LOSING YOURSELF AT HAY – THERESA MARTEAU

LOSING YOURSELF AT HAY – THERESA MARTEAU

 

John Mullan, Colm Toibin, Polly Toynbee, Philippe Sands, Helena Kennedy – just a few of the Hay Stars that contribute to my cultural highlight each year – the first weekend of Hay. This year I lost much of this by coming to Hay as a speaker.  Either events I wanted to hear clashed with events I was part of or I felt my time was better spent focused on what I had to do next. I’m relieved to say that this loss was more than compensated for by the thrill and terror of presenting to a Hay audience. I was very fortunate that the main event at which I spoke was chaired by Hugh Muir from the Guardian who transformed what could have been a straight lecture into a fun Saturday morning. My contribution was part of the University of Cambridge series which aims to bring our work to a wider audience – indeed to those who pay for our research through their taxes. Achieving this was further enabled by several newspaper articles about my talk including a provocative piece that Hugh penned on his journey back to London.

Having glimpsed behind the scenes in the last few days I am even more in awe of the miracle that is Hay. The only glitch I experienced was when our ‘shepherd’ for an ‘all-star variety hour’ lost her ‘sheep’- Simon Schama, Michael Rosen, Christina Lamb, and myself. We stayed where we were and, as in the best of fairy tales, we all lived happily ever after…