That Was the Week that Was, is, and with any luck shall be for ever.

Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas, June 2013
Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas, June 2013

The Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas: Pimms on the lawn, a landscape straight from Claude Lorrain, continental sunshine, neat white sheep grazing between the Penguin book covers that served as shelters while Martin Amis, Don McCullin, Michael Craig-Martin, PJ Harvey, David Gilmour, Anne Enright, John Lanchester, Dorothy Cross drifted in and out among the glamorous others, continuing those conversations they’d started in chapel or ballroom. It is some feat to make 2100 people feel as if they have each been individually invited to an intimate house party but this generous hospitality is what Vivienne Guinness, Hugo Jellett and the extended Kavanagh family achieved. If I were you, I’d start booking tickets for next year’s event now.

On Friday I’ll be speaking at a festival in a similar setting (down to the Penguin deck chairs in the publicity shots), but with a different hue: Althorp in Northamptonshire, home to Charles Spencer. I will be speaking on Friday morning with Dr. Huw Lewis Jones. His is about the conquest of Everest, mine is about the conquests of the lambing shed. Booking details are below.


I’ll be home again at the weekend and on Sunday I’m looking forward to talking to Madeleine Keane in the Dalkey Book Festival at the appropriately named venue, Country Bake. Again, booking details are below.