Column: View From The Downs October 2014
By Roger Linn
The carnival of fun and culture that is the Hurst Festival has just finished. We’ve had everything from stand-up comedy to fine art and for the last two weeks, pretty much the only topics of conversation in the local pubs have been drama, music, dance, and literature. The village threw itself into the spirit of the thing and now, I regret that I didn’t contribute more. Or in fact, anything.
Next year I’ll do better, I promised myself. “You know how some people turn their homes into concert venues?” I asked my long-suffering wife Liz.
“Yes,” she replied warily.
“Well, what do you think about having a string quartet in the living room?”
“You’d only get three people in,” she answered.
“I don’t mind a trio,” I responded enthusiastically. “I quite like trios.”
“No no,” she said. “I mean once you’ve got a string quartet in here, you’d only have room for an audience of three.” It was a good point I had to admit, but I was undeterred.
“We could invite people in to view the art on our walls,” I offered obligingly. “I could lead a tour.” Liz looked a little unimpressed by this idea and responded by saying, “Certainly most of it has been painted by you, and although your grandchildren and I are fond of it, I don’t think we’d have much of a queue.” Clearly this was a hurtful response, but it was also possibly true, so in desperation and by now slightly hysterical, I lost my head and said, “Do gardens count as art? I’m sure the Japanese think of gardening as an art form.”
“Our garden?” asked Liz incredulously. “You can’t be serious.”
Perhaps next year I should contribute to the festival by buying as many tickets as possible, for as many events as possible – even the ones I don’t really understand.