would be a good bonding exercise.”
“Let’s give them the option to get drunk but there needs to be an activity. Look I’ll call you back mate.”
After a quick chat with Sean then Gordon, the wheels were back on. Cerbyd presents an evening of short informal talks by artists about things they’re into using the format of speed dating. Not revolutionary but hopefully nor would the Humanists have been. Eight hours later we had our speakers –
Tiff Oben and Helene Roberts on the town of Newport
Tom Porridge on break-dancing and street culture
Gordon Dalton on the considerable myth and legend of Evel Knievel
Sean Edwards on the Boss – Bruce Springsteen
And Richard Higlett on football messiah Jimmy Hill.
We should have sold tickets. No one would have bought them but still what a line up! I stay up late putting the finishing touches to the Cerbyd posters.