– 151 – Cheltenham Literature Festival

(Useless fact: I can’t pronounce the word ‘literature’ properly, my tongue gets totally twisted)

ANYWAY… the my favourite festival of the whole year is in town and it’s brilliant as usual…

If you get the chance do go… even if it’s just to have lunch at the many food trucks or grab a coffee and browse the books.  It’s beautifully set up this year.  My favourite so far.


I kicked off the two weeks with the most delightful hour in the company of Alexander McCall Smith.


He is just like his books.  Witty, and cheerful – he has a wicked chuckle – larger than life and full of funny anecdotes.  I had read quite a few (he’s a very prolific author) of his Botswana novels but was very intrigued to hear more about the two other series based in Edinburgh so of course I had to buy a book to know more.  Of course.  Right?

They’re so charming and funny in a marvellously subtly way…


All in the name of research you understand… and it would have been rude not to, of course!

In the evening Mr M and I attended a different kind of talk:


There used to be one of Banksy’s work, a ‘Banksy’, here in Cheltenham, but it fell fowl of human greed and stupidity and it’s now no more… which is a shame.


Very interesting talk which gave a background on Banksy and his artist and raised fascinating questions on what street art is and should ‘money’ be involved, if street art and activism are linked (and of course they are) is preserving it the right thing? isn’t the fact that it’s here now but can be gone tomorrow (painted over, tagged over, destroyed whatever) part of its raison d’être?  Is it right that Banksy’s art gets taken off walls and sold for hundreds of thousands pound?

The speakers included Banksy’s former manager and now urban art dealer Steve Lazarides, the author Ed Bartlett and culture editor Steve Wright all under the watchful eye of Will Gomperts.

I always feel that all talks should be longer than an hour and leave me wanting for more…


On a different note I have a basement full of 15yr olds that have just woken up from a very short sleepover and now the whole house is shaking to some god awful music.  I daren’t going down there and see the carnage, although No 2 assures me everything is fine, they did actually get some sleep (at 4am) and have even done some washing up …. seeing is believing on that one…

My boy is fifteen… sigh…


… tempus fugit…




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