Friday, 15 October 2010


As people know, I am a rabid networker, never attending one event when four will do. But despite this I remain a shadowy figure, the Banksy of the brolly sector, cropping up, making an impression, daubing shit on a wall (well, perhaps not the last one - not since that epsiode at an NCVO event once when the police were called) but leaving people unsure as to who I really am, forever masked by a strategically positioned umbrella.

Therefore I was intrigued to discover that someone has claimed I was at the Brolly Comms digital communications conference on Wednesday when I wasn't (or was I?). Under her Twitter handle @VONNENews, Carry Spokes, the Comms manager of Geordie Umbrella Backing Body (Including Nearby Sunderland) (GUBBINS), sent the following message click here

Apart from the fact that I didn't even know there was a call for gamps in the North East where they all wonder around with the bare minimum of clothing and protection from the elements, I was intrigued as to what evidence she had. And it all comes down to couscous, which has blown the cover of many an umbrella chief executive throughout history.

She is using the following message I sent (here) in response to a message from Nick Hoover (here) as proof of my attendance.

Now it is entirely possible that at digital communications events, someone could use, ooooh I don't know, digital communications to give the impression of attendance when in fact they were bunking off at home.

Carry, though is convinced (see here and here) and has even issued the following description (here).

Of a certain age? I ask you. However this does beg the question - if the person described wasn't me, who was it? Because rightly or wrongly some people are now under the impression it is me.

However, I'll leave the final word to Nick Hoover - can anyone help with his call for evidence (here)?

PS One thing I did discover at the conference (which I wasn't at) is audioboos, a way of recording something to send to people.

I have done my own audiobogg (click here). Have a listen to see if the voice matches the alleged description of me above.


  1. Well it's certainly a mystery...Was there a photographer at the BrollyComms conf? There must, in any case, be a list of attendees.

    I think we need to interrogate every delegate; lining each one up and getting them to repeat the line "umbrellas" whilst simultaneously enjoying a container of couscous. It's the only way.

  2. I have visions of an uprising of BrollyComms delegates desperate to protect their noble leader.

  3. There was a very dashing chap at the Brolly Comms digital conference yesterday. A true Scarlet Brollyman type (they seek him here, they seek him there etc). Perhaps that was Robin? Either way, I'm delighted that our event was touched with the glamour of rain-protection mystery this 'was he/wasn't he debate' has prompted.
    Nicky Raining, Chief Spoke, Brolly Comms