14 October 2018

Dorchester Literary Festival – an interview with Janet Gleeson

Next week is the Dorchester Literary Festival in Dorset, now in its fourth year & with a fab line up I caught up with Co-Director Janet Gleeson to get the low down on the festival.

Hi Janet, thank you for agreeing to chat with Country Bumpkin Chic…

For those who’ve not heard about the Dorchester Literary Festival, can you give us a brief overview?
It’s an annual 5-day event where we invite a very broad range of leading writers and other inspirational people to come to Dorchester to talk about their latest book. Talks last for about an hour, some are interviews or ‘in conversation events’ some standalone talks, but we always leave time for the audience to ask questions. Afterwards, you can buy the books and have them signed.

How long has the Dorchester Literary Festival been running for?
This is our fourth festival. In our first year, we began with just three days and 15 events, but it’s grown and now we have around double that.

How long have you been involved in the festival & what’s your role?
I’m a founding Co-Director and started the festival with a friend and fellow author Paul Atterbury. This means I get to choose the speakers and chat with them when they visit. But it also means making all the arrangements and worrying if things go wrong.

Paul & Janet
Which authors are coming to Dorchester?
We have an amazing line up this year including Judy Murray, Jeremy Vine, Joanna Trollope, Mark Billingham, Lisa Jewell, Peter Snow, Mark Austin, Lynne Truss and Julian Fellowes are some of the great names. The books we are featuring cover all sorts of subjects: the Suffragettes, Byron, Health, Yetis, Foraging, Rainforests, Orchids, International Veterinary practice, and much more.

Where can we go & watch them?
Events are held at three main locations in Dorchester – Duke’s Galleries, The Corn Exchange, and Thomas Hardye School Theatre. Our website www.dorchesterliteraryfestival.com has all the details.

Who is the Dorchester Literary Festival aimed at?
Anyone and everyone – we deliberately choose as varied a programme as possible so there’s something for everyone, whatever their interests.

Who are you most looking forward to watching or meeting? Will you get a chance to go to all the events?
I don’t see them all as I’m usually rushing about although I see snippets of most. This year I am really excited about the incredible Tara Westover, who was raised in a Mormon family, didn’t go to school till her late teens, yet managed to get to Cambridge – Her book Educated is a wonderful memoir and she’s only 29. The book was a best seller, book of the week on Radio 4, Barrack Obama has tweeted about her - and she’s coming to Dorchester!

Have you been to any other Literary Festival’s this year?
No – I’ve been too busy sorting out the Dorchester Festival and moving house, but I love Appledore in Devon, it’s in a really beautiful location.

And what book are you currently reading? And which one of the authors coming to the DLF are you most looking to read?
I’m reading Dr Dawn Harper’s book Live Well to 101 and trying to take the advice on board! I’m going to read more Lisa Jewell, she’s one of our featured crime writers - her books are real page turners!

Finally, where can we buy tickets from?
You can buy online from the website www.dorchesterliteraryfestival.com or from Dorchester Tourist Information Centre in Dorchester Library. Tickets are £10 or three for £25.

04 September 2018

Part 3: HiHo Silver - Style, Skills & Silver with Emma Warren

Last but not least in this 3 part interview series, is the lovely Emma Warren who is MD at HiHo Silver & the brains behind the Style, Skills & Silver event. She is also the one who’s behind the HiHo Silver Instagram handle & is always so responsive & witty in her responses.

Thank you Emma for coming on Country Bumpkin Chic, please can you give the readers an overview of your role at HiHo Silver.
Well, we’re a small team so we all have to be multi-talented and turn our hands to most things. In the main, I tend to be the one who is working on brand development with Rhea Freeman, some designing, a bit of donkeywork and a lot of social media!

03 September 2018

Part 2: HiHo Style, Skills & Silver with Melanie from Mackenzie & George

Tonight we go behind the scenes of the HiHo Silver Style, Skills & Silver event with British accessories owner Melanie Clarihew from Mackenzie & George, who will be hosting one of the Style sessions.

Hey Melanie, thanks for finding time between preparations for a busy Burghley Horse Trials to get involved in the 3 part series of interviews on HiHo Silver's inaugural Style, Skills & Silver event.

02 September 2018

Part 1: HiHo Style, Skills & Silver with Rhea Freeman

It’s not often that an event pops up in your newsfeed that makes you reach for the credit card straight away. But when British equestrian jeweller HiHo Silver launched tickets for their Style, Skills & Silver event in the Cotswolds, I knew I had to go & be part of the day on 6th September.

With only 4 nights to go until we all meet at The Fish Hotel in the beautiful Cotswolds I wanted to get an insight into what the day will hold, & caught up with a few of the team behind the inaugural Style, Skills & Silver event. First up on the blog is equestrian PR & marketing guru Rhea Freeman who will be hosting one of the Skills sessions.

26 August 2018

Interview with Katy Howell from Bayside Bakery

For those who follow me over on Instagram @becky_wren will know that I posted some very yummy photos of brownies from the Dorset Food & Arts Festival earlier in August after discovering the Bayside Bakery stand. And let me tell you, they didn’t last long!

I love supporting local businesses, especially the edible ones, so was thrilled when Katy from Bayside Bakery agreed to be interviewed for the Country Bumpkin Chic blog.

Hey Katy, thank you so much for agreeing to appear on the CBC blog to chat about Bayside Bakery…
You’re welcome, it’s always nice to talk about chocolate brownies!

19 August 2018

Interview: Jez Culley on Paddleboard Yoga

Fellow Country Bumpkin Chic followers will know I’ve blogged about one of my fave passions SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) a few times. Living near the coast, SUP is a sport/hobby that is growing rapidly, & I was so excited when Jez Culley from Helios Colour Yoga started running paddleboarding & yoga on the Kingston Maurward College lake last year. It’s so therapeutic and surreal to be striking a pose with swans swimming by.