Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Oxford Literary Festival

On Mothers' Day, I travelled into Oxford on the train with my youngest son, Joseph, to see Candy Gourlay talk about her book at the Oxford Literary Festival. Candy's book, Tall Story, was shortlisted as one of Blue Peter's favourite stories in the Blue Peter Book Awards, along with Philip Reeve's, A Web of Air (Mortal Engines), and the overall winner, Dead Man's Cove by Lauren St John.

When we arrived the first thing we did was go and buy some cake, which was yummy. We then took a look around and met Christopher Lloyd. Not the actor but the author. He has written the What on Earth? Wallbook: From the Big Bang to the Present Day. The Wallbook features more than 1,000 pictures and captions that tell the story of the planet, life and people from the beginning of time to the present day. Christopher gave Joe a quiz to do. All the answers were somewhere on the giant Wallbook. We got about half-way through but, had to stop to go to Candy's Event.

(C) Sarah McIntyre

The session took place in Christ Church Hall, which is where they filmed the meal scenes for Harry Potter. It was a stunning place, very grand but also very cold. Whilst we were waiting for everyone to find a sit, who should arrive but, my friend Sarah McIntyre. She was doing an event later in the day about one of the books she has illustrated, When Titus took the Train.

The panel was chaired by the Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood. After the question and answer session we were able to get our books signed and Joe was so excited about getting Barney's autograph and having a photo taken with him. I think that was the quietest he was all day.

After getting Barney's, Candy's and Sarah's autograph, we went back downstairs to have another look around and to finish the The What on Earth? Wallbook quiz. When we had finished Christopher marked it and Joe got 20 out of 20. Christopher Lloyd told him he was a genius. I knew that all ready. :)

We were going to have a picnic but, unfortunately it was raining. So, we walked back to the railway station and decided to eat our picnic on the train home. It was a lovely way to spend Mother's Day and it was brilliant to be able to spend quality time with my youngest son.