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Sunday 14 May 2017

GLF - Hauteville House and Clare Balding

Hectic but brilliant!  That is how I would describe this year's Guernsey Literary Festival, detail here.

We have had such a busy yet fun time. The Photographer and I were event organisers for a presentation given by fifth-generation ancestors of Victor Hugo who had compiled a book about his Guernsey home Hauteville House, entitled Hauteville House, Victor Hugo Decorator.

Marie Hugo (credit Guernsey Press)

And as you will know from previous posts, like here, I am a fan of the writer, the man and very much of his house, so I was thrilled to be given the gig.
Laura Hugo wrote the book's narrative and artists Marie and Jean-Baptiste Hugo provided illustrations etc.  The artists gave the presentation and were charming, providing great insight into Hugo.  We heard of a first visit to the house and of their involvement with Hauteville House over the years.
We came away with newly-gained knowledge, some great memories and a beautifully illustrated book signed by two of the three authors.

All festival presenters (authors, poets etc) who were on the island on Friday morning were taken for a tour around the house and were also able to see the Hugos' presentation.  You, dear reader, are so lucky, because I have given you two tours around the house in the last six months or so!
They were also taken to Victor Hugo's statue in Candie Gardens and were treated to a performance of Les Miserables by a local theatre company.
All of this was filmed by The One Show, a prime source of reference.  I'll try to let you know when it is to be televised, just in case you want to get a better glimpse of it.  Alternatively, pop over to the island and see for yourself!

Victor Hugo Statue - Candie Gardens

Here is a statue of the man himself at Candie Gardens (credit website)

I once mistook a statue of Prince Albert for Victor Hugo here.  I put that down to the fact that I'd just left the hygienist's chair and was in a bit of a daze after having been given a "gold star" for my efforts.

But I know what's on your mind right now, dear reader. it's that proverbial burning question - what did The Pout wear for her gig?!

Well, we were obliged to wear the team t shirt.  So I devised my outfit around the t shirt, the weather and the event itself.

The t shirt.  Black with a white logo (have I not recently read that logo t shirts are bang on trend?!).  The festival logo is set inside an angular book shape.  On my body, it looks like it's inside a curvy beer tankard!)

The weather.  The day was bright but windy and a bit nippy.  So, jacket required, methinks.

The event.  My gig was about a French writer and his home and was being presented by French authors and arty types to boot, so I was inspired to go Left Bank.
I "styled" my t shirt with black Peacocks waterfall biker in plevva, black Per Una jeans and M&S snakeskin flattes (lots of walking around involved).
Spookily, quite independently and without any bossing guidance from me, The Photographer also teamed his t shirt with black jeans.  We were soooo Team Jean Paul Satre!

Our efforts and attention to detail with the Left Bank theme appeared to pass unnoticed by presenters and audience alike  😤.

We also attended some fantastic presentations.   Our first was to see Clare Balding who was launching her first children's book (see below).  Well, Clare was absolutely brilliant!  I've been a huge fan ever since I first saw her presenting on BBC sports progammes.  She comes across as a person who puts everything she has into all she does; she's thorough in her research and loves her subjects (gosh, that makes her sound about queen-like but I think you know what I mean!).  She loves people as well as animals!  And generally Clare seems to be a pretty nice lady, all round. 
All that comes across on telly.  And in her blinding presentation and in person she is every one of those things, bigly! 
We thoroughly enjoyed our evening with this special lady.

Of course, I was eager to get some books signed for the grandchildren.

She did a second take when I mentioned this one was for child with barely a year of school under his belt - you see, it is not written as a children's book.  I explained that as there is a fun story in there about Queenie and a flying sausage, which I thought would definitely appeal to a five year old, I planned to read this and other excerpts out aloud over time.

Phew!  I got over the first hurdle and the book was signed.

Product Details

Hope this horse gets over the hurdle!

Her new book is definitely a children's book and definitely suitable for an older child who can read it herself, so hurdle cleared!

I'm so looking forward to reading all the books purchased over this fantastic festival.  Maybe you might fancy reading some of them too.

But enough about books.  Time for the truly important stuff again.

What I wore to see the amazing Clare Balding.

An M&Co navy top with crotchet trip, bought recently in their sale for a ridiculous price!

Peacock taupe skinnies, M&S v. old linen mix taupe cardi, "massive pearl" pendant.

I have to apologise for those thin stockingette-socks (what are the called?).  I have a case of early summer blistering caused by the previous blog's Walk of Cockiness.   You know, that first walk of summer when you don't give a second thought to pairing unsocked feet with shoes you haven't worn since last October?  My Walk of Cockiness has dictated that I will be mostly accessorising with Compede blister plasters for the foreseeable.

So, what do you get when you mix Victor Hugo and his house, Clare Balding and her books, and two days of outfits?  A bloomin' long post!!!

A la perchoine.


  1. I like the Peacock trousers, Ive never really looked in Peacocks much but see you have recommended their trousers before so I must check them out again, I need summer trousers.!

    1. Hi Polly. Great to hear from you. I like the Rita cut for winter jeans currently and their jeggings for summer so light for the suitcase. Recommend you get in there soon as their lines disappear quickly. A week ago I saw just one pair of my white jeggings left in my local!

  2. Well, you have been busy!! I didn't know that Clare Balding wrote books, so I've learned something here. I have seen Clare walking her dog a few times in the Chiswick parks.
    The Navy and Taupe look fab on you Mary, and don't M&Co have some great bargains at the moment? I'm posting for them next week xx

    1. Hi Laurie, what a lovely neighbour to have! Thanks for your nice words. The top is my first buy from that brand. So impressed that you post for brands! Hope all well with you.

  3. Navy and taupe are perfectly chic for such an occasion. Great to see your edgy side in the graphic tee, even if enforced. Great opportunity to play with that look. I had a walk of cockiness at the weekend and fell over twice. That was in meeting your black column and denim jacket challenge. More on that later.

    1. Thanks, sweet Anna. You know, it felt OK with the graphics because it had some relevance but walking around in Cute Chick or This Granny Rocks may not feel so comfortable! Hope you didn't hurt yourself and hope the challenge outfit wasn't the reason for your multiple falls. But, falls aside, longing to see your post!

  4. You and your photographer always have so much fun! I love how you managed to make your required t-shirt look so stylish. And I really love the navy and camel combo outfit you have on in the later pics as well.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments, Amy. You seem to have a lot of fun in Wisconsin too!

  5. It sounds as if you had a lot of fun at this event, organizing and attending. Love both of your outfits, very appropriate and particularly like how you styled the logo t-shirt. Not an easy thing to do at these type of events.

    I am still to wear my jean jacket over all black. The weather is driving me crazy with rain and more rain!!!

    1. Hi Christy, so sorry to hear about your rainy start to summer, hope it clears soon cos I'm longing to hear how you work your denim and black! Thanks for your nice comments.

  6. You look adorable! Hip and retro and smart in one. LauriePOP Ideas That POP

    1. Well, welcome to my humble blog, Osterman and thanks for your lovely words!

  7. Sounds fun, and great outfit choice Mary, Didn't know she writes either, will have to check it out! Jacqui

    1. Thanks, Jacqui, so sweet as always. I think Clare can turn her hand to most things, she seems that sort of lady. I'm looking forward to reading her books. I'm starting on the children's book!