I've just got back from the Hay Festival, and what a weekend it was! Along with most people who are blogging about the event, I'd just like to start by mentioning the weather. I mean it really was like an entire year's worth of seasons squished into two days. Saturday afternoon was as beautiful and balmy as a summer's day, with everybody walking around in T-shirts and whistling chirpy tunes and generally turning rather alarming shades of crimson. By the evening however, it was as bitterly cold as a winter night, with red cheeks in every direction for a different reason.
Sunday saw the heavens open, and I mean really open. I was outside for about five minutes scuttling from the car to the festival site and I got absolutely drenched! Ridiculous! In the course of the day I changed my clothes three times and each time only minutes later it was like Id been for a dip in the Wye. It certainly put a bit of a damp edge on things but being soggy was a small price to pay for being at such a great festival!
My event itself was buffeted by some of the fiercest winds in the history of winds (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly felt that way)! I was performing in the Book People's Workshop and it was sold out, which was great! But the wind was doing its best to get inside, and the tent was rattling and groaning and whipping so much that I thought it was going to take off! I was convinced that we'd all step outside and find that we'd been blown up to Scotland or something.
Despite the gale, I think it went okay. People were struggling to hear me to start with but then a microphone was wheeled in. It's the first time I've used one and it was difficult to resist the temptation to do a Tom Jones impersonation. The audience were fantastic, and came up with some brilliant inventions. Hopefully some of them will try and write a story for the 'Invent Your Way Out Of Trouble' competition starting soon. Thanks to everyone who came, you were all fab! Oh, and the festival even gave me a rose after I had finished, which was a lovely touch!
Once the event was over I could relax a bit (I still get so nervous before a show, I think I always will). I travelled down with my Mum and Jamie, so we all hung out in Hay for a bit visiting the book shops and a food festival and basking in the sun. Jamie and I played some American Football in a meadow, and I think I broke my finger trying to catch one throw! In the evening we went over to a camp site where some good friends of mine Luke and Sally were camped with Sal's family (in the biggest RV I've ever seen). We had dinner there and chilled out a bit, which was lovely!
On Sunday, despite the rain, we had another good look round the shops (so many books!) and wandered around the festival site. Rather embarrassingly I didn't actually manage to see any of the shows, although I did see some cool celebs in the Green Room (ooh, posh!) including Cherie Blair! To be honest it was just really nice to spend some time with Mum and Jamie, and to get a little holiday!
I've got some time off now before my next show, so it's full steam ahead on Furnace 2. I'll let you know how it goes. But thanks again to everyone at Hay for making me feel so welcome!
Posted by Gordy's Blog Wednesday, 28 May 2008