May 10th, 2005


belfast photo-story

lonely mannequins lonely mannequins

I stitched together the map that came with my hotel keycard and one I found in a guide to the festival (which also conveniently told me where my event was) and came up with a route. Cartoonists don't get lost, but by then I'd been walking for twenty minutes and wasn't even in the right area, and these boys looked just like I felt.

Notes: these are an excerpt of the full photostory.
the caring developers the caring developers

The Cathedral Quarter was a mass of tiny back-streets, alleyways, building sites, bagel-shops, empty properties, flypostering, random art, a parade ... and a hand-painted exclusive property development. The venue (a bar) was down a discreet alleyway opposite a burnt-out shop. I missed it twice and eventually had to approach it from behind.
nourishing breakfast nourishing breakfast

I found the pub, beer, irish style crisps and a lovely lady whose hangover was a little out of synch with her mates, leading to her awkwardly turning up a wee bit early. The promised comics club night, see, had happened the night before (along with the Will Simpson workshop, which I would also have liked to go to). It had been a good night -- most of the people I chatted to had been up until six or so -- or woken up at six with take-out matted in their hair ...
epiphany epiphany

I took a wrong turn and got funnelled the wrong way down a blind alley beside the vast gaping holes of city works and feeling ambushed, yelled bad things and kicked the barriers. As I was retracing my steps the rain stopped, the light shifted, and Andy phoned me to say they were at a bar and I should join them if I could. Sure I could, the route was right there in my head. Cartoonists, see. Don't get lost.
breakfast with the performance artist breakfast with the performance artist

Next morning, I feebly grab a table opposite the most interesting looking guy in the breakfast throng. He's with the other festival, street theatre, drives a disco taxi and tries out new routines on people late at night when he's just a regular minicab. On the way back to the airport I get suspicious over a long routine about Rhona Cameron's knickers. Is my driver also in the Festival of Fools?

Note: these are an excerpt of the full photostory.

Because I need to get away from it all for a bit. andyluke (above) has also posted his view on the event ... which strikes me as a bloody good gig with plenty of potential for similar to happen with other literary festivals. Although probably not Oxford's.