Dr Dud and ‘I am Spartacus’

Hello again, Mrs Dud here.

So, last time I introduced you to myself and the reason I’ve taken over the blog from Dr Dud (who sadly and tragically passed away on 28th January 2016).  We have now had the funeral, or rather Celebration of his life and what a day it was!  Thank goodness we had booked the larger chapel at Worthing Crematorium as upwards of 150 people gathered last Friday morning (19th February) – the vicar jokingly said that I had told him it would be ‘just’ family and a few close friends!  After the service there we all headed off to St. Nicholas Church in Bramber (well we physically had to leave Dud behind but I know he was still with us).  St. Nicks church was a subject of an earlier blog by Dud, and you can find it here.

Either if you know the church, or if you look on Dud’s blog, you will see that it is not that large a building.  However, thanks to the vicar and a few friends it was slightly reorganised so that we could seat 150 people. Which, as it turns out was not enough ….. it was standing room only!

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St Nicholas’ Church, Bramber (the area to the left is the vestry, so we all had to fit into the rest!)

The service was indeed a celebration of Dud’s life with readings and tributes by his close friends, his son Toby and myself .  As in life, so in death, Dud would not do anything by half and so following the service there was a further round of celebration in St. Mary’s House, Bramber (also the subject of a previous blog…here).  This particular part of the  celebration took the format of sharing memories over a glass (or several) of wine, beer or soft drinks alongside some delicious food prepared by the Maharajah Indian Restaurant (also in Bramber – bit of a theme there!)

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St Mary’s House, Bramber

Now, at St. Mary’s House Toby and I made brief speeches and I then invited everyone to collect a copy of Dud’s book of his blog (‘Have you got the T-Shirt’ .. still available on Amazon by the way) and an ‘I am Spartacus’ badge.  Why the badge I hear you ask…?

Well, to keep up the blatant publicity for earlier blogs by Dr Dud, there was one on, yes you’ve guessed it, Spartacus.  In fact under the category of ‘Hollywood Fact or Fiction’ just one area that Dud was interested in.  Under these categories, he would take a well-known Hollywood blockbuster and see if there was any connection between what you saw on the silver screen and reality – or if indeed there was ever any reality anyway!

Anyhow, the reason for the badges was only loosely based on the person of Spartacus, or even the film with Kirk Douglas (those of you who read Dud’s blog will know there are often only loose, or tenuous at best, connections!)

The real story is that some years ago, we went on holiday to Greece with our good friends Laurance and Jackie and visited the site of Argos (situated in the Peloponnese and near to Mycenae, Tiryns and Midea, which we also visited).  Anyhow, whilst in the ancient theatre of Argos (originally built in the 5th century BC and updated in the 3rd), Dud and Laurance decided to ‘play’ being Emperors at the gladiatorial games, giving the thumbs up or down (I’m sure they were not the first, nor the last to do this!).  Alongside the thumbs down, were also cries of “I’m Spartacus”  (as only men on holiday can do …..)

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Dud and Laurance in the theatre at Argos

Fast forward two years to 2010 when we again went on a holiday adventure with Laurance and Jackie, this time to Turkey.  We covered almost the entire west coast of Turkey from Istanbul down to Bodrum in 9 days!  The main purpose of the trip was a visit to the site of Troy, which held much fascination and interest for Dud and so it was long overdue that we go there.  I could tell you the story about how we arrived at the ‘hotel’ just by the site of Troy only to find that the description of ‘hotel’ was a slight exaggeration! Or I could tell you that when we went down to get some supper, we asked the young lad there if we could see the menu….   He duly handed out menus and then 5 minutes later collected them in again without a word about whether we wanted to order anything or not.  Well, I suppose we had only asked to ‘see’ the menu!  However, the reason for mentioning the trip is that at the very start, Laurance presented us each with an ‘I am Spartacus’ badge which we all wore for the duration of the trip and the phrase was often recounted, usually over, or after, a glass of wine!

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The ‘original’ badge (now only 3 in existence)

It was only right, therefore, that Dud should wear his ‘I am Spartacus’ badge for his final journey, and in memory of many great times with many, many friends we decided that everyone present at St. Mary’s on 19th February should have their own badge too! I know, it sounds strange, but after a couple of glasses of wine, my sister and her friend thought it sounded a fantastic idea and I got a phone call to tell me that 150 badges were ordered and on their way to me!

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Newer version, but less rare …..

Anyhow, it seemed to work and almost all of the badges that were made were taken and worn…some were even found on the floor of the pub next door by rather surprised bar staff!

So, there you have it….and if you do happen to find an orange coloured ‘I am Spartacus’ badge then you will know where it came from and can think of Dud.

Next time … … ..  I’m not sure at the moment, but hopefully something you will find interesting!

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Dr Dud by Mrs Dud

Hello to everyone, whether you have loved Dr Dud’s Dicta since it started or have only just stumbled across it.  My name is Sarah and I was fortunate to have Dudley in my life for the past 19 years until suddenly and tragically on 28th January 2016 he passed from us whilst undergoing emergency heart surgery.

