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Friday 19 May 2017

GLF - Authors and Blisters

Hi darling people.  I'm thinking you must be all Guernseyed-out by now! 
It's been quite a week of island stuff, so I'm rounding off with the last day of my busy literary weekend.  (Sorry, it's a long one.)
And then you can all enjoy a well-deserved, Guernsey-free break!

Our pretty little harbour town is set on a hill.  You need to know this because we had three back to back book presentations, at two locations either end of our pretty (and hilly) town, with a half hour window between each.

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And you know how authors like to talk, so those travel windows narrowed as the authors ran over.
So let's see where I went. 

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One was held here, St James Concert Hall, situated at the top end of town, so surrounded by hills.

One was held down here, in the blow-up hub in Market Square, which is down hills at the other end of town.

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And one back up here again, up the hills once more.
Of course, as the first author ran over by 15 minutes and our second a little later too, by the time we returned to St James for the third, those hills were beginning to feel a bit like this ...

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... the face of Mount Eiger.

So I did the Old Lady Trick on the way back up to our third sitting.  Maybe you've done it yourself.
 Half way up one hill, I paused (breathlessly) to admire a gate set in a wall.  Half way up the second hill, I paused (pantingly) to admire the interesting light play of the sun on the glittering granite pavement edging. 
Oh yes, we Old Ladies know how to mask our physical ineptitude. 

I thought I had got away with it until Hill Three, when two hearty ladies strode whizzed passed me shouting out jokey stuff about having been mountain training before the festival for this very day.
And at that point, I just stopped, showed my red face to the world, gasping for breath like a hunted warthog and accepted the offer of arm-support (a tug) from The Photographer, 9 years my senior.

We discovered that many were taking on the Three Books Challenge.  Some fitter than others.
 So I met the day, untrained and unfit, as per usual. 

I knew this was going to be a mentally busy day but when dressing it dawned on me that it was to be a physically taxing day too with lots of walking, so I dressed for the latter - I don't think it's possible to dress for the former, come to think of it.

(Spot the sleeping Bertie to whose lifestyle I aspire, especially on trek days!)
Magasin linen mix stripey top in ecru and black over Next black camisole and Peacock black jeans.

 Bearing in mind the walking racing up hills, the focus of my outfit was on maximum foot comfort so I wore these Peacock whateverthey'recalleds in Pantone Blush.

Oh dear, look what I had to do to protect my blistered feet.  I had to wear white ankle socks as those little stockingette thingeys I'd worn since my Walk of Cockiness here just weren't cutting the mustard.

Yes, despite the application of plasters from my Compede arsenal easing things slightly, I needed the holy trinity of plaster, sock and comfy shoe to get me through my mountain trekking day.

So I really didn't care what my foot arrangement looked like.

But of course, the day was not all about the outfit.  It was about the amazing and inspirational authors we were able to sit in on. 

Terry Waite, known for having been taken hostage in Beirut whilst negotiating the release of captives; where he spent 1,763 days in captivity.

An amazing and inspiring man!  Terry seated himself in an armchair on stage and enthralled us with his tales of his captivity and coming to terms with all that entailed, most notably his view on his captors.  He is a truly gracious man.
He inspired me to find good in people of which I may not be too fond.

Tom Holland is a bestselling author of history books and is a BBC presenter, covering everything from religion to dinosaurs.
Tom spoke of Anglo Saxon kings, Vikings and strong women.  He was riveting. 
He inspired me to look further into things that interest me, like language, etymology and societies' code of conduct/law.

Sebastian Faulks is a critically acclaimed author, known for bestselling novels such as Birdsong, Engleby.
He too sat in a cosy armchair and gave us an insight into his life, his writing inspiration and process, and his life.  There was nothing not to like.
He touched on the solitude of the writer and said he sometimes dreams of working in insurance so that he has an office to go to filled with people with whom he can talk.
Well, this "writer" is not feeling the solitude, she has you guys to talk to!
He inspired me to write.  Write prolifically.  Sorry, guys, that means more for you to read!
He also inspired me to read at least one of his books,  which I've always avoided because I thought they would make me cry.  But he's thinking of releasing one with a happy ending; and that is the one I will read!

Then, pooped, we rounded off a stimulating but exhausting lit-fest with drinks with friends at a nearby restaurant, and lobster rolls ... again!

I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to hear and meet such great authors of our time.  I am so thankful that literary behemoths care to participate in our little island's festival.  And I get the feeling they rather enjoy it.

A la perchoine.


  1. Despite the pain of galloping up and down the hills to the various venues that must have been a fabulous experience to listen those 3 inspirational writers. You will have much to ponder. Loved the outfit as well. You look great.

    1. Hi Christy, oh there's more to tell of the hill pain! I'll save that one. But yes, all three guys touched me deep inside. I felt so fortunate. Have come across them? And the lovely Clare?
      The outfit was really all about ease, so comfy.

    2. Finally catching up with my reading. I am familiar with Terry Waite and Sebastian Faulkes work and knew that Clare Baldwin was a tv personality but did not know that she wrote. Now I do thanks to you.

    3. So glad you're managing to catch up with your reading as I do so like to hear from you, as I do from from all who pop in here. It seems quite a few have been surprised that Clare writes, she's a talented lady and so nice too!

  2. Looks like an excellent festival - does it happen every year?

    1. Hi Steff, at the mo its every 18 months but that will probably change to annual. I'm amazed how so many wonderful literary people come to our little island. I'll give proper notice next time, you may fancy it.

  3. Amazing to hear those authors. They are always entertaining to listen to. I heard Michael Dobbs and he was enthralling too. Very Hill goat walking of Lostness too and Mr Him could tell you how to dress for the former.

    1. So funny, Anna, hill goat! I'm forever telling The Photographer he springs around like a mountain goat. I paid for my hill goat walking some days later. Plantar fasciitis. Yeah, I'd never heard of it either. Excruciating screaming pain for several days.