Home safe, and exhausted! But before I fall on my face, a quick report on ‘what I did over my summer vacation’! 🙂
This was the site that greeted me as I got off the bus. The beach and the water were postcard perfect. That is the National Fort in the background. I was impressed with how clean the beach was. This was our ‘blue sky’ day on Saturday. On Sunday and Monday, the clouds and rain closed in, but we were not deterred!
And here was the welcoming party, inside the old walled city. Fresh oysters and champagne! And many French Merchant Marine sailors in their uniforms as well as a flood of writers and readers.
So that gives a small idea of the beautiful setting for the festival. I was able to connect with many old friends and make some new ones as well. I enjoyed my time at the Pygmalion signing tables, even when we had an unexpected ‘indoor rain shower’ when a vent above us failed to close during a squall! I’ve never seen book people move so fast to save the books! All the staff working at the table were great and so very kind to me during my time there.
I think the most extraordinary panel for me was one that featured myself, Patrick Chamoiseau, Ian McDonald and Hubert Haddad. Even hearing his words through an interpreter, Patrick Chamoiseau stunned me with his thoughts. I have to find translations of his essays. Between him and Ian, I felt like I was in a meteor shower of ideas, and could have spun off about 100 novels just from the thoughts they were so casually tossing about. That panel alone was well worth journeying to France!
And finally (as I am suddenly very tired) I will close with a photo in which I manage to turn the tables on Antoine Mottier and get a snapshot of him! We are in the Pygmalion book stall in the big book tent.
I still have not put up my Imaginales photos, I know. I did get my camera back, but Giles had already downloaded my pictures. As soon as he passes them on to me, I will post them, I promise!