‘HELLO CHELTENHAM’. Well, here I am, coming to you live from the festival! I have been event hopping and what wonderful rich and diverse fare.
Jeremy Paxman was on top form giving a talk on Victorian art, or to be more precise, on life and social values described and depicted in their paintings. It was not just a critique fest for a Brian Sewell master class on art, but the 19th century truly brought to life in his unique informative and anecdotal presenting style, and with hardly a politician in sight.
Next Robert Vaughn. Yes, he of The Magnificent Seven, Bullitt, The Man from Uncle and recently BBC 1’s Hustle fame. Now I always find it interesting listening to these Hollywood legends recounting stories, their lives and telling of the ‘greats’ and times past. I was not disappointed. His involvement in and view of American politics was also pertinent. Did you know that for a number of years the FBI had a file on him?
Listening to an author talking about how he or she came to write a novel, their inspiration and the ‘behind the scenes’ work in actually writing and completing a book makes fascinating listening too. Why does a writer write and what induced them to start writing? How long does research and writing a novel actually take? Kate Mosse, bestselling author of Labyrinth and Sepulchre talking with Sandi Toksvig revealed many answers. And afterwards I was fortunate enough to meet her and have my copy of her latest book ‘The Winter Ghosts’ autographed!
Finally a literary joke. An Irishman goes for a job on a building site and is told by the foreman he can only be taken on if he can answer a question correctly. What’s the difference between a girder and a joist, asks the foreman. A silence follows before the Irishman replies; well Goethe wrote Faust and Joyce Ulysses.
Enjoy the Festival. Must dash to another event!