Monday 25 May 2015

Day Three of Finchley Lit Fest

Duncan Barrett
Friday's first event was Duncan Barrett at Waterstones in N12 who came to talk about his latest book The Girls Who Went to War. Unfortunately his co-author Nuala Calvi wasn't able to join him as intended. Duncan gave a great talk with a presentation with lots of pictures. You can see lots of interesting information here.  Although the book focuses on the stories of three women, one in each of the military forces, Duncan and Nuala interviewed over a hundred women and had some incredible stories to tell. I could have listened to him for at least another hour!

I bought a book as intended - I was going to give it to my mother who had her 94th birthday two days before. She is of the generation who went to war although she did not serve, being in a reserved occupation (much to her annoyance!) However I knew I wouldn't want to wait to borrow the book back from her so bought my own copy as well.

In the afternoon, local guide Paul Baker led a Finchley walk with lots of literary connections. I would have loved to go but more organising of other events had to be undertaken so my next event was Mike Gee's literary slideshow.

Finchley is a London suburb, but Mike has charted and photographed every bit of Finchley's greenery - from woods, parks, cemeteries, to woodland paths and waterways. He even found two boats. You name it he's photographed it - and there is a lot of it. His show charted many of Finchley's green spaces along with related readings. He press-ganged drafted readers - Rosie Canning, Mark Kitchenham, Chris Hurwitz-Bremner and myself to read memories of Finchley, poems about nature and poems by Finchley's literati. Mike knew Spike Milligan's son so of course we recited some Milligan - Rosie and I duetted On the Ning Nang Nong!

While we were busy with readings, Andi Michael was leading a Writing for Wellbeing workshop, after which we received a message from a very happy participant saying how much she had enjoyed it.

Rosie's account is here

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Duncan Barrett's book sounds like a perfect read for me. How marvellous that he interviewed so many women for the research and what a fascinating talk it must have been. x