The busiest 10 days of Hay On Wye 2012 has now passed as the town is left in a kind of post apocalyptic mess of muddy fields, empty portaloos and dirty windswept awnings leftover from the Hay Literary Festival. An air of relief has permeated the streets after what was in reality a wet, cold and very slightly depressing amalgamation of the corporate classes v a small minority of local and free-thinkers (most stationed at the simultaneous Globe chapels alternative festival "How the Light Gets In").
There I saw Charlotte Church sing to a tiny but enthusiastic audience as she tried out her new band (pretty good) her new songs (OK) and her new image (very post Courtney Love)...but what struck most was her absolutely angelically beautiful voice. I went to the Hay Festival to see my husband Alan Mcgee interviewed by Faber's Richard King for his great "How soon is Now" book on music business legends.
Such a shame the festival had pitted him on this grim Thursday against Cerys Mathews, Julian Clary and Ruby Wax...the wind howled, the tents blew open but there was still a good crowd who seemed to love every minute of his debauched tales. Many people had left Hay early...the half term weather was so diabolical who would want to camp out as the river flooded and the car parks overflowed. Hay also had lost Giffords Circus to a great and ultimately silly "double booking " with the Sound Castle...a great white elephant of tent which seemed to be almost empty whenever I walked by....Maybe this is Murdoch retribution.
As the recession digs in deeper it was great to go to the Women in business forum where I heard Jessica Seaton, co-founder of Toast and Sally Bailey of Baileys give inspiration to all us young businesses how to keep going and make our ideas successful ( one point which I take on board is get your packaging right!!). How great also to meet fellow local women who
all run their own businesses...it was a great networking morning!
Lastly my favourite memory from the week was watching the artist Stella Vinedoing her live painting of Lady Diana in the bottom tent of the Globe in the centre of Hay. Eccentricity at its best and a far cry from the corporate shenanigans of the main festival down the road...