If you look down to the right of this photo (taken on the roof-top of our hotel) you can just about make out the entrance to Stoke Newington Town Hall which is the hub of this marvellous festival now in it’s 10th year.
I’m being interviewed by Suzanne Moore, one of my favourite Guardian columnists. I tell her just before we go on to face a packed audience, that this is the first time I’ve been to London N.16. Suzanne quite rightly shares this factoid with the audience who seem shocked. But as any Londoner will tell you, those from the West rarely venture East, and those from the South rarely trek North (the words “and vice versa” need to be inserted somewhere). Stoke Newington might just as well have been Stoke-on-Trent when I was growing up in London.
I’ll certainly be back again though. Wonderful audience, great bookseller (Stoke Newington Books) and Prosecco on tap in the Green Room.
Diane Abbot, the local MP, appears at my book signing as does a wonderful woman who asks me to inscribe a copy of ‘In My Life’ to Terrence D. Higgins, President of the Republic of Ireland!
A girl who went to Bevington, my primary school, though many years after me, is also there perhaps proving that a younger generation is breaking down those postcode boundaries I mentioned earlier.
Suzanne and I lose all sense of time in our conversation which runs over by 30 minutes which was time well spent at this vibrant and well supported Festival.