Monday, 12 November 2012

October....A Busy Month

 Cheltenham Literature Festival


 October started off like a shot with my volunteering at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Oh, what an experience! This 10 day festival with 400 speakers and 600 events in many different venues throughout the city.

 Once the festival began we were busy all day from 8:30am until 10:30pm. This lasted until for about 5 days, when I had to cry uncle. After that I worked 8 hours a day.

The first few days were "Getting in" days, where we moved furniture, hung signs, and set up venues. There were 40 or so volunteers who helped with these jobs.  They ranged in age from retired to students, from all over the UK and Europe. Thirty marquis (tents) were set up in the towns two main gardens.
Inside the Waterstone's book tent

One of two food tents.

Spiegletent set for wine tasting.

Posh writers tent, the green room.
Me and Caitlin Moran, from the  London Times

Richard Ford at book signing.

The highlight for me were meeting the other volunteers. Meeting Ian McKewan, and PD James and hearing Rupert Everett were also up there at the top of the list.

I learned a some interesting things: One author I heard speak, wrote a book about her grandmother, who went to India for the Durbur of 1911. Quite a journey. I didn't know that a Durbur is a royal visit to commonwealth.  She had her grandmother's diary and a photo album that provided the factual skeleton for the novel, Glimpse of an Empire.

I also heard a talk about a fire in London in 1865 that was facinating. 

Fellow volunteers celebrating the end of the festival.

All in all, a terrific experience and yes, I will do it again.

Westonbrit Arboretum

 Needing to reconnect with the natural world, we took a daytrip to see the fall foliage. The leaves change here in England also.  Westonbrit Arboretum had been recommended as "the best place to see the colors". As you can see, it didn't disappoint.

It was a fun, but busy month. November looks to be just as busy! December will be here before we know it. I can't wait for the holidays, the kids come for a nice long visit.

Watch this space, next up, a visit to Cornwall.

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