Today I want to tell you that I am anticipating meeting with the largest gathering in the North of England. The literary cream from all over the world!
I am talking about the York Literature Festival. This year, I have chosen to join them in celebrating fifteen days of sheer literary bliss, with over 60 events packed into the itinerary!
Pre-emptive gitters give way to sheer pleasure as I feast on the marvellous array of big names appearing this year, including Sue Perkins, Mark Gatiss, Michael Palin, Gervase Phinn, Dan Cruikshank, Ann Widdecombe, Christina Lamb, and so many, many more. I am in great company, so I had best get my best bib and tucker out of the mothballs, and into the limelight! I intend to take a back seat in this year’s festival: Keeping a sharp eye out for those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to mingle with the greatest, keenest minds in literary circles, and learn, learn, learn.
There’s so much sheer, raw talent available in one of the finest City’s in the World, that I would be stupid to miss out. I am so proud to feel so Yorkshire!
As you know, I have travelled the world. Being in places like war-torn Africa has centred me into the well-rounded figure I am today – and I am not talking about well-proportioned, though that, too, can be a product of my past culinary exploration! What I really mean is, I have been a child amongst the bombs; and I am not afraid to tell you I crapped out at one stage! I squeezed myself into the bottom kitchen cupboard inside my home, trying to dodge the myriad mortars and bullets being fired during a terrifying raid on our village. I was an absolutely petrified fourteen year old! On more than one occasion my personal safety was threatened, and I thought I was going to die! I got out of that Country, many did not.
So to find myself able to be at the York Literary Festival years later, is a miracle in itself. To actually meet the author of ‘The Africa House’ – among the plethora of gutsy stories – will be an honour. No doubt I will be too modest and unassuming to introduce myself, but even if I did, I gather the meeting for her will not have the same import. But the fact that another lady has experienced her share of that kind of conflict, and has written about it, spurs me into believing that she might just ‘know’ by the way I keep my distance that I ‘understand’! I have lived it, too!
I am in the process of writing my memoirs from those times I spent in subjugation and terror. I will benefit from anything the world can throw at me. I am the unreported world that happened, and I think it is time to gather my fellows around me, and write the story that Governments wished I would not!
I will be pleased to meet anyone who is visiting; shaking hands with ones who will colour my life, and make it understood. I am going there without agenda, just to learn and be myself. Join me in enjoying the best that Brit-Lit has to bring. Rich, warm and certain to contain some unforgettable experiences. See you there!
Copyright March, 2017 Linda Bates