I think I may be suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) With the dark mornings, persistent rain and the sudden realisation that I have two pieces of coursework due in this week it's quite hard not to feel depressed. Luckily two days at the Cheltenham Literature Festival provided the perfect hiatus from the stress.
Best part of the festival was probably the Green and Blacks stand - an unlimited supply of tasters. I was in heaven. Some of the talks were terrible (indian fusion music anyone?) and others were fantastic - Salman Rushdie interviewed by Kirsty Walk has to be my highlight.
Something which struck me from the festival is how pretentious people can be. It seemed that those who asked questions were trying to make themselves look intelligent rather than having a genuine interest in the answer. This was most obvious when at the end of one talk on the Ukrainian Crisis two members of the audience went off on a rant about how disappointing the talk was without actually asking a question. One guy complained that he would have preferred it if the Daily Mail had sponsored the talk instead of the Times. I would've liked to point out to him that if the Daily Mail had been sponsoring the talk it wouldn't have happened because unlike the Times they don't have a Moscow Correspondent (the panel was led by Ben Hoyle the Times' Moscow correspondent). In my opinion it was one of the best talks of the two days.
The weather stayed clear which made the two days even more enjoyable. If you ever find yourself in Cheltenham pop into the Swallow Bakery or Huffkins - both are wonderful cafes which serve great food.
As we drove away on Saturday evening, my life in the hands of my crazy English teacher who on more than one occasion almost caused a crash on the way home, I realised that though the festival was a break from school it had actually meant that I had missed two days of lessons and therefore had more work than when I had left. Not quite the stress reliving trip I had hoped for! X