so. last friday i not only did an event at the playhouse but also took part in the one-day first story literary festival for schoolkids and teachers in the morning. it was organised by, among others, the incomparable william fiennes and katie waldegrave of first story and took place at the also-but-differently incomparable broughton castle. the writers talking and running workshops were starry, enthusiastic and inspiring (michael morpurgo, jackie kay, kate clnachy, philip pullman, meg rossoff...), the setting made edinburgh, hay and mantova look a little tawdry. and the kids, i think, had a fantastic time and, hopefuly, took something really valuable away with them. none of the antique weaponry on the walls was used in anger and there were, thankfully, no children-in-moat incidents due the persistent crocodiles-in-moat rumours. next year i'm going try very hard not to double-book so that i can hang around and spend more time with everyone. all of which sounds a little sugary and sentimental, but it really was that kind of day.