Well, I’ve finally given a talk at a literary festival – and survived. I’ve been on a panel before, but never had to fly solo. For some reason I was convinced everyone would be very scary, but in fact the organisers, the audience and the other authors at the first-ever Reading Festival of Crime Writing were lovely. A surprising number of people kindly turned up to listen and laughed in all the right places. Thanks to Madeleine and Jackie who looked after me and to whoever provided those huge tasty blackberries at lunchtime.
The festival was held in the same building as the Museum of Reading, which houses two treasures I particularly wanted to see. First, homage had to be paid to the battered Roman eagle that inspired Rosemary Sutcliff to write ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’. (There’s a picture of it here.) Then an all-too-brief stroll around the Victorian replica of the Bayeux Tapestry. I’ve wanted to see this ever since reading Sarah Bower’s excellent novel ‘The Needle in the Blood‘, (‘a powerful tale of sex, lies and embroidery’). The replica is a work of art in its own right and is well worth a visit.