May 16, 2014

It’s finally here!

The LitFest has arrived – and so has the sunshine! We’re all so grateful for that, not just for ourselves but for the speakers and everyone else who has come especially for the Festival: it’s a bonus for them to get to see Guernsey at its very best.

I thought I’d share some of Thursday’s highlights with you, as well as some of Carl Symes’ images. Carl works tirelessly throughout the Festival and somehow manages to get everywhere – thank you so much, Carl!

Yesterday lunchtime we collaborated with the Women’s Development Forum to bring you a very special visit from Dame Stephanie Shirley (not just for women). Her recollections of arriving in Britain aged 5, as a Kindertransport child refugee, were extremely moving. And Dame Stephanie's philanthropic work is an inspiration, motivated largely by her experiences of raising a child with autism. Shelaine Green, Chair of the Guernsey Disability Alliance, did a great job of interviewing Dame Stephanie and also enlightened us about the Alliance. Judging from our Twitter feed, everyone found the event absolutely fascinating.

[caption id="attachment_350" align="alignright" width="300"] Stephen May[/caption]

We had some short ‘tasters’ from Stephen May, Hilary Boyd and Sir Andrew Motion at the Opening Party, and it was lovely to get to talk to some of our visitors. I was even serenaded in Spanish by a translator of Victor Hugo’s poetry, which doesn’t happen every day!

Then it was on to St James to meet the Queen of Crime herself, Lynda La Plante, who was interviewed by Jenny Kendall-Tobias. She told us lots of hilarious anecdotes as well as generously giving advice to aspiring writers. This is a writer who is really hands-on with her research, including observing autopsies and talking to notorious criminals – and they don’t get much more notorious than Charles Bronson.

A full day at The Hub awaits, bring it on..