I have a long Bucket List. On it are a lot of things including sleeping under the stars to visiting a jungle.
Most people seem to think of it of a list of things to do before you die. Of course I get this but I don’t think of it like that. For me it is not a rush to see and do it all by death, but a focus to take pleasure in, to aim for more experiences things in life. I want to experience all that I can; the list is really so I don’t forget anything.
So one of the things on this bucket list was to go to the Hay Festival. This is a literature festival that takes place each year in the lovely town of Hay on Wye. It is situated on the Welsh side of the English/Welsh border in the county of Herefordshire.
http://www.hay-on-wye.co.uk/ Here is the town website.
Hay is famous for it’s bookshops of which there are over 20 situated in it’s small streets. It is also a very pleasant place to spend the day with all the other lovely shops, cafes and pubs. The famous Offa’s Dyke runs past the town. It is a 177 mile path which follows a Dyke built by King Offa along the whole Welsh border. I would like to walk it in the future but will have to wait until I retire if I want to do it in one go.
Image: Own photo.
The town started having a literature festival in 1988 and has since become one of the world’s top literary festivals. It has been on my list for a long time.
The festival runs for about 10 days but we went from Wednesday to Sunday last week. Instead of buying a ticket for a lot of money and trying to get into things the Festival organiser charge for each show. Tickets range from £6 up to over £20.00.
First night,we saw Dara O’Briain. He is doing The Voice of Reason Tour. I laughed so much that at times I coudn’t breath.
It was a good start but we hadn’t booked any other tickets. We leafed through the booklet with all the acts in and decided on Marcus du Sautoy, talking about measuring infinity and I opted to go to a session talking about resilience in the NHS.
Over the next few days we say Alice Roberts (anthropologist) and Chris Bonnington (Mountaineer). There was also a storyteller giving us a taste of his book ‘The Assembly of the Severed head’.
The whole event seemed to run very smoothly apart from the odd technical hiccough.
One of the best things was that once a session was over the writer would go to the festival bookshop and sign their book. Each hour or two you could walk in to the shop and see maybe JoJo Moyes or Jilly cooper. I was pleased to see Monty Don in the flesh.
The whole experience was great and I will be going back next year.
The whole festival is held undercover, including the walkways between marquees. Some of the other more pleasing things were the areas just to sit and think like this marquee complete with chairs:
Image: my photo
Each even had a chalkboard outside which was hand drawn individually, here is the one for Alice Roberts and her 10 species that changd the world with the artist who’s name I think was James.
Image: my photo
The whole site was clean and tidy at all times. No piles of plates and cups all over the place. hay festival is the first all reusable cup festival in the world (they say) All the cups were plastic and they were all collected for recycling:
Image: my photo