Finding our way from the hotel to the Aotea Centre, I am struck like probably all Christchurch people are by the amount of pedestrians, cars and general business of a city. I am almost pining for a few road cones!
We collect our tickets from the box office and sit down to work out the plan of attack , only to witness the arrival of a posse of quadbikes and to be deafened by the sound of chainsaws! Yes, in the middle of Aotea Square we so-called literary festival goers were witnessing the true heartland of New Zealand – The Ultimate Rural Challenge for the young farmer of the year, quite a contrast you could say!
They certainly were beating us on the noise scale as the Aotea Centre was pretty quiet today with just a few late stragglers looking for tickets, but tonight that should all change with the New Zealand Listener Gala Night where the glamorous and maybe the famous will come out to hear eight writers present a seven minute story inspired by the theme of An Open Book. I am expecting an entertaining if slightly less physically daunting night than the young farmers, who might be out ploughing Mt Smart stadium for all I know.
Tomorrow is a busy day with Rachel interviewing Jackie Kay and Fleur Adcock and Robyn and I doing a tag team interview with Wayne McCauley in between attending Everlasting feasts, Monied worlds, Remarkable Women and Boys at War. Phew.
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