Mistakenly, given my temperament and my knees, I had opted to camp, albeit in a motor vehicle rather than under canvas. Making my way through the site to literature HQ, I heard a couple of young guys catching sight of a chum. “Hey!” they chirped. “Sweet tent, man! Where’d you get it?” “Harrods,” came the reply.
I will fast-forward you through the rest of the day: the novelists and poets I interviewed were all terrific, and played to a lusty crowd, if smaller than that for the “Gin tasting while playing a ukulele” workshop. Native American headdress count: high. Cost to spend a weekend here: higher. Most surreal moment: spotting John Lanchester wandering through the guy ropes. Departure of your literary correspondent: as soon as possible. Highlight (apart from the writers, of course): the moment when my long-suffering pal and I, having escaped, spotted a municipal leisure centre and flung ourselves sweatily into its pool. That night we pulled up in the chocolate box village of Bourton-on-the-Water, got drunk in a pub and slept in the local car park. Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty we were not. MORE