Havens at Hay

 
“Did you know,” said my cousin “that the Groucho club have opened in Hay castle?”
 
No I didn’t.
 
So we tried it this morning for coffee.  Sure enough. There it was complete with staff, furnishings and paintings all borrowed from the London club for ten days of the Festival.
You wont see it advertised. It relies on word of mouth. Yet entry is free and open to all.
 
Another haven for tired Festivalgoers suffering from a surfeit of sitting in too many tents is the Oxfam bookshop. Here there are bargains galore – 5 books for £3.
 
And the talks? Jonathan Sachs offered an alarming picture of the future and introduced us to a new phrase “altruistic violence”, while art historian Martin Kemp struggled with new technology without any visible support from Hay staff and Andrew McCall-Smith regaled us all with his endless wit and stories.
 
I am very aware though of the preponderance of elderly white men dominating the stage at Hay.  Surely there must be women, younger people and people from diverse ethnic groups who have written outstanding books in the past year? Why are their voices not heard at Hay.

 

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