The 2010 Buxton Festival season has begun. It opened with an opera last night – Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi; we didn’t go but are being taken by some friends next week which is a treat to look forward to.
The festival for us therefore started this morning with a most stimulating, interesting and amusing ‘conversation’ between Matthew Parris and ‘the Three Explorers’, Ranulph Fiennes, Robin Hanbury-Tennison and John Hare.
The Festival programme explains:
Ranulph Fiennes is holder of several endurance records and the first man to reach both Poles by surface travel. Explorer and conservationist Robin Hanbury-Tenison has been on over 30 expeditions, and spearheaded the international concern for tropical rainforests. Founder of the Wild Camel Protection Foundation, John Hare was the first European to travel into the wildest parts of the Chinese Gobi desert.
The very entertaining hour of ‘conversation’ mostly involved their answering some excellent questions from the floor. Matthew Parris was hoping to discover what motivates men to tackle some of the most physically demanding journeys in some of the world’s most inhospitable regions.
If I can dare to sum up, the answers were: excitement, relishing a certain level of danger, scientific research and seeking to find out more about – and to protect – endangered and rare species and indeed the climate.
All three of the guests were extremely entertaining, very quick and amusing and not in the slightest arrogant about their successes and physical triumphs; not surprisingly Matthew Parris very ably managed, as