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Dud in Mochlos, Crete on the day of the Epiphany, 6th January 2016 (I know you have seen it before – but I love this picture, even more so now )

The last couple of weeks have gone by in a bit of a haze, but today I opened up Dud’s computer and realised that he had a number of blogs ‘ready to go’ in draft format.  As with so much of our life together, we talked endlessly about the blogs and the topics he would choose to write about – I even proof read them for him (so you should blame me, not him, for any mistakes!).  So, I have decided that I will attempt to keep the Dicta going – I hope you are all ok with that. I know that I am not as erudite as him, nor do I have his flair for writing, but I will do my best and hopefully you (and he) will forgive any wavering from what you have come to expect.

I feel I should introduce myself a little bit to you and set the scene as it were for me and Dr Dud – although I realise that he has written already about our times in Crete and our adventures in life.

To use Dud’s own words,  “Sarah had dragged me ‘shouting and screaming’ (maybe a slight exaggeration) into archaeology when she came home one Friday evening and, over a glass of wine or two, asked me if I wanted to learn about archaeology (she had studied it at university in the 1980s and wanted to start up again). Anyway, I said I might be and she replied, “Good, because I have booked us both into a course on ‘Practical Archaeology’ at Sussex University starting on Monday”…….. the rest, they say, is history – well, ancient history, actually.”

That was in 1997 and as far as archaeology and our relationship was concerned, we didn’t look back!  I won’t bore you with all the academic details, but suffice it to say that the wall by our stairs proudly displays certificates in archaeology, an MA each in Classical Studies, an MSt and DPhil for Dud and an MA in osteoarchaeology for me.  Some of these courses we studied together and some individually, but always we talked and discussed with each other – often over a glass of wine in our conservatory.

Along the way we also found time to visit Crete with a few outings to Greece and Turkey – although always as well as, and not instead of, Crete!  We went to Wimbledon (Dud served as an Honorary Steward for a number of years), to Glyndebourne, to various monasteries in the UK and we punted in Oxford.  We held many dinner parties in the conservatory using any excuse (Burns Night, Trafalgar, Chinese New Year), or none.  The house we live in used to be an off-licence and Dud always said “no change there then” !

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Horatio Bear in our conservatory-good job he can’t talk, or he might have a tale or two to tell about our parties !

The culmination of our relationship was our wedding in 2011, in Crete – of course!  It was the most wonderful day and the celebrations went on… and on …. and each year for the next four years we celebrated in style.  Dud wrote about our 2-day celebration last summer (2015) and you can revisit it here.

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Our wedding in 2011 – we are on the Minoan island of Mochlos

So, now he has gone and I cannot believe it, but somehow just writing this blog is helping, knowing that it will reach out to those of you that knew him personally and those that only knew him from the blog.

For this, my first, foray into the world of Dr Dud, I have chosen to end with a few brief words about something that was a bit of a trademark for him – the bow tie !

Now, you may or may not know (or even care!), but the bow tie dates back to the 17th century in Croatia. Here mercenaries would use neck wears that somehow resembled scarves to bind the collars of their shirts. These neck wears were called the cravats. In no time they were adopted by the Upper Class French citizens who had the reputation of being highly influential in the fashion world at that time. The cravats evolved into today’s neck wear of the bow ties and neckties.

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Croatians celebrating ‘cravat day’ (bet you didn’t know that existed!)

Probably what you will know, however, is that there are two types of bow tie (well, strictly speaking there are three, but the third type is a ‘clip-on’ and should only be worn by children and infants!).  So, there is the pre-tied and the self-tied variations of the bow tie.  Obviously the former is already tied up for you, the latter you have to tie yourself (and of course this allows you to go for the untied look with the bow tie hanging loosely at the end of a party or a dinner – bound to wow the ladies!).

Dudley, I have to tell you, only EVER wore the self-tied variety and was jovially critical of those who wore what he referred to as a ‘stick-on’ version, and which he could spot at any distance!

All in all I would say that the pre-tied bow tie is only recommended for adolescents or somebody who has just joined the bow tie wearing club!  I have just discovered that in America there is a National Bow Tie Day on 28th August each year – so you all have plenty of time to perfect your technique of tying your own bow tie!  I predict that the Google search for ‘how to tie a bow tie’ will go viral any day now …..

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A small selection of the many bow ties owned and worn by Dud

I can’t recall exactly when Dud starting wearing his bow ties on a regular basis, but he wore one every day to work and also to those more formal events we went to (and sometimes to the less formal ones too).  It is one of the many things that made him such a unique character…

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Me and Dud – with his signature bow tie (oh, did I mention he liked the odd waistcoat too ……)

So there you have it, my first attempt at Dr Duds Dicta – I hope you like it and I hope I’ve done him proud.  If I don’t get too many negative comments I’ll try and keep going for you – as I said there are already some posts at the draft stage and there are many more we had only talked about.  My only problem is I don’t quite know how to categorize this blog, so I’ve gone for Bramber History and Crete – our two homes!