HAY FESTIVAL NEWS 1
Women - doomed to discomfort for ever
Philosophy was big at this year's Hay Festival - in conflict with physics, describing consciousness, substituting for God. But the REALLY BIG question went unanswered at the public loos.
Feeling the need I called in at the Gents and was relieved within a minute. Communal troughs ensured the Gents could handle fifteen men at a time.
Things were different at the Ladies. Similar size cabins accommodated six derrières and the queue numbered twenty.
I hate the world's casual discrimination against women. So how many ladies' loos would be necessary to ensure the same in-and-out comfort as men routinely expect. I did the arithmetic, checked it with a physicist of my acquaintance. Allowing 4 min. for women (vs. 1 min. for men), the answer is a whopping factor of ten. In other words, ten times as many Ladies as Gents.
Ladies! it's never going to happen. You will always queue and suffer.
HAY FESTIVAL NEWS 2
Bad news for the Right
Eric Hobsbawm, who died recently in his nineties, was an internationally respected British historian who often spoke at Hay. He was also an unreconstructed Marxist. That didn't matter when The Guardian sponsored Hay since the newspaper has always been soft on left-leaning causes. But now the sponsor is The Daily Telegraph, right-wing voice of the Home Counties. This year the EH memorial lecture rang with shouts of revolution. Time for Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells to open his bottle of green ink.
On the other hand, jowly Gavin Hewitt, now the BBC News' Europe editor - subject of one of my earlier sonnets on Works Well - proved to be brisk, full of facts on Euro-economic Disaster, and, on the whole, presentable. Hay is many mansions.