The weekend past I was a steward at the very luvvie Oxford Literary Festival, and that Harry Potter's Aunt Petunia was mean to me!
After so much literary wonderfulness, I am reluctant to indulge in luvviness myself, so I will not natter on about the commentators and authors I listened to (John Humphries and Terry Pratchett amongst numerous others) or spotted in the crowd (Colin Dexter), but I am going to share the two best incidences of the two days.
First amusing moment was Fiona Shaw and Saffron Burrows turning up for the session on Writer's Block that Fiona was hosting. Fiona is a national acting icon in Britain, and Harry Potter's nasty aunt is by far her least important role, which must be why she point-blank refused to give me an autograph. To think I broke my golden rule of not asking for autographs that I have kept for almost 15 years too. She should have been more conscious of the honour; the last autograph I got was from Ricky Grace!
Both women were unnaturally skinny, Saffron was tall and slightly unkempt too, and they roared around the building like two schoolgirls on red cordial, peering into the windows of other sessions and being generally rather strange. *phft* Actors.
It was the last session, a talk on Mary Wollstonecraft, which yielded the best anecdote. In the front row were Natalie and Esther, both from my UWA politics tutorial class 2000. Natalie's face had tugged at my memory sometime during the day, but it was her Triple J backpack that clinched it for me, so I introduced myself and we started trying to work out how we knew each other. I think ole U-dub can be proud that it was represented by two delegations of graduates that weekend.