The last day of the festival and I had to grab a quick breakfast. I thanked my hosts at The Cammarch Hotel for yet another good stay and did a high speed dash down the Wye Valley to make breakfast with Jasper Fforde. I bought his first book in Sydney simply for the idea of Jurisfiction and I have kept up with everything he had read ever since. Aside from my love of his imagination there are a few other connections. A lot of his books are situated in and around North Wiltshire, my son was a contemporary of his son at St John's Marlborough and he has adopted Wales as his country. In his alternative universe, Wales is portrayed as a dark socialist republic, smuggling cheese into England and still suffering the after effects of its own Vietnam in Patagonia. Just to wet your appetite further, croquet is the English national sport, played with violence aforethought in the national stadium in Swindon, George Formby as President for life of the English Republic and Miss Havisham is a literary detective who likes to drive fast cars. All of that before I get onto the wonderful use of Kafka in Thursday Next's trial.
Jasper started the day by allowing his fingers to load a camera with film and talked about his use of film in preference to digital. We had a delightful story of his building his own darkroom in the cupboard under the stairs using a lightbulb painted red and salt as a fixer giving limited cash. It turns out film sales are going up after their initial decline. Using film is tricky ,which he thinks may account for its attraction. I made the wider point about the role of craft, referencing the time it takes for a taxi driver to acquire The Knowledge and the physical changes that happen to their brain over a two year plus period in consequence and the discussion then ranged far and wide. Some key points that came up:
There was a lot more, and I had to leave before it finished to get to a session on Metaphysics on the other side of the Wye. I gather from a later session that the question of the monetisation of time was raised as one negative aspects of a modern art and craft movement. More on that in a future post
Great session, needed twice the time and a less time consuming process of getting breakfast!