My Greenbelt talk is still way too long. I think I'm going to have to cut references to the original series of Doctor Who down to a sixty-second mention, just to remind people that there was such a thing. Even then there's some decent material on the new series that I'm going to have to drop.
It's frustrating that the original plan, of doing one session on Old and one on New Who, had to be ditched. Admittedly it forces me to be ruthless, which is good -- but so far I've been struggling to get through my practice runs in 50 minutes, which (taking into account shuffling-in-and-out time for the audience) leaves no time at all for questions at the end.
It seems that the venue has shifted location this year, away from the central "Festival Village" area and into the fringes of the campsite, apparently along with several of the other seminar venues. Supposedly this is part of a general scheme to try to prevent talks being disrupted by loud music and / or D.J.ing from the other venues, which is in itself a pretty good idea, as that's often been pretty distracting for audiences and speakers alike. Whether the new configuration results in the seminars being less well-attended remains to be seen, but it's probably worth trying for the one year at least.
I'm looking forward hugely to this year's festival, although this is tempered by having to be back at work for the next three days (and therefore being unable to arrive in Cheltenham until mid-evening on Friday, grr). For some reason the upper echelons at St Brad's are of the opinion that making students come and enrol the moment their G.C.S.E. results arrive, will give the college a competitive edge... rather than, as seems rather more realistic, pissing off all their prospective registrants royally.
It certainly pisses off their staff, many of whom feel quite strongly that they should be entitled to have the time up to the August Bank Holiday off, even if they were expected back straight afterwards. And, as I've said before, this summer holiday has been hopelessly unproductive as far as writing's gone, to the extent that even getting the talk written feels like something of a triumph. So I'm actually feeling rather annoyed and unfulfilled, except when actively looking forward to Greenbelt.
Still, never mind. The weekend will, I'm sure, be fab, intensive workload and all.
I may not get the chance to update here again before I go, in which case the next things you'll see here will be the links I'll be putting up to my three-day festival blog at surefish. Enjoy.