It is a Sunday morning in the year 2109. The last day of the Bath LitFest. Coffee cup in one hand, croissant in the other, you're stumbling dozily out into the morning air. You're hung over. You may have had a one too many tots of Highland Park last night. You're late for a reading. You're writing a blog for the official booksellers of the Fest and need some material for today's post.
It's just a hop, skip and jump down the jetty before you cast off your rowing boat. You're running ten minutes late already and you've still got half the Bath Lake to cross. Soon though, the imperious grey towers of the Guildhall Globanational Multiplex loom above you.
You moor up, flash your badge at the Harbour Master and hot-foot it into the Multiplex. You know the speaker is due to start at 11 but you can't remember which floor he's on. Check both pockets. Nothing. Your notes are at home, sitting happily underneath the cat on the kitchen table. Above you is a Festival schedule in Cantonese. But you're old-generation and don't read Cantonese. A beep on your digital watch tells you the speaker is about to start, probably walking on stage right now, probably now being introduced, probably now receiving a warm welcome, probably now clearing his throat, getting the nod from the sound engineer, shuffling his papers (his hi-tech digital papers)... No time to lose, you choose the first seminar room that you come to.
The automatic doors of the auditorium close behind you automatically. Automatic doors, you think, this truly is a wondrous futuristic age we live in. An Usher stewards you to a seat.
And that's how you've found yourself in the wrong room. This isn't Nettle Soups of the World: A Travelogue, you think. No. This is Blogs of Inexperience: A Retrospective.
'Although he was thought to be a prodigious madman in his own time,' the speaker intones, 'it isn't until now, long after his death, that we truly appreciate the importance and resonance of the first-time blogs of Sam 'The Uncommon' Reader.' After preamble, introduction and amble, footnote, fumble and folly, the reader finally reads from the Blogs themselves:
'Monkey, monkey jumping good
In the morning of the wood.
What immortal thingy-thing
Could shake thy tail and make thee sing?'
After the reading, you shuffle out, somewhat perplexed. You'd fallen asleep half-way through. As you head towards the book stall, your boss, Mr B Jr Jr Jr, shoots you a look. His Look-Shooter 3000 beams a message into your Look-Receiver X-Series.
The look says, 'Well?'
After a moment you reply, 'I've got this idea for a retrospective based a hundred years in the future...'
Sam 'The Uncommon' Reader
There's a Sunday summary post coming later based on actual events. I'm definitely going to try to squeeze in to see free food pioneer Richard Mabey if it doesn't sell out and later I'll check out some pomes with Wendy Cope if I can. See you in Jika Jika anon.