Orange Prize Readers' Day

I just got back from this event in town today. My main incentive in turning up was the goody bag that they said you'd get, but free stuff aside, it was a good afternoon. They had eight authors on their panel, interviewed in pairs by Kate Mosse, and there was free tea and coffee, so combined with the goody bag (free Harpers, two free books, a variety of fliers, a little pack with two Haribo sweets in it, and the bag itself) I was pretty pleased.

The best bit, though, was the clock they had up on the wall. The talks were to wrap up at four twenty, so Kate Mosse announced that at four o'clock all the authors would come on stage at once for a final blast of questions from the audience. So coming up to four, people were staring to glance up at the clock on the wall. And at the stroke of four, the clock completely lost the run of itself and started going round and round and round in crazy fast forward. Kate Mosse did a massive double-take, and hundreds of people were gaping up at the little hands as they whizzed around, poking each other and giggling, or looking extremely freaked out. The girl beside me, who seemed to be a student at the Conservatoire, which was hosting the event, had her head in her hands and kept muttering, it does this every day at four, it'll stop at three minutes past. So the hands twirled and twirled through a whole twelve hours, and jerked to a halt at exactly three minutes past four. It was brilliant. Best clock ever.


Nik Perring said...

Wow! Wish I could have been there! :)

Valerie O'Riordan said...

You would have nicely supplanted the meagre turnout of men, Nik! There was about five men and three hundred women. And those of us under fifty were in the minority!

Nik Perring said...

Let me know next time and I'll see what I can do! :)