Feelin’ the Heat in Downtown Scone and looking for Agatha Christie

  Scone lit fest logo

The state was experiencing a heatwave but in the 150 year old church, now the home of the Scone Arts & Crafts, with its 60cm thick stone walls, there was barely a bead of sweat in sight.

Graeme Simsion, Moi, Anne Buist

Graeme Simsion, Moi, Anne Buist

The old church was almost to capacity as folk from the Upper Hunter & surrounds gathered to hear from guests and locals alike. I was privileged to be one of those invited guests  – along with Phillip Adams, Graeme Simsion, Samantha Turnbull, Ged Gillmore, Anne Buist & Nick Brasch.2015-10-03 11.53.38

Outside where we gathered for lunch we forgot the heat and just allowed ourselves to be swept up in the amazing garden setting. Honestly, I felt like I was in an Agatha Christie novel! The old English cottage garden, the sweeping trees that shaded us, the bees buzzing lazily, the jugs of lemon infused chilled water, the easy chairs and umbrellas … I was sure a ‘wasp’ was going to ‘sting’ me and I’d die, but Miss Marple would suspect foul play when she detected that faint aroma of crushed almonds in the blue foam spewing from my mouth. Hehe…2015-10-03 11.48.59

It was a wonderful three days.  We argued the merits of the book over the film with the panel below.

Also incklused, President of the Scone Literary Long Weekend Committee (in lemon) Anne Davies; and Leonie Rogers.

Also included, President of the Scone Literary Long Weekend Committee (in cream) Anne Davies; and Leonie Rogers.(red)

We discussed gender stereoptyping, we learned about Patrick White the (fascinating) man from Dr Judy White – a relative of Patrick whose family still live just out of Scone –  and we learned a lot about horses from Nick Brasch. And then we got inside the mind of those whose minds we usually run away from with professor Anne Buist. Scary but amazing. And those were just some of the events on offer.

Moderator extraordinaire, Leonie Rogers; Ged Gillmore; Kaz; Sam Turnbull; Anne Buist

Moderator extraordinaire, Leonie Rogers; Ged Gillmore; Kaz; Sam Turnbull; Anne Buist

We got to peruse and buy books from the eternally sweet Ian Millgate from Hunt a Book, and I got to hang out with my precious library mates Elizabeth and Sharon. It was a weekend to make you think and to learn, to absorb, to question – and yet encouraged you to relax and to enjoy.

2015-10-03 11.52.18

Gossip? I did promise didn’t I? Hmnnn…    Okay so gossip is never as much fun when names are deleted to protect the innocent – or guilty – but in the sense of ‘what happens in Scone stays in Scone’ that’s what I need to do.

So, I learned of one author who threw a Murder Mystery Party only to have a guest die on the night! Wow! Then I was reminded of someone who famously made a throw-away thoughtless social media comment as she flew out of Heathrow to a foreign destination (for work) and whose life had been completely destroyed by the time she arrived at that destination. Sacked from her job and the world hating her as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of pieces of hate mail posted at her.  Imagine… (Big reminder to think before posting, guys. There’s no room for naivety anymore)   And finally, I heard a reader admit quietly that she hadn’t liked a particular author’s work but then she met them and now she was going to go back and have another try at their work. Interesting…  Very interesting.

So, huge, huge thank you to Anne Davies and her amazing committee. Every person was so helpful and welcoming – Dorothy, Steve, Sarah – those are just three I remember, and to Leonie for being a brilliant moderator.  And to all those who prepared and served the delicious food. If I’d been able to stay for the soiree, my weekend would have been even more magical.

Scone Literary Long Weekend –  you’re very sophisticated for a two year old – and may you grow old and stay as vibrant and energizing as you were this year – 2015.


6 Responses

  1. Wow!!!

  2. Sounds amazing – I’ll have to check it out next time. That Graeme Simsion sure gets around, doesn’t he?! 🙂

    • He’s everywhere, Kez. I got more time to chat with him this time though, and he’s a very interesting man. The Scone Festival is small, but that kind of works for them and the participants. They had great names and the smaller crowd meant there was plenty of easy mingling. Check it out next year! Incredibly affordable too! Thanks! xx

  3. Reblogged this on Leonie Rogers and commented:
    A great weekend at the Scone Literary Long Weekend!

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