A Literary Weekend

It was a beautiful sunny day in Bradford on Saturday for Bradford Lit Fest 2019. And what a lovely, happy day it was for me. I started off by going to a panel on Mapping Fantasy Worlds. Who doesn’t love a fantasy map? Or indeed any map? I was pretty surprised, though, by the answer to my question: did any of the panel have imaginary worlds as a child? None! Adrian Tchaikovsky said he got into fantasy worlds through role playing games. Interesting, because I’m currently listening to the audio book of Ready Player One (narrated by Will Wheaton aka Wesley Crusher). Personally, I’ve never been that interested in RPG. I always preferred to create my own worlds. But there you go!

I then moved onto The History of Snow White, with one of my favourite BookTubers, Jen Campbell. Again, what could I not love about that? The nicest thing was that, when I asked her to sign my copy of The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, she remembered my name! What a lovely person!

After lunch (Jamaican street food) I met up with my husband, who had just been to The Lost Art of Scripture. He said he’d bought the book so he wouldn’t have to bother telling me about it! But there were a couple of other friends there, so we discussed it for a bit with them, anyway.

And finally for Saturday, I joined my daughter for Chris Riddell’s 10 Books That Changed My Life. Again, absolutely lovely. He was drawing all the way through. And was so encouraging to my daughter about her illustration career.

The next day, on Sunday afternoon, we visited Shibden Hall. The Hall and Park have been special to me all my life, but of course tourism has sky-rocketed in the past few week due to the "Gentleman Jack effect". I noticed quite a few Anne-focused changes in the presentation - and even in some of the decor! Anne's old room is now decked out just like in the TV series (rather than Edwardian Art Nouveau). But much is the same as ever, including my favourite goat-legged table and chair.

Unbeknown to me, the Estate Worker's Cottage (part of the attached folk museum) was used as a setting in the film Peterloo, which I was going to see that very evening as part of Bradford Lit Fest. Oh, the serendipity! Really enjoyed the film. I remember learning about Peterloo in history with Miss Robson (where are you now, Miss?) but this film brought the time alive so vividly, it was like being there. And it was gratifying to know that Rory Kinear was standing exactly where I had stood just a few hours previously.

And then, of course, I had to round off the day with the latest instalment of Gentleman Jack, testament to that great Shibden diarist. If you haven't seen episode 7, I won't give spoilers. Except for one word. Thermometer!!

What a great, literary weekend!


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