It may just be the local weather conditions in Cumbria but I'm getting keen on constructing a mud / earth structure at Rochelle to house the grotto now...
I like the association with primitive times, times when first a couple of people decided to move into a cave to speak in private. The first buildings ever must have been associated with a developing human desire for privacy as much as for shelter from the elements.
I'm liking the thought of the webcast tech embedded in it, and the fact that it can arrive on site and leave again in a wheelbarrow.
Call me a hippie, see if I care.


Despite the agrifash project moving to March my project has not been entirely scuppered: Mr Smythe suggested jettisoning the Christmas theme but keeping the quasi-confessional celebrity/visitor aspect.
My problem now is to design the environment for the live interaction to take place, as I had got very excited by building the Christmas tree grotto.


In the early 80’s my father appeared in cognito as an extravagant Santa, visiting the Christmas party of our Girl Guide troupe. His true identity was only revealed to me when he used a traditional family phrase ‘You lucky people!’ to rouse the expectant girls. Horrified and thrilled, I had to keep my revelation a secret so as not to spoil it for everyone.

I'll be constructing an out-of-season Santa's grotto in the garden at Rochelle School, open to visitors over a few hours each lunchtime that Agrifash is live. Adult visitors are invited to visit Santa for a one to one no-holds-barred consultation, which will be streamed live onto The identity of the visitor or the Santa will not be revealed in the filming.

Today I wrote a longhand letter to someone I want to play Santa. You know who you are. Please say yes.

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Strangely I had a similar experience when I was a child. Not as profound as the time my father opened my bedroom door to say goodnight dressed as a Punk