The weekend of July 20th/21st/22nd draws near and preparations are reaching a relaxed Port Eliot Festival fever-pitch here if such a thing is possible... i.e. lots to do but we are being very laid back about it and enjoying the making and the reading. Currently my table of relevant books to be read/ perused looks something like this...
The Festival will be taking a sabbatical next year so we need to make the most of this one and it promises to be bigger and better than ever.
I am busy making the quiltsuke, whilst the Knit Angel has been to visit this week laden with the knitsuke, so we have gifts for our guests which feels like the most important thing...well probably on an equal footing with the flower show entry, the teas, the tent decor, the books, the questions for the guests, the baskets of wool and the knitting etc etc.
Talking of knitting, enormous great big thanks are in order to Rowan Yarns who have very kindly agreed to help keep the dovegreyreader tent fed with wool this year, and about which my stash is very relieved. I tend to hyperventilate when stocks diminish and the popularity of this last minute idea...the baskets of knitting for people to sit and do while they listened, took us all a little by surprise last year, so this year we will be well-stocked.
I am also very grateful to Katherine who has been my Personal Festival Planner this year, doing all the liaison with the guests, and the programming schedule for the dovegreyreader tent which will hopefully look something like this again ... especially the sunshine bit which must all be stock-piled up somewhere surely.
Anyway here's a sneak preview of the tent line-up with some links to relevant blog posts or websites...
Friday July 20th
2:00 Susie Parr ( The Story of Swimming)
Susie's one and only chance to convince me that this wild swimming thing is a good idea and that I would be mad not to try it...
4:00 Tracy Chevalier (Why Willows Weep - Ed & Girl with a Pearl Earring)
Tracy will be talking about Why Willows Weep, ( the Woodland Trust anthology) and I have some Vermeer questions too.
Saturday July 21st
10:30 Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)
Is this exciting or is this exciting?? Having loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and now Wonderstruck, I am really looking forward to meeting the man behind the book and those wonderful pictures.
12:00 ‘Remembering Angela’ with Ali Smith and Michele Roberts
Ali and Michele will be talking about Angela Carter... this promises to be a wonderful session
1.30 - 3.30 ** Lynne busy with another event ** Vocal Harem singing on the Bowling Green
Quick change into concert rig and Vocal Harem, who have done an uncustomary summer regroup especially for the Festival, will doubtless be taking the Bowling Green by storm.
4:30 Zita West
Zita was a midwife for thirty years before setting up in private practice and now advising on conception, pregnancy and fertility issues. We have already talked on the phone and I can see that between us we may need two hours not 45 minutes.
Sunday July 22nd
11:00 Robert Macfarlane (The Old Ways)
Need I say more...
12:30 Kate Summerscale
I am reading Mrs Robinson's Disgrace, Kate's most recent book and loving it, and having heard Kate speak about the book pre-publication I know this is going to be another great event
2:00 John Wright
John may be better known to many as The Forager a la Hugh Fearnley - Whittingstall so I plan to ask him how we can all stop shopping at Tesco's and live off the highways and byways, know our Hemlock from our Henbane and not mistakenly eat anything fatal. The books have arrived (thank you Bloomsbury) and I am already sensing that John has a wonderful sense of humour...this should be good.
4:00 William Fiennes
This will be the second year that William has closed the festival in the dovegreyreader tent ...we had the most wonderful event last year and I'm sure 2012 will be equally brilliant.
Oh yes and one last thing, we need to talk about the Flower Show entry so thinking caps on everyone
If you come up with some ideas we will try and incorporate as many as we can, we have a few thoughts but more always welcome. As you know we go for more of the over-the-top fun installation than a neatly crafted exhibit, and of course no pressure but we did win First Prize last year.
This year we are entered in...
- Class Seven This Happy Breed, An arrangement for a party 24" x 24" to be viewed from the front
- Class Eight This Sceptered Isle An arrangement of foliage 24" x 24" to be viewed from the front
The overall theme is a bit Shakesperean given the quotes from Richard II Act II Sc i ... This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle, this earth of majesty etc etc and with lashings of Jubilee and Coronation I should think.
Over to you.