Of all the Literary Festivals I’ve appeared at this year, Ways With Words at the beautiful Dartington Hall in Totnes is the one that has given me the biggest squidgy feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The annual festival takes place from July 10-19 at Dartington Hall in South Devon and my slot is carved into the schedule on Monday 13th at 2pm.
“Few people who visit Dartington Hall are untouched by its magic,” explains Festival Director, Kay Dunbar. “The combination of the medieval courtyard, the majestic Great Hall and the extensive gardens and woodlands creates a captivating setting for a literature festival,” she adds.
After many happy years of gert lush long hair flapping about in any sort of a wind, I decided to have it all lopped off.
It was a decision I took a few weeks ago and I thought I’d just kick it around a bit before heading for the scissors to see if I wanted to change my mind, but as time went on, the more it irritated me, the hotter I became on sunny days and so finally, yesterday, I lunged for the blades and ooh, I feel like a new woman!
After the exciting arrival of the Tesla and once the blokes had all taken it for a spin around the block, we eventually went trotting off to get a bit off Thai tucker and I sat next to the lovely Robert Llewellyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf).
Carl Honore, the bestselling author of In Praise of Slow joined us and good food was munched by all. Robert had half an eye on my tasty veg spring rolls and I thought it only fair to share the love…but he wasn’t getting a look in at my sweet and sour prawns.
Yes, I know, long time no natter, well, I’ve been up to my ears talking rubbish!
I’ve been doing lots of Lit Fests which are great fun and doing talks around the country on ways to cut the crud out of your life and save yourself a fortune in the process (by the way, if you’re interested in booking me, click here).
And today, I’m about to pack my bag and head to Brighton beach!
On Monday, I’m driving with a delightful handful of planet-loving celebs in the Eco-Rally 2009 (get me, the little ‘Z’ lister!)…
I’m back in the saddle after spending 3 days up ‘in the smoke’ (that’s London to you missus) attending www.ukaware.com.
I was helping Dave Hampton (the Carbon Coach) to host the speaker panels that were on Friday and Saturday and sat on a panel too on Saturday afternoon.
It was an amazing event – Mr OOFFOO himself, Al Tepper, was there and I had very eco’nversations with the delightful Ruby Wax and the charmingly talented Oliver Heath too.
I could witter on about how much I loved the whole thing, but my calves still haven’t forgiven me! I must have walked 500 miles….
Instead, I thought I’d tell you about my personal favourites in attendance at the show.
1) Morsbags – what smashing ladies (and gents) they are. This is a sociable guerilla bagging group for want of a better description and if you’ve got a sewing machine, you need to visit their site at www.Morsbags.com
2) Nether Wallop Trading – I was honoured to present a little award to them for their Paper Potter….if you’re a keen gardener (and even if you’re not) have a look at this at www.NetherWallopTrading.com
I realise I’ve been conspicuous in my absence lately – don’t tang me – I’ve been way past busy!
And regular readers here will know I advocate a proper work/life balance – that’s essential to keeping your sanity and making all the pieces fit.
Actually, I’ve only hopped onto the computer to take a little stroll up email mountain and the computer’s on a timer – 10 minutes and I’m off; the Easter holidays are for grown ups too you know and right now, I’m surrounded by a thousand pieces of lego and excited children. I’ve got a bank and a roof garden to design and construct – so I’ll be brief…
The boys at Rapanui are back again with an expansion on their successful competition of 2008 to source up-and-coming designers. For their 2010 Collection, due for release this summer, the lads have made entries available to all.
Mart and Rob were inspired to open the doors to the Rapanui design studio after appointing Eve Ottaway; a recent fashion technology graduate, her insane enthusiasm for the brand made hiring her and putting her in charge of sourcing for 2010 a no-brainer.
Eve has developed a national program to encourage students to get involved and has been up to her neck in PDFs, TIFs, and the rest since. Rob and Mart have decided to keep her busy by opening the competition up to graphics graduates, artists, and doodlers globally.
Rob explained, “We felt at first that the student population was a great way to source new artwork, the universities and art colleges of the UK are brimming with talent. The students get the opportunity to work with a global brand and we get access to the hottest talent.”
Supermarket giant Tesco will no longer be giving Green Clubcard points for customers who have returned empty items to deposit in their recycling machines.
The machines are designed to take a variety of recyclable materials including plastic, tin and glass and are located in around 40 branches of the store throughout England and there’s one in Scotland too.
Consumers were encouraged to clean and return their items and place them in the machines after inserting their Clubcards. The machines usually awarded one point for every four recycled items deposited, however some unscrupulous customers were found to be cutting their plastic bottles in half in order to get ‘double points’ by putting two items into the machine instead of one whole one. As a result, from this point on ‘Green Clubcard’ points will only be issued for aluminium cans, which cannot be tampered with.