A poet, a cellist and I were asked on radio at the Hay-on-Wye Festival to quote our favourite lines of poetry. The poet's was, Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. The cellist's: For god's sake let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings. MIne: Buy one, get one free.
In the Aldeburgh Pumphouse I took part in a round-table discussion of great masterpieces that are in some way flawed. A musicologist in sandals and an egg-stained smock put forward the Joy is drunk by every creature section of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, saying it was unapproachable music, more so in the joyous and immediate light of what had gone before. A unpublished writer wearing Laura Ashley and Lily of the Valley sighed over the clunky exposure of Mr. Elliot by Mrs. Smith in Austen's Persuasion. I, in my Sue Ryder jeans and Primark black v-neck, thought that the Bend and Snap scene should have been cut from Legally Blonde.
I haven't been asked to contribute clever since.