Sue’s blog: Cheltenham Book Festival/Your Forum Fest/French and Saunders

We’ve certainly all been busy over the last week or so. Last weekend was a “big fest” weekend, with me at the Cheltenham Book Festival and over 50 of our forum users at the first ever woman&home Forum Fest.

Back to my weekend first. I have never been to a book fair before and, after Cheltenham, would thoroughly recommend it. We threw ourselves into it, attending over eight author interviews, and events, most promoting new books. We started with Julie Walters, who was so funny and down to earth, as was Sheila Hancock. The legendary Roger Moore and Richard Attenborough also talked interestingly and honestly about their fame. Penelope Lively talked about her 40 years of being one of Britain’s top-selling authors, while Mark Borkowski, PR guru, gave us a fascinating insight into Hollywood stars past and present. Joanna Lumley, Terry Jones and Maureen Lipman, shared hilarious anecdotes and memories of their friend and journalist Miles Kingston.

Perhaps the bravest reading, though, was when Libby Purves and her husband Paul Heiney talked movingly about how and why they have privately published the collected writings of the their late son, Nicholas Heiney. I bought the book ‘The Silence at Song’s End’. It’s beautifully written by a very talented young man.

Cheltenham’s a great town to wander around, made even more interesting by bumping into the odd famous name and author. We stayed at the very good Hotel Du Vin. All in all, two days of pure pleasure – extremely enjoyable!

Then at the other end of the country in York, another event was happening. Take 50 women from all over the UK with one thing in common, gather them together for a weekend of dinners, drinks and dancing and what do you have? The first ever woman&home Forum Fest!

Organised by four entrepreneurial forum members, a great time was had by all and £424 was raised for Breast Cancer Care. Lasting friendships were formed as relationships moved from the virtual world into the real world. Click on to our gallery to get some idea of what went on. And you’ll be able to read the full story and see more pics in our January issue

Talking of special friendships, I was delighted to be invited to the first night of the French & Saunders “Still Alive” show at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, London WC2, this week. It’s their final tour, probably the last time they will be seen ‘live’ together and is pure vintage French & Saunders – a great evening out and extremely funny! The show will run until the 8 November in Covent Garden – it’s definitely worth finding out if there are still tickets available!

Sue

Don’t miss our interview with Jennifer Saunders and her daughter Freya

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