Saturday, September 15, 2007

Eden Mills

Stephen signing books at Eden Mills
It's one week since the Eden Mills Writers Festival at the Hamlet of Eden Mills. For the first time, I saw the opening ceremony and not just a poster of it. I saw the sunshade bearers holding up their fanciful umbrellas in mustard yellow and red following the Mayor/ town crier who rang his bell every few steps or so. And of course we applauded the speeches given in the car park of the community centre.
The reason I actually saw the opening was because I was in Eden Mills early to attend church, on the invitation of Dr. Mary Rogers who subsequently hosted my books and me at the church tent, set up for the festival. It was a moist grey day and chilly. It reminded me of the UK. But I was in a great mood because Maureen had accompanied me. Where Maureen goes, adventure follows. Our day was eventful in many small ways but I must make a note of the readings we heard.
The first reading was by Stephen Henighan, writer, professor of Spanish literature and my friend. He read from "A Grave in the Sky" which will be launched in Guelph on September 25th. Last year Stephen and I listened to Sandra Sabattini and Margaret Attwood read from the same lectern at "The Common." Incidentally they all read short stories. Is that telling me to try short stories next, hmmm....
Later on I listened to Lawrence Hill read at "The Mill" from "The Book of Negroes". I had missed his reading at Waterloo earlier in the year, although I later bought the signed book from Wordsworth, the book store. I heard another reader whose famous name I can't remember, and finally I heard Edeet Ravel, my friend and writer read from one of her Pauline books at "The Mill". This year, for the first time, I missed out on the Jenny's Place readings for children. However, I stopped opposite Jenny's place to say hello, to Renna Bruce who writes the Jazlyn J series. I bought two of her books and had my caricature done by Robin Oakes, cartoonist/illustrator.
More or less that was my day at Eden Mills, except I met Chris Wilson, Janet Ragan, Jo Ellen Bogart and Eddie, singer songwriter, Bea, dancer, and Evelyn, who has a road named after her family in Eden Mills. I also met Nathan and Zadok, two dogs, and Malachi and Hannah, two cats and Elizabeth and Donna two women who shared the tent with us. I ate Rice Masala at the Bombay Cafe stand and begged Maureen for some of her butter chicken, but the coffee run out, which wasn't good on a moist chilly day. There were friends and laughter and hugs and weatherproof jackets and as usual I enjoyed my day at Eden Mills.

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