Saturday, 17 October 2009
BOOKS, BUTLERS AND TRAINS
Cheltenham Literary Festival was one of those days which felt like Christmas. It's a delicious chocolate-boxy town and all the festival tents made the site resemble some flower-filled medieval jousting spot. I kept spotting famous faces. (But what on earth was Nick Clegg - the Lib-Dem leader promoting?)
I was on a panel with the wonderful actress and campaigner Virginia McKenna, chick-lit Queen Katie Fforde and broadcaster and novelist Stella Duffy. We were chaired by the Shakespearian actress Fiona Lindsay and discussing Romance On the Page. About the survey which had asked who is the ultimate romantic hero? (Bizarrely, it was the barking Mr. Rochester).
A packed hall contained a lively audience who afterwards came through for a book signing, where they were served pink champagne by Butlers In The Buff. You don't believe me?
A big hello to Barbie, Sarah-Jane and various members of the fabulous Roberts family who were all there.
I also met Rick Stroud - director extraordinaire - who has written a book called THE BOOK OF THE MOON. Rick, Stella and I travelled back on the train together. To Reading (how appropriate!) which was the slowest journey in the world but we giggled for most of it. Did you ever read that book by John Masefield - THE BOX OF DELIGHTS? Well, our train journey seemed to be sprinkled with a Masefield-type atmosphere - or maybe it was just the end of a magical day.
Don't you think that train journeys are always more memorable than travelling by car or plane?
Oh, and here's the youtube link...