Thursday, May 29, 2008

You Make Hay While The Sun Shines...

... but you wait until it's pissing it down to hold a festival.

The last week has been... wet. Not so much Hay On Wye as Hay In Wye.

When I got there the sun was shining. I'd been billeted in a B&B in the tiny village of Llanigon - a couple of miles out of Hay - and so I thought I'd do the smart thing and hire a bike. About two hours later it started raining.

And it didn't stop. The festival is held in a network of tents and marquees all erected in a large field. Or swamp. Once you're on the site you can get from A to B on covered walkways... which is remarkable... but you still have to get to the site and that almost always meant mud. I'm sure a lot of books are sold at the festival... but I dare say they ruin almost as many shoes. It's a shoe-ruining festival is what it is.

I saw a few events - and tended to enjoy the factual/socio-political ones most of all. A nice couple at the B&B offered me a lift down to the site on the first soggy morning and I accepted... but I was determined to make use of the bike and so decided to invest in some all-weather get up. Buying wellingtons is a sure sign that things haven't gone to plan. The only thing worse than buying wellies is needing to buy wellies and not being able to. With rubber boots and waterproof trousers I then cycled each day.

I managed a couple of excursions into the countryside and a couple of rock-balancing sessions too:

... but mainly I got wet, heard people discuss the books they'd written and watched as a few thousand people pretended they didn't watch television. They do.

There was a lot of free time and with the weather as it was there simply wasn't a lot to do with it so I was glad of any distraction. Just A Minute was more fun than the last time I did it... and I really enjoyed guesting on Marcus Brigstocke's show The Early Edition too.

The reason I was there was to film a show for Sky Arts. It's called What The Dickens? although I think there was only one Dickens-related question in six episodes. It's a panel show with the brilliant Sandi Toksvig as host and Tim Brooke-Taylor and myself as team captains. It's fantastic to watch Sandi work. She just seems to get better and better... she really is as complete a comic voice as I've encountered. And what can you say about TBT? He's a Goodie for crying out loud! I loved The Goodies! What kind of ridiculous world is it where I go away for a week and film 6 shows with a Goodie? In a tent. In the rain.

If you see any of them... I'm probably wearing wellies behind that desk.


Jim said...

Despite the significant threat of rain (therefore milldew and dodgy joints) this review makes me want to sign up for Hay next year...

Anonymous said...

what festival?

Penny M said...

So is Sky Arts the new Radio Four?

BTW, Llif spelled backwards is Fill. Makes you think!

wOlF said...

wow i just read you book 'are you dave gorman'

it was recomended to me by my dad - yep im 13
(neither of us are called dave gorman) and it says at the end that your total amount of daves is 104 however the book was published it 2001 (at least the copy i got was) so i was wondering hae you met any more dave gormen (using the plural) and did you ever meet bbcs dave gorman of lemmington spa dave gormon?

please excuse my spelling its terrible i know

Anonymous said...

Pfft mud, pfft.

We were just over the other side of the Brecons in Pontardawe, and had no power on Bank Holiday Monday. None. Took 'em 10 hours to get it back on again.

And what does one do on a Bank Holiday Monday in Pontardawe with no power? You find a big car battery and a little campervan telly is what you do.

We watch telly.

And we got that set up just in time to see Mr Gorman with his arm around Duffy on Paul O'Grady.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

Yes it was a bit damp wasn't it, we decided to cycle up from Bristol on the Friday afternoon (24th may)and all was going well till monmouthe when the heavens opened...fortunately as soon as we got there it does that always happen! Anyhow we had a great few days, the early edition was hilarious. I was amazed at how many times I seemed to walk past ypu randomly around the pace there more than one of you?

...didn't realised everything sold out so year I will be more organised and book more events..I will get to see JAM one day!

Good work

Andy C

Anonymous said...

Just wondering about your use of the past tense - do you not still love The Goodies?

Anonymous said...

Dave - where were staying when you visited the Festival? Did you cycle south on the B4350 (towards Glasbury) and so pass the independent petrol station (Mill Service Station)?

I went to see Marcus Brigstock - sorry I missed you.

merrick said...

It's not just that TBT was a Goodie, he was one of the writers of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch. That fact alone should mean he can't walk down a street for people queueing up to lick his boots clean.

aedan said...

Renting a bike isn't the clever thing to do. Buying a Brompton is the clever thing to do. It must be clever. I've got two.