Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Swanwick 2015: Quizzing and Busking

A superb quiz from Phil Collins last night, and if our team hadn't tried to second guess the motives behind the final round, we'd probably have won, instead of coming joint second! But at least we got the town planning question right.

Then it was on to the Busker's event, this year relocated to the Main Lounge, which took on the appearance of a speak-easy for the night. There were some 'only in Swanwick' moments, including Angela, complete with umbrella, taking the chicken across the road to the tune of Ten Green Bottles; John and Zana writing 500 Words, with apologies to the Proclaimers, and a preview of Thursday night's closing number, which only lacked Peter Kay to make it perfect. But the star of the night, without a doubt, was Linda Lewis, whose unaccompanied rendition of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face had the audience on its feet. Her first Busker's Night performance, but hopefully not her last.

The Daily Interview

Yesterday, I mentionned the impression Della Galton made when she was our guest speaker on Monday night. This morning, I had breakfast with her and threw a few questions her way.

Della is very prolific, writing fiction, both short stories and novels; and non-fiction, primarily writing tutorial material. 

What first brought you to Swanwick and when was that?

"I knew of Swanwick by reputation and had heard about it for years, but was unable to come as I couldn't afford the fees, especially as they had to be paid in January. I think my first visit was in 2000, but it's difficult to remember, as the years tend to blend into one."

What was the best thing that's ever happened to you at Swanwick?

"Certainly, the endorsement of Ice and a Slice this week by one of the audience who said it had saved her life. But in more general terms I have always been overwhelmed and humbled to find myself sitting next to famous, prolific writers at mealtimes, who are very happy to talk to me, and very generous in sharing experience and advice."

What was the strangest thing that's ever happened to you at Swanwick?

"Before the refurbishment, there used to be a pool here at Swanwick. I was swimming there one day when a thunder storm blew up, and I got out of the water, because I was afraid it might be hit by lightening. As you might guess, I used that as the basis of a short story - which ended up in an anthology of erotica." 

You can find out more about Della by visiting her website. We're all looking forward to seeing and hearing the inimitable Simon Brett this evening; then expecting plenty of 'only in Swanwick' moments as the Page to Stage plays get their first public showing.