And that's to say nothing of the Brexit Lemming Dash. But I have nothing to add that cleverer people haven't already said. So instead, here are some pictures from the Literature Festival I helped organise last weekend. We had nearly 80 events over a long weekend, most of them free. Some were over-subscribed, some were quiet, but none were failures. We were spread over multiple venues: churches, galleries, a farm, theatres, the university and many more. The plan was an active festival: some headliners that people could sit and listen to, but most were participatory, and seemed to attract people who wouldn't go to Edinburgh or Cheltenham festivals. It was hard work but I was stunned by the enthusiasm of those who volunteered to put on events, and of those who came to them. The budget was tiny – about £2000 plus what came in from ticket sales – but we managed. We're definitely putting it on again, and we intend to be even more ambitious. I did the Q bit of a Q and A with novelists Catherine O'Flynn and James Hannah, introduced Sathnam Sanghera, looked after wordl-famous-in-Tipton Doreen and generally floated around opening doors, pointing to places and providing coffees.
|From 'The Quiet Compere'|
|Miles Hunt, ex-Wonder Stuff|
|Donald? Is it really you?|
|Could be a scene from any of my lectures|
|A Doreen fan|
|A presenter's view of the Sathnam Sanghera crowd…including his mum|
|Sathnam Sanghera and Paul McDonald|
|MPs Paul McFadden and Emma Reynolds|
|My favourite sight of the weekend|
|Arts and Crafts lectern, Bantock House.|
A special mention for the lady at Doreen who asked me what I was studying while I ushered her group in. I'm nearly 42 and course leader of English, but for a moment I almost believed I looked young, fresh and innocent enough to be a student.