Friday, 10 June 2011

Hay Festival: clay, culture and cava!

I spent last weekend pretending to be a proper celeb! Hay is amazing - you share the green room with so many famous faces, it's fun just to sit and watch.

It was lovely to be able to go with John this time, so I had someone to talk to - you can feel a bit of a spare part at these things. We sat with our complimentary wine, whispering: 'Who's that - I'm sure I've seen her in something..?'; 'Is that who I think it is?' etc. At one point we were sitting next to Bob Geldof and his partner, when Richard E. Grant came up for a chat (not to us of course, but hey-ho). A bit later, John accidentally stole Philip Pullman's seat! 

As you can see, I did some very quick sketches, but everyone was in constant movement, so Bob Geldof looks more like Mick Jagger, Peter Snow looks about 30, and Vanessa Redgrave was gone before pencil touched paper. 
But enough of this name-dropping...

I was booked for 2 storytellings on Saturday, promoting Bears on the Stairs and Dragon's Dinner. The space was a lovely light, hexagon of glass - a much nicer venue than the plastic tent I had last time.

Part of my payment was free tickets to other people's events, so we drove down on Friday morning, to squeeze in as many things as we could. We chose a lecture about a new biography of Galileo, a talk on the science of patterns found in natural forms, an archaeologist explaining new evidence about early civilisations and a great stand-up show by Shappi Khorsandi. We got to watch the Julian Assange interview about Wikileaks too: it was broadcast into the Artist's Restaurant (!) while we were tucking into our free slap-up lunch (jealous yet?).

Plus - an unexpected bonus - we discovered Sky had sponsored a tent where you could do free arts workshops. We managed to shoe-horn in an hour of sculpting with clay and both came away balancing little figurines on our hands! This is mine. She's lumpy, but I'm proud of her:

My events went down really well. The turn-out was good too. I did get some babies (always a worry) but it wasn't too disruptive. The bookshop people, where I did my signing, were lovely too and we sold quite a few (yippee!).

The only down-side was my own stupid fault: the weather on the Thursday was glorious and the forecast for the weekend was good, so I packed a summer frock and strappy sandals. No socks. No sensible shoes. Not even a jacket, just a floaty cardy. By Friday evening it was getting very windy and Saturday was wet and freezing. My toes have never been so cold!

Thank you to Freya for this drawing, Thank you to Hay for inviting me and thank you to the guys at Andersen Press and Hachette Books for paying my expenses. What a lovely weekend. They even gave us a big box of cava to bring home. Perfect.


Cathy Holtom said...

Very definately jealous!

SKIZO said...


Anonymous said...

Proof, if any were needed, that being a children's illustrator is "better than a proper job".
Lynne, your work is fab!

Best wishes

Lynne the Pencil said...

Thanks guys!