I don’t think Tuesday is too soon to whip myself up to a frenzy of anticipation about the writers I am really really looking forward to seeing this weekend.
Vanessa Collingridge is topping the list at present. Her page in the Writers Festival programme manages to combine several things that are dear to my heart; Captain James Cook, red hair, and serendipitous finds involving Oxford libraries and dusty card catalogues.
Like Collingridge I have always regarded Captain Cook as something of a hero, but being terminally trivial my attitude to him is based on his association with Whitby, where the jet and the witches come from, the place where Dracula first set foot on English soil. Also the feather cloak and helmet given to Cook in Hawaii is one of the most beautiful things in Te Papa.
Triviality goes well with greed, so it stands to reason that my next most looked forward to event is More than a Pavlova Paradise, billed as a classic Kiwi lunch and featuring three very entertaining food writers. Richard Till is not afraid to eat a saveloy, David Veart owns over three hundred cookbooks and Kate Fraser writes about food and fashion with a touch as light as an Edmonds sponge cake, so they should be able to rustle up a decent feed. Not that I expect them to be slinging any hash personally, they’ll be consultants I imagine, but that’s a reassuring amount of expertise to call on in deciding the menu.