So there I was, minding my own business, making cakes, small woolly monsters and singing tra la la, when one of those ideas arrived that I knew wouldn't go away.
I mentioned it to a couple of people and they said 'ooh that's a good idea', then I spoke to some other people and they said 'ooh that's a very good idea' and before you know it, I had myself a mammoth project to pull off in rather a short space of time.
That time is nearly upon us and I wanted to formally introduce you to my new project in the hope that you'll help spread the word / buy tickets / make a note to yourself that if I ever say 'I've had this idea...', you put gaffer tape across my mouth. (Leave a little hole in it so I can suck gin through a straw).
The very first Stoke Newington Literary Festival will happen this 4th-6th June and we'll play host to some pretty astonishing writers, thinkers and rabble rousers. Tony Benn, Jeremy Hardy, AC Grayling, Shappi Khorsandi, Iain Sinclair, Toby Litt, Phill Jupitus, Darcus Howe, Mark Billingham, Louise Welsh, Edwyn Collins & Grace Maxwell, Stewart Lee, Danny Kelly, Suzanne Moore, Monique Roffey and many others will be joining us...check out the full programme here.
Rather unusually for a literary festival we also seem to have got ourselves 3 writers who are going to talk about pubs and beer. I have no idea how it happened. I was obviously looking the other way. One is the astonishingly witty and obviously slightly unhinged Paul Ewen, whose London Pub Reviews was described by fellow-LitFest writer Toby Litt as "the funniest new writer I have read in years. Join him on his one man Campaign for Surreal Ale." Another is Tim Bradford, author of Small Town England and wearer of a very strange hat (check out his photo on the LitFest website) who has a whole chapter on pubs. The other one is Him Indoors, who's been banging on about it here.
If your other interests include music, food, gardening, football, crime (fiction, though I don't want to judge), sci-fi, poetry, politics or comedy, there's even more to get stuck into.
So, if you're around that weekend, come to Stoke Newington and join in the fun - as well as some very good pubs, we have cafes and restaurants serving pretty much every cuisine you can think of. If you're not around that weekend, you're frankly a bit of a party pooper and no we won't raise a glass to you as we'll be having too much fun without you.
Some reflections on PubCo reform
1 week ago