Last year we visited the Lowdham book festival for the first time. We had an absolutely spiffy time there.
This year was rather marred by an overdose of rain and flooding. Lots of rain. And lots of flooding in Lowdham.
Despite this, the festival carried on very successfully - even if some events did have to shuffle about a little (sandbags were still very evident yesterday on the final day). For reasons of travel difficulties and scheduling, we didn't get chance to go to any of the events before the final day, but friends and colleagues spoke just as highly of proceedings and there were excellent audiences. Brits eh; we don't let a little water put us off culture...
Funnily, I wasn't expecting to make it TO the final day at all. I'd originally been down to do some work (volunteering beyond calls of duty being a particular area of expertise) but at the last minute, I didn't have to do it. It probably contributed to why I felt less obligated to traverse the wilds of flooding to go to Lowdham (even if it IS my maternal great-grandparents etc familiar haunt) for other events mind, but it was with glee in my heart I could trundle with Cloud yesterday to be able to enjoy Mike's talk about blogging.
Of course, it wasn't all we did. We had mucho fun trawling the book fair and exchanging hellos with the Bromley House staff (who had drawn a massive audience for a presentation on subscription libraries like BH). We especially enjoyed meeting with Creme de la Crime publishers. Wow; that was a treat: not only was the stall offering up plenty of scrumptious looking crime writing goodies, we also got the chance to natter to Maureen Carter. She was friendly, delightful to talk to and on dipping into the range on offer we were more than happy to part with some cash for a couple of her titles and one by Roz Southey (from the Period Pieces selection of CdlC's range). We're very much looking forward to reading them.
Nevertheless, Mike was the key reason we were there. "Blog-Talk": how could we resist?!
He was fab. It was fab. There was a mini-blogging coterie in attendance - not least the lovely JP (as charming and cheery as ever despite everything) and the ever-glamorous Miss Mish - and the pleasure of meeting K (definitely wearing the Best Jeans Ever). The worlds of work and blogging collided nicely as a colleague of Neil's was also part of the Troubled-Diva gang. And post-talk we followed them all to the pub for drinks, hilarious anecdotes (I will never think of twigs in the same way), Doctor Who chatterings, and final smokes before todays ban (on which note, I'm with JJ: HURRAH to no smoking in pubs etc ever again!!!)
Post-drinkies (just orange juice for my lovely driver btw) we took the decision to drive on up to Newark to indulge in purchases from Waitrose - that being the nearest branch we are aware of in Nottingham's vicinity. Scrummy. That made for a nice pre-Who tea.
And then it was Who...
UPDATE: a lovely post from Mike who is as self-effacing as ever. Lots of good links to regarding the sources used for his talk.