Festival Frenzy & A Bubble Burst!

the quiz! (with obligatory bar)

the quiz! (with obligatory bar)

This time last week, as you may remember, I was panicking about getting ready for the Evesham Festival of Words Book Quiz, which my friend Chris and I were running.

It was not without its heart-stopping moments in the run-up. Firstly, would anyone come? Despite everyone’s best promotional efforts, no-one booked for ages.

Then, the weekend before the quiz, Chris was admitted to hospital, which was bad enough but then, of course, there was the possibility that I’d have to do it all by myself….!

I was also worried that England might be playing a Euro 2016 match that night, which would keep some people at home (but thank you, Iceland) and then I fretted about the weather. The venue was on the banks of a river, reached by something of a dirt track…! If we had any more torrential rain, I had visions of it turning into a quagmire, with cars stuck and people’s best shoes ruined. Sometimes, a vivid imagination is not a blessing!

But, as they say, it was ‘alright on the night’. (Lynne Hackles assured me that would be the case and she was right! Is she psychic?!). Chris valiantly dragged herself off her sick bed (hurrah!), we had 8 teams booked and another turned up unannounced, which was actually an ideal number. And the ‘interval nibbles’ turned out to be a BANQUET – chips, pizza, samosas, sandwiches! (We were all expecting a few crisps!). So next year – and yes, there’s going to be a repeat performance – we shall brand the quiz slightly differently (‘Don’t eat before you come!’ for example or ‘bring Tupperware’).

The winning team!

The winning team!

The following day, we attended a couple of events at the Festival: ‘Romance, History, Psychology: inside the minds of three authors’, an afternoon with authors Alison May, Janice Preston and Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn, (which was excellent), then there was just time for a delicious afternoon tea before hot-footing it down to the Town Hall to see an interview with novelist Katie Fforde and the presentation of prizes to the winners of the short story competition.

Over a glass of wine at the end of the event, we were approached by a jolly woman who’d been at our quiz the night before. “Great quiz, great!” she gushed and we beamed and thanked her. “Now – “ she continued, “I’ve got a low boredom threshold….” Chris and I exchanged smiles and glances. We knew what was coming. Something along the lines of “but I was captivated from start to finish…”

“SO,” she went on, “next year, how about just four rounds, picture round and then FINISH!?” She made a chopping action with her arms. My wine nearly went flying. “I mean – “ she went on, “it didn’t end until 10 o’clock! It was almost half past ten before we got home…!”

If you think you can cope with such a late night, then next year’s quiz will be on Thursday 29th June. But bring matchsticks for your eyes and maybe – oh what the heck, just come in your pyjamas.

It was a great couple of days and now that it’s over, I feel rather lost and in need of another festival. In fact, I’ve got my eye on Bewdley Book Week

What I’m Reading

And in other news, I’ve just read ‘Call The Midwife’ – the first in a series of books by Jennifer Worth, on which the popular BBC TV series is based. It was beautifully written and very funny in parts but oh so harrowing in others. I always cry at the TV series but I can’t stop thinking about some of the really sad stories I read in the book. For example, she writes about the workhouses, where husbands, wives, parents and children were separated for years, or never saw each other again.

One is sad, one is funny

One is sad, one is funny

So, I needed something jolly to cheer me up after that. I love Bill Bryson but I haven’t read any of his books for a while and I’d read a rather scathing review of his latest travel book ‘The Road To Little Dribbling’ which said it was basically just a whinge. So I picked it up rather reluctantly and braced myself for disappointment.
And guess what? Within 30 seconds, I was laughing.

PS: There’s still time to enter my 100 word writing competition. Details here. The closing date is 12th July and I have 17 entries so far…

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