It is official, the Festival has started and not even the ominous looking clouds is enough to dampen the excitement of the hundreds of children that are pouring in (rain puns anyone?). For me, this must be the most special part of the Festival – the schools programme is really the breeding ground for bookworms and idea-mongerers. How I wish when I was a kid, that I had the chance to see my favourite authors…well then, looks like I have many years to catch up on in the next 10 days.
So I spent much of today escorting artists to their venues, and sitting in on as many as I could. Walking outside Francesca Simon’s session, the loud laughter rocking the tent has me convinced that she must have unleashed a giant feather covered tickle monster on the crowd. What a sport she was – two hours later, and she was still doing book signings for her many Horrid Henry fans.
Meanwhile, in the Digital Stage, Rob Yorke was chairing a panel on food, flora and fauna, and looking at the tough decisions that the industry has to make. I was amazed to hear that most of the world’s phosphate is in Morocco, and will run out in 50 years…and so the question is asked, what next? I was also surprised by how much of the panel seemed to be in favour of GM foods…which in itself started a hairy conversation within the audience about the value of talking about GM again, and whether it was not more useful to discuss other available technologies.
On a lighter note, I just got my first book signed! How fitting that it was by the absolutely wonderful Michael Rosen, who must also have his own tickle monster hiding up his sleeve. Did I feel awkward that I was the only big person standing in a long line of little kids? Absolutely not, I just had to restrain myself from shoving my way to the front (or rather, getting caught at it!)
As for the weather, it definitely is nippier, and there is a fine drizzle. My strategy for staying warm, is to find the sessions that promise the most laughter…and so I am off to help steward at the David Walliams session, in the hope that I will get to watch.
P.S. Apologies about the cheesiness of the title..it was either that or the Snoop Dogg inspired ‘Fo Shizzle, it’s the Drizzle, ma Nizzle’
by Aleya KassamAleya Kassam’s unofficial title at Storymoja Africa is the ‘does-a-little-bit-of-