My sister Sarah is staying with us for the Literature Festival: she is keen to see as many events as possible, whereas we (old hands) are feeling rather semi-detached about the whole shebang, as I foretold when the brochure first came out. (The local paper published that ill-humoured blogpost in the form of a letter to the editor, attracting some supportive comment; but will they listen?)
Long queues snake round the tented village in Imperial Gardens, for the events themselves - often three or four starting simultaneously - and also for book signings. I wonder how many of the books bought in the vast Waterstones' tent will be read.
Why are people so restless in a queue? On Friday evening I was manning the stall which the Friends of the Festival put up each year inside the Town Hall, to help raise funds towards sponsorship of future Festival events. For this cause, a wide range of cards is on display - including a basket of my own photogaphic cards - but not many people were in the least interested: either the place was deserted (during the events) or punters were stationary in a distracted queue which waited for the doors to open, and completely ignored my presence alongside it. Perhaps the atmosphere will be different when I am on the stall for another stint this evening.