It was glorious. Okay the bus trip was punishing but the weather - constant topic of conversation on this fair isle - was glorious. Oh yes, and the Penzance Literary Festival was even bigger and more stimulating than last year, with almost a hundred events spread over the windswept hilly town.
Though I missed the first two days (and the opening talk with sassy Damian Barr!) I did see Festival Patron Patrick Gale interview the somewhat haunting Sally Vickers and, like last year, heard the luminous Bookshop Band - this time from up in the stalls with a pint of Cornish Bitter. There were events for all: poetry readings, books inspired by local history, workshops for writers, sessions on crime, poetry, romance, publishing. I particularly enjoyed Kari Herbert's talk about her book 'Polar Wives', being quite an explorer-freak (reared on tales of the European explorers who ventured into harsh central Australia). Kari's tales of the wives-left-behind were fascinating and I could have stayed listening for hours.
On Sunday our event took place downstairs at the Acorn, where fellow Indigo Dreams author Alison Lock and I spoke about our new short story collections. We both put on our best dresses and lippy and found ourselves in front of a red velvet curtain and a small, warm crowd. Alison was at Penzance last year with her poetry collection 'A Slither of Air'. And we all know that I was interviewed by Sarah Duncan about 'The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy'... and ended up talking about whether a racy book reflects a racy life (well, does it?), and how-to-write-a-novel-in-a-chicken-shed.
A wonderful few days of beer by the sea, literary thoughts and meetings, briny air and rather oversized seagulls. They don't eat writers, do they?
Rolfe triggers is. In the way that is the way of all men. In his case a type of athletic bragging ruined by the self-defeat he hangs his hat on. I feel a plock and, with his surprised, involuntary retreat my waters come splashing out, gay and heralding, whereby he bounds back to inspect the folds of his manhood.
At the apex of his growth curve I suspect I must place myself. This is the man who continues to daub his hands on my sheeny back and breasts. He told me that in Ethiopia, his last posting, they call girls like me 'slaves' because of our broad noses and skin a shadow cannot cross.
This is Rolfe's first child. His wife Karina was barren. I have led Rolfe to believe that this is my first although I had two others before. They are at the village and I send them money. The midwife will no doubt perceive all of this.