Matthew Farrall, 1968-2018

Matthew Farrall, friend, Reading enthusiast and author, died unexpectedly on Friday 20 April.

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Craft Theory at South Street

By Zoe Andrews.

Chaats Indian Street Food at the Craft Theory Festival, South Street

I missed out on the first Craft Theory festival at Katesgrove’s South Street Arts Centre last year, but I read the reviews with excitement and suffered a major case of FOMO [note 1]. I was in a unique position for the festival on 13 and 14 April this year; not only did I volunteer for Friday behind the jump [note 2], pouring drinks and loving it, but I also arrived bright-eyed on Saturday to spend the afternoon getting merry with my pals.

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Redbrick blackbird

When you hear a very loud, varied, flutey birdsong from your roof or TV aerial at sunset or sunrise in these early months of the year, then you will be most likely listening to a male blackbird. The juvenile first-year males sing in January and February and the older ones follow from around March. Quite why these sentinels of the natural world have such a boring name in English is hard to understand; there are plenty of other black-plumed avians. They are lovingly called merle in French and merl in the old Scottish dialect.

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The Reading accent

"Whadja say mate?"

“Whadja say, mate?”

Anyone growing up in Katesgrove, Whitley & Tilehurst will be aware of the Reading accent, even though the accent has been bred out of most of Reading folk to be replaced by Thames mockney. These three areas retain some of the country burr and poetic rolling vowels of the Reading brogue often used when ordering larrrdy cake !

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