I’m debating this subject and talking about the Good Life Experience festival in this week’s Radio Times. It’s out now so grab a copy.
Visited old friend Aled Jones on his show Weekend today to talk about the Good Life Experience, axe throwing and salsa dancing (not together) and also the music I’ve been working on for the National Theatre production of Our Country’s Good. The show starts with press night on August 26th and it runs until November. Click to read more about Our Country’s Good.
I did the sofa interview thing (as I call it!) with a guineapig-loving Amelia from X Factor and now West End show American Idiot, and actor Charley Webb who apparently (and if you’re an Emmerdale fan you’ll probably already know this) will get blown up on her wedding day.
A memorable day then…. My interview with Aled airs this weekend on ITV.
George Eliot was born Mary Ann Evans in 1819 and lived at Griff House, in Nuneaton, Warwickshire for 21 years. Although Griff is now run by Whitbread as a Beefeater Restaurant and Premier Inn, the George Eliot Fellowship (GEF) work closely with Whitbread to preserve this great Victorian novelist’s childhood home.
At the back of Griff is beautiful farmland which is what George Eliot would have seen. She would have known and used the outbuildings too, for when she was 16, her mother died and she became the full time housekeeper at Griff for her father and brother. She would have fed the chickens and collected the eggs. She made jams and jellies and cheesecakes. We know she worked in the dairy making butter and cheese. All grist to the mill for this novelist who later would use her rural upbringing in novels such as Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner – highly successful novels. Adam Bede outsold Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities!
The GEF has worked hard to save one of the outbuildings at Griff – the dovecote – from being demolished. They plan to open it as a Visitor Centre in 2016 where they look forward to welcoming people from all around the world to this precious heritage site.
Preserving Griff is an uphill struggle – there are other outbuildings on the site that need saving for future generations to enjoy. Donations would be hugely appreciated but no pressure! – just get involved whichever way you fancy- eg join the George Eliot Fellowship.
You can see what the GEF are getting up to by visiting their website: www.georgeeliot.org and follow their Facebook page for their latest events and comments. Twitter @G_E_fellowship.
Many thanks for reading this,
If you missed my interview with Judith Woods in the Daily Telegraph today, read it by clicking here.
It’s all about digital, parenting and The Good Life Experience, the festival of music, food and the great outdoors that I’ve a co-founder of it. It takes place in September this year in Hawarden, North Wales. I’d love you to join me. You can buy tickets at www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk
At this year’s Good Life Experience festival, we’ve found the perfect place for campers to clean up in The Great Outdoors. Just a short walk from the campsite, Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, my festival co-founders who own Hawarden Estate are opening up The Ladies’ Fall, a lovely stream where campers will be able to wash over the weekend.
Despite the name, it will be open to everyone, not just ladies, just don’t forget your trunks and swimsuits! The Ladies’ Fall is in a lovely wooded part of the river and we’ll provide you with 100% natural and organic soap, so you don’t need to worry about polluting the river.
We’re building a small platform so that there’ll be easy access to the water, too. There will of course be showers in the campsite but if you want to escape the steamy festival showers, we think you should head to The Ladies’ Fall – that’s where we’ll be.
Click if you haven’t got your tickets to The Good Life Experience yet.