‘This is my seventh Hay Festival, I think, and at this point it feels like a week-long, brilliant family wedding.’ – Carrie Quinlan

‘This is my seventh Hay Festival, I think, and at this point it feels like a week-long, brilliant family wedding.’ – Carrie Quinlan

This is my seventh Hay Festival, I think, and at this point it feels like a week-long, brilliant family wedding. I’m really lucky that I get to do variety of different kinds of things while I’m here. I’ve just come off the Tata tent stage, having gone through the day’s newspapers with Marcus Brigstocke, Andre Vincent and Andy Fryers. Earlier in the festival I was introducing or interviewing lots of authors who write for young adults, despite not being one.

But the doing of events at Hay is only part of it. I’ve cried like a baby listening to Billy Bragg singing Between the Wars; been inspired by Tom Holland’s talk on, among others, Mercian ladybadass Aethelflaed; and gone a bit light-headed listening to National Treasure the Lovely Michael Palin(his full name).

But the best bit this year, and I feel a bit guilty for saying this, wasn’t at the festival. I’ve drunk a lot of tea and wine in the green room over the years, and most of it has been poured by Penny Chantler, whom I utterly love. She’s also a sheep farmer, and she let me join her during a break from the pouring to go up to her farm and check on the lambs, accompanied by dogs Ted and Doug. You don’t get to do those sorts of things where I live in West Norwood.

 

Photo by Chris Athanasiou