Yesterday at Hay 1. Two slices of toast at home before I left and not a minute throughout the day to snatch a bite until dinner at 20.30; diminishing blood sugar levels a powerful stimulant to harsh critical reactions.
Edward St Aubyn. Famous for Melrose trilogy of novels. One of VR's favourite stylists. Has lived a tortured life and novels reflect this. Good laconic interviewee, very much in the English style.
Translation. Huge project aimed at pointing out how differences in languages and difficulties in translation of philosophy source books, etc, lead to "foreign" versions of such philosophies. Eg: "justice" in English is thought to embody such ideas as fairness, whereas in France same word is concerned with punishment and penalties. Demanding stuff but worth it.
WW1 novels by two young women (Shamsie/Young), one from Pakistan, the other English, shockingly badly served by young, inadequate, rambling interlocutor from British Council. He should have been horse-whipped and fed to ravening pigs.
Massive civil engineering projects involving tunnelling. Including underground railway station, built only 34 meters away from Big Ben in London's Crossrail project. A "high profile project" given that Big Ben already tilts a few millimeters out of vertical (which I didn't know). All ended happily; our legislators were not rained on by falling bell.
Bercow (Speaker of House of Commons). A complete tennis nut has published his choice: Twenty Best Male Tennis Players ever. Equally tennis-nut audience.