Days out: Cheltenham Literature Festival

15 Oct

Not a day out.  Days.  Days and Days.  The Cheltenham Literature Festival is like the SuperBowl for books.  I dipped my toe in the festival waters last year, and was hooked.  This year … well … see for yourself.


Can you see — Neil Gaiman [pornographic cookbook].  Derek Jacobi [monk, emperor, hamlet, lear, and time lord].  Alison Weir [one hundred years of history in two minutes or less].  Yummy cakes [gluten free!]. Microbiology [urban bee keeping].  LÉtranger [Aujourd’hui, maman est morte]. Horrible History [poo!].  Rainbow Fairies [Sparkle! Sparkle! Sparkle!].  Lucy Worsley [the most adorable torture chamber curator you’ll ever meet].  Cath Kidston [do not leave her alone with Martha Stewart.  THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.].  Kate Mosse [Apparently, she’s obsessed with Carcassone.  Surprise.].  Hennie Haworth [Stickers and bourgeois shabby chic]. The Great Tapestry of Scotland [What?  Here!?].  Holst conducting another wonderful festival year [I can hear the music]. Me, grinning ear to ear [WOW!].  And did I mention the kitchen toilets?

I need a nap.  For about six months.  Absent extreme napping, I’ll be huddling in my glass room, with happy light bravely glowing against the grey sky and coffee on tap, snuggling up to the books and memories taken away from this year’s festival.  If you possibly have the chance to attend this event or one like it — go!  Even if you just have one cake, buy just one book, and meet just one author.  It’ll change you.


5 Responses to “Days out: Cheltenham Literature Festival”

  1. aubreyepp October 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    I only had FOUR DAYS of bibliophilic bliss before baby bounced into our world. (Please feel sorry for me!) But I will never forget where I was the day before my Annie girl was born: IwassittingintheCheltenhamtownhalllisteningtoAlisonWeirspeakwithouteverbreathingortakingadrinkofwater. Having a baby was child’s play. Listening to Alison Weir was INTENSE. 😉

    • Monique October 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      Seriously!! I was waiting for her voice to break or for her to pause or BREATHE or anything, but she rolled on and on and was — even more impressive — COHERENT and INTERESTING the whole time. (I don’t know why I’m YELLING.) I’ll say congrats and welcome to Annie here, too — is she reading her first book, yet? 😉

  2. Rebecca Forbes November 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    OMG! is that you with Derek Jacobi? I am SO jealous, although I’d turn to stupid speechless jelly if I got that close to him! do I sound gushy? yeah, well, I’m an Americun, after all. and that IS Derek F**KING Jacobi! can I touch the shoulder that touched his? oh, this is sick, I’m gonna end this now before I embarrass myself. oh, right, too late………..

    • Monique November 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      That *is* me with the man himself! I was a dumbling fibiot with most of the authors I met at signings, but Derek Jacobi was so gentle and charming I managed to be coherent and not at all stalkerish. (I’m pretty sure.) Really, truly, an enjoyable experience and one of the many highlights of our time in the UK… Can I be in the Derek Jacobi adoration club with you? 😉

      • Rebecca Forbes November 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

        yes, of course! there are not so many ‘gentle and charming’ men in my demographic, so I will make do with this lovely fantasy! has he written a book? let the adoration commence!

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