Far too much excitement for a woman of certain age in one day, I've had to come home and have a lie down, calm myself with a few more of Penelope Fitzgerald's letters. My she was a such a wonderful correspondent, the book just oozes humanity and compassion with a beautifully unrehearsed and naturally self-effacing humour, I'm going to be raving about it for the rest of the year and probably some of next.
Now then, The Observer.
Well, so far we've bought ...er...
six copies several and yes the Whingers and I are fighting over Jay Rayner as our new best friend. They took him to the theatre, I get to meet Jay at Dartington on Wednesday, hear him speak about his book and then it's my turn to do the writing.
Actually he got it all down much as I said it and I thought the whole piece was nicely balanced. No Whingers mask for me so the picture does accurately reflect my early morning start, five hours travelling and a last minute dash by foot across London because the tube network had shutdown, plus I had to prop up that nice comedy chap next to me but that's life in the fast lane I suppose.
Now back to the slow lane and the dovegreyreader event at Dartington, a select little event as Diane Athill pulled in the crowds, but I had the cream and we had a lovely time. After all that mobile broadband kerfuffle Wi Fi has come to Dartington this year and they had rigged up a live computer link to the blog on the big screen so that was excellent. I've sent my elite audience away with a pile of books (with bookmarks) to read, and instructions to send me their thoughts as and when or send the book to Oxfam if no good, and I've promised to post those here eventually, spread the love and the work I say. I also took along evidence of quilting and sock-knitting lest there be any doubt.
I meant to go and hear Gervase Phinn this afternoon but as a speaker you partake of festival lunch in the inner sanctum and I was too overcome with sweet and sour pork and a plateful of excitement to manage anything but a lie down after all that,sorry.
I did see Gervase so I do get one out of ten for that in my I-Spy book.
Decided that it wasn't fair to stalk Sam Leith for the entire week so have introduced myself to him and we had a good parley about the state of the book world and I expect we'll wave at each other for the rest of the festival.
Now I must sort out the books for tomorrow's events, read some more of Daphne for Tuesday, write my intro for the event I'm chairing on Wednesday and pack up the hamper again.
Tomorrow the schedule is James Long, Simon Montefiore, Poppy Adams and Rebecca Abrams and I might squeeze in Julian Baggini talking on Moaning and how to complain differently, I like the sound of that.
Lots of points for the I-Spy book if I manage it all, see you there.