It’s been a busy couple of months and the end of the Book Festival time for me is drawing to a close with a week to go before they’re finished. It’s been an amazing experience and one I wouldn’t have missed for the world but I’m starting to feel the effects of the pace.
However yesterday was another wonderful opportunity as I headed down to Cheltenham for The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Festival. I was due to be on stage with Neurologist Jules Montague and we were to be interviewed by journalist Julia Wheeler.The title of our session was:
Do Memories Make Us What We Are?
I’ve done a couple of things with Jules, I think!. On stage at Bradford Festival and a radio interview for BBC Radio Scotland, but I might be wrong.
It was the most glorious autumnal misty morning. I wish I could have got a piccie from the taxi as we travelled through the Westwood but the windows were steamy and uncooperative🙄. But I managed to get this one at the start of the trundle from Beverley
And it was a beautiful morning over the Humber
I only had 7 minutes at Sheffield to get my connection so it was a stressful first part of the journey and as the 7 minutes dwindled down to 2……😱 but my trusty app told me my connecting train was also running 5 minutes late. Thank goodness for technology! So as I wobbled onto the platform, the train duly pulled in🙄
I was met at Cheltenham station by a wonderful Festival driver holding a card with my name. He was so kind and took me into the Writers Tent where I met up with Jules Montague and her publicist. We had a much needed cuppa or three before being shown to the venue tent and having a sound check.
All the rest is written back at the hotel the detail is beginning to fade but I’ll do my best….
Back in the cuppa tea tent I had another before Julia Wheeler arrived and we were shown back to the Green room in the event tent. We were suddenly told it was full😳 so 500 people were making their way to their seats❤️
Julia was a wonderful person to be interviewing us and we went with the flow. We decided beforehand that I would read two passages, which I duly did.
I remember much laughter amongst the seriousness and the combination of me and Jules worked well.
There were many questions at the end before I finished off with my favourite piece from the book – the Billy story. The audience were so warm and wonderful in their applause, laughter and appreciation. Me and Jules were shown to the Waterstones tent to do a book signing. One lovely girl went to get me a cuppa as the queue stretched outside the tent😳 I remember a huge range of emotions with tears, thanks and laughter…..so overwhelmingly wonderful.
People were just so kind in their comments. I remember going back to the writers tent feeling very happy and warm inside.
Jules had to leave for her train but I was lucky enough to be staying the night. They’d got me a ticket for Pam Ayres an hour later. I might not be able to read novels but her poetry is wonderful. It was in a venue a little way into town. On my way I was stopped and thanked by so many kind people it was overwhelming. I nearly gave up trying to find the venue but Ellie from the team came across me and took me there – she also sorted someone bringing me back😍.
Pam Ayres was sooooooo funny. I’m so glad I went. Someone walked me back to the writers tent and I found a driver waiting to take me to my hotel……how lovely.
I felt thoroughly overwhelmed and spoilt by todays event. It might have been stressful getting here but it was soooo relaxed due to the sheer kindness of others once I arrived…..