Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Went to see Hugh Masakela last night and think I developed a bit of a crush on the old man! Hugh, who walked on stage looking a little fragile, got the audience dancing three songs in and suddenly his one hour gig turned into a two hour feast of musical genius. The show was also recorded by the Sky Arts cameras for broadcast in the next week, but how the concert can be squeezed into an hour is a different thing. Bizarrely, two people around us also fell asleep mid-concert, which made me wonder - how draining can a literary festival be?

The Sky Arts crew have been here for eight days. In that time, I've not made it to my bed (or anyone else's for that matter) even once until well past midnight. It seems every dinner comes equipped with colossal amounts of wine which, just to be polite, we have drank. Lots of work, lots of food, lots of wine and lots of late nights maketh the literary festival a rather draining experience. But for a visitor to come here, pay ... I can't find the pound sign on this keyboard with US settings!!... pay 23 quid to see Hugh Masakela and then sleep through the rather loud experience I don't quite understand. This is Hay, not the Love Parade!

My main point of joy today is the rain - not because it's cold and quite horrible outside, but because I can use my wellies and my new waterproof coat! Had my traumatising visits to camping shops and purchases of rainproof products I won't know what to do with upon return to suburbia been for nothing, I may have shed a little tear. Where else if not at Hay will I ever need to use a coat that can be folded into a rucksack?!

Sari, editor-in-brand-new-wellies

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