So this was the plan, right? I agreed with Street Wiz Mark , that we would attempt the, not insignificant, challenge of running a Street Wisdom Adventure during the Hay Festival…
You are probably already on board with the difficulties that might have arisen. First and foremost (not withstanding the powerful allure of a SW stroll) there is a LOT going on in Hay during the Festival. People overfill their diaries with the sumptuous cultural cornucopia on offer. They dash madly from a lecture on late Byzantine art to an interactive exercise in philosophy combined with t’ai chi (or something similar)
It can be hard to stand out in this kind of context…and so it proved. This Street Wisdom Adventure didn’t quite take off in the traditional way and although we did not manage to prise any people away from their Festival fayre; Street Wisdom delivered in exactly the way that is normally does – unexpectedly. And this is how –
- Rachel ( Mark’s wife) ran into a very old friend, Penny, that she had not seen for over 10 years. Someone indeed, with whom she had crossed America, in her youth. Needless to say, If we hadn’t set off on our Adventure, then they would not have met.
- As we walked the beautiful streets of Hay, handing out leaflets (I had never been before) we met and talked to a large number of people. It seems everyone is friendly in Hay!
- At the Festival itself, we listened to a wide range of wonderful talks – from Eddie Butler (Rugby author and commentator), Victoria Hislop and from a Curator of the British Museum talking about their new exhibition : ‘Defining Beauty – the body in Ancient Greek Art’
- Finally, we were blown away by the amazing The Unthanks in the evening concert. The trumpet solo on Mount The Air was sensational. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52wg9XzdmxA
Thanks to Mark, his lovely wife Rachel and their two daughters, for kindly putting me up in their beautiful and peaceful home.
The big (and rather marvellous) learning from my Grand Street Adventure to Hay, is that Street Wisdom doesn’t always deliver in the way you expect; but it never disappoints.
Here’s to the next Adventure!!