I've just got back from Hay, where I learned to tweet on my other half's phone and met some nutty kids in the audiences of my workshops. Many of them were just a year or two too young for the Jimmy Coates books, but having a more mixed audience kept me on my toes and it meant the workshops were ready to go in any direction at any moment.
I remember Brendan, who was keen to take over and tell us all riddles. I remember Lola and Flora and Richard and Freddie. The latter did a lot of athletic furniture climbing, while also knocking me down with some mouth-gapingingly good ideas. It showed me all over again how fresh and original kids' ideas can be, before they're numbed by the avalanche of cliché that the world presents to them every day. And how early that numbing happens: by about the age of 10. I'd say, but obviously with a degree of variation.
I strongly recommend the philosophy and music festival, How The Light Gets In, for next year. Not only do you get the chance to see me twist and dance and squirm my way through workshops with a bonkers audience, but there was a great dose of tasty philosophy in the debates, as well as in the yurts during afternoon tea or late at night.
The music was fun too - and not just because the festival very kindly allowed me up onto the stage to give an impromptu set of original material (plus one Kinks cover, of course).
So get over to Hay next year and you won't even need to worry about the Literary Festival. Just check out How the Light Gets In.