I had to go alone on Saturday as Mr B was busy with his son – football, squash, boy stuff – and that was an adventure for me, on the train with my banner, green man, labyrinth, promo cards, T-shirts etc! It was a really busy day with so many people at the event. I didn’t stop once – even ate my lunchtime sandwich standing at the stall chatting to people around snatched mouthfuls. Our pitch was brilliant, right next to the main stage so we got a fantastic view of all the performers. I really enjoyed Tim Wheater, Barbara Meiklejohn-Free, Carolyn Cowan and a very exotic belly-dancer Solariss.
The only problem with being so close to the stage was the noise. Lovely though the music was (and if you haven’t heard Tim Wheater perform you really must) by the end of the day, after chatting above the music to so many people and the lovely Stonewylders who’d come to meet me too, my head and throat were sore. The train journey home to Mr B and my hot bath, cold wine and tasty take-away seemed to take forever.
Sunday was much easier for me, being driven into London by my wonderful husband and having someone with me all day to help. It was equally busy though, and Mr B was in full flow with his new top hat that seems to be fast becoming a bit of a trademark. One little boy was convinced he was hiding a “magic white rabbit” under it, and was a little shocked to see what really lurked there. And if you haven’t seen – don’t ask!
I gave my talk about “Reconnecting with Nature” to a lovely audience, feeling a bit nervous about speaking in an open lecture area at such a large event. I had to wear a microphone head-set which felt very odd, but did leave my hands free to gesticulate wildly when I became excited and also to hold up the labyrinth, Wheel of the Year etc to demonstrate. I had a strange moment when I realised, about ten minutes into my talk, that the man grinning encouragingly at me from the audience was none other than my long-lost cousin Ben Berry! He’d cheekily left an exhibition he was doing at Earl’s Court to sneak across to my talk at Olympia, and his presence did throw me for a minute or two as I don’t use notes or anything for my talk.
We had a really wonderful time at the show, and I signed a vast amount of books for new readers. I love going home after such an event and imagining people digging out their new copy of Magus of Stonewylde and thinking, “I’ll just read a few pages ….”!!! It gives me great pleasure to picture them reading into the night, transported to Stonewylde and making the acquaintance of Sylvie, Yul, Magus, Clip and all those people we know so well.
It also gave me great pleasure to see so many of my loyal readers at the exhibition. Three of my special ladies turned up in their Harvest Moon Gathering T-shirts (and attracted a lot of attention – thanks very much!), and there were other members of the Stonewylde Community whom I’d never met before who came to say hello, some bringing their copies of the books to be signed. It is wonderful to meet people who’ve come along like that – I do appreciate the support. I gather the Stonewylde Promopixies are mustering for my next event – Gorton Monastery in Manchester on Saturday 17th October. They’re organising a bit of a get-together for this event, so if you’re around Manchester that day do please come along and meet up with us.
I really enjoyed my weekend, but I’m paying for it now. I’m in bed with a pounding head, prickly eyes and a horrible sore throat. Must be all that talking I did!