london pop up festival
Today’s the Fourth of July and as I was hurrying off this morning to my event at the Pop Up Festival of Stories, there must have been some strange current in the troposphere because my nice floaty dress decided to celebrate its own Independence Day by defying gravity. Repeatedly, incessantly. Sometimes in a big swoosh into the air, and sometimes going aloft in an upward step-by-step crawl.
It would have carried me up and away over this fine city had I not remembered the advice of my trusty friend Bridget, who said she’d sewn pennies into the hem of her skirt. At the time, I thought she was joking, but this morning it seemed very sound advice, indeed, and since I didn’t have time to run home and change, I dashed into a chemist, bought some surgical tape, borrowed some scissors and did the deed with about ten pennies (including a few American coins, which for some reason I never seem to be able to clear out of my bag), while people in the shop looked at me quizzically. A little peek at my handiwork while on the train:
I was a bit worried the humidity might suddenly make the tape go unsticky all at once and rain down a shower of pennies during my events, but fortunately this disaster passed me by. You’d never know, would you? Look at that illustrator, so calm and collected…
I was so impressed with myself that I spoiled the mystique by showing all the kids my nifty little penny trick. I somehow don’t think they were as moved by it as I was. But they drew some very good monsters, here’s one of them. It’s not the scariest or the most detailed, but I think it’s a very pleasing shape. Thanks for all your help and for hosting us, Holborn Library staff! We had two school groups come through, from Christopher Hatton and St Joseph’s primaries.
Here’s lovely Dylan Calder, the director who set up the festival and has been one of the busiest people in London these last few days, keeping the whole massive event running over a huge number of sites, which will culminate in a huge festival this weekend at Coram’s Fields. Have a look at the Pop Up Festival programme, and you can go see a host of amazing creators – Fiona Dunbar, Candy Gourlay, Geraldine McCaughrean, Philip Ardagh, Axel Scheffler, Chris Priestley, Catherine Johnson, Michael Rosen, James Mayhew and others – and join them in fab activities. You can follow Pop Up here on Twitter and click through a slideshow of events so far in their photo album.
And thanks for the coffee, Dylan! I’m making a note to go back to Bea’s of Bloomsbury, 44 Theobalds Road, and try one of their macaroons.