A beautiful day, yesterday. Just perfect for being out and about, enjoying the fresh air and the prospect of some thought-provoking discussions at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. I’d booked a couple of events, thinking that they’d fit nicely in with my work this week which takes me to the outskirts of Cheltenham several times a day. With one classroom visit planned for 3.30 yesterday afternoon, and another scheduled for 6.30 in the evening, I could comfortably fit in one session in the morning and another in the early afternoon.
So, yesterday morning, I joined the well-dressed ladies and generally elderly couples who were also headed for The Salon, to hear a discussion entitled What is Memory? Fascinating stuff, for sure, and definitely something to read more into, it was a great start to the day.
I buzzed off for a bite to eat at lunchtime, but wanted to find the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which I knew was hanging somewhere in the Festival area. As I suspected, it was on show in the Town Hall rather than one of the temporary buildings in the park, so I spent a happy half hour looking at selected pieces from this magnificent project.
Hanging above head height, along a corridor, I was really pleased to be almost by myself in the area, because when it’s busy and in between sessions, I can’t imagine how anyone is going to be able to stand and stare.
Fortunately, it being lunchtime, there were few people around and I could take photographs too (though the light wasn’t so good for that)
The work is wonderful and each panel is so beautifully embroidered, though I wish the term “tapestry” hadn’t been used. I cheered when the young historian describing the Bayeux Tapestry explained on TV last weekend, that it too is not actually a “tapestry” as such, being embroidered not woven, and can imagine that this is going to be another prompt for a similar explanation.
But hey, on such a beautiful day, who wanted to niggle? Well, me actually, because the second event I’d booked: Are all Memories Fiction? failed to live up to the same standard as the morning discussion. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to allow an eminent professor to come to a conclusion that yes, of course they are in the first five minutes?
Oh well, I think we all knew that anyway, in our hearts. The absolute facts might well be recorded somewhere, but we fill in all the other details ourselves, don’t we? I’ll return to some of the topics discussed in a future blog post, but made sure to scribble down some notes at the time, so that I might at least get some of the facts correct. My memory might just not be that reliable.