Sunday, 31 May 2009

Before embarking on our mini road trip to Hay, we were told that the weather in Hay was lovely and it had only rained 1 day. Even so, I decided to pack for every eventuality. So in went the jumpers, big woolly socks, scarves, a hat, gloves, sunglasses and last but not least the wellies. The drive down was lovely and once we finally reached Hay (the very, very scenic route - all I have is 2 words, sat nav - or is it one?), the sun was out and there was no mud in sight. After getting drenched through last year, I was amazed and very, very pleased that I wouldn't be looking like a drowned rat.

When we arrived, it was all a-go. The show had already started recording but due to a power cut, we were in time for part 2 which had the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Cornelia Funke, the author of Inkhart.

I then attended lots of sessions. When China Rules The World with Martin Jacques was interesting as he talked about the power shift between America and China and he theorizes that in the future, China will be the leading nation and not America or Russia. I found this particularly interesting being a Belgian born Chinese person brought up in the west as although I am Chinese through and through, I actually don't know as much about China or the culture as I should do. The best one session was Dara O'Briain who brought his stand-up routine to Hay. It was hilarious and now I love him even more. He brought the house down and I'll be trying to get tickets for his next tour!

The weather was great on Saturday too. No wellies in sight! I love Hay in the sun. The first session of the day was called The Language of Design with Deyan Sudjic. The session was really fascinating and showed us that design impacts upon every part of our lives and defines us culturally and personally. Our next session was with Marina Hyde and Mark Borkowski which discussed the topic of celebrity and how they are used as ambassadors rather than experts to highlight issues such as peace in the Middle East.

We then sat in the truck for the recording of Hay-On-Sky and it was very interesting to see how it works from that end rather than sitting and watching it in the studio. There are so many TV screens in there and buttons, I'd get confused about which ones to press but the experts in the gallery were great and it showed us how much work is involved and how each person's role fits in. The guests were fantastic too: Immodesty Blaize, David Simon (creator of The Wire) and Sarah Waters, a great mix of people.

I then attended a session on the study of the Battle of Normandy, one with Arthur Smith and finally Alan Bennett. This is what I love about Hay. You get to go to such a variety of sessions. I didn't get to go to Jeremy Paxman which I would have loved to have done but maybe next time.

This morning, another sunny day in Hay, I went to see Andrew Davies talk about his adaptation of Little Dorrit. I love his adaptations of Jane Austen and although I didn't manage to watch all episodes of Little Dorrit (I'll be getting the DVD though), I really enjoyed this session. I love a bit of costume drama! He was then asked what his favourite piece of work was and he said that A Very Peculiar Practice was the one that meant the most to him as it was his own creation. Well, it just so happens that Sky Arts 1 has both series and A Very Polish Practice playing in our drama slot which we duly told him when we got our book signed by him. He seemed to be very pleased with this fact and told us how disappointing it was that the BBC never repeated the shows and he wanted a copy of the second series as this isn't on sale in the shops. That was very nice and he said he'd heard really good things about Sky Arts which is always good to hear.

I'm now off to see Simon Schama which should be an excellent session so I will now be signing off.... Maybe I could get one of those really nice ice creams too.....

Tracy, Sky Arts Scheduler

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