Monday, 6 October 2014

CheltLitFest 2014 Part I

The Loughboro' Experience.

Friends Jean, Sue n Mo were down for the weekend and to experience the start of this years Lit Fest.

It began with The Great Outdoors 

What really goes on in the long grass? What lies beneath the mystery of the moor? Which butterflies can tell you how far it is to the pub? Writers Will Atkins (The Moor) and John Lewis-Stempel (Meadowland) and natural navigator Tristan Gooley (The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs) discuss the great outdoors and our relationship with it.

  Followed by Are We Too Tolerant Of Intolerance?

Should we tolerate beliefs and behaviour that we consider repressive? Journalist Abdul-Rehman Malik explores this conflict in today’s multicultural Britain with The Times journalist David Aaronovitch, Claire Fox, Director of the Institute of Ideas, Matthew Goodwin (Revolt on the Right) and award-winning comedian Shazia Mirza. This really set the debate going amongst Fest goers and raised some really tricky dilemmas! 

Onto the amazing new book from Ian McEwan - The Children Act

Ably assisted by Sir Alan Ward, the former Court of Appeal judge, who had inspired the novel.

An unexpected interruption occurred by McEwans estranged ex-wife as he promoted his controversial new book, it has been claimed.

McEwan was on stage discussing his novel when a woman stood up to shout about an injunction. The author was heard to mutter "it's my ex-wife" after the interruption. The couple went through a difficult divorce and custody battle in the 1990s, when an injunction was placed forbidding his ex-wife Penny Allen from speaking about the case.

Rounding the evening off with the ever dry, amusing Will Self promoting his new tome - Shark

The Fest was interspersed with trips out round n about including - 


The weather was unbelievably good to us. Walked through the town, down the canal tow path to the gardens

Tea at an amazing little tea shop packed to the gunwales with memorabilia

then onto the abbey and the search for the incredible Green (gold) Man

Highnam Court

Has to be one of the most interesting and well kept gardens in Gloucester, mentioned before in this blog.  Built in 1658 after the original house was seriously damaged in the Civil War. It is one of the few houses built during the Commonwealth period. The design of the houses is linked to Ernest Carter who was a pupil of Inigo Jones.

The Highnam Estate was bought in 1838 by Thomas Gambier Parry, who was an accomplished artist, musician and art collector. He is also responsible for the frescoes in Highnam Church. He started to layout his garden in 1840, and by 1874 it rivalled any in the UK. Unfortunately since the turn of the last century almost nothing had been done in the gardens. Consequently when the process of restoration started in 1994 the gardens were totally overgrown.

During the last 13 years, since Roger Head has been the owner, the gardens have been totally and lovingly restored to their former glory, with many new additions being made to compliment and enhance the original design.

The grounds contain Lakes, an Orangery and a collection of wood carvings that must be seen.

and again this year the autumn colours are amazing!

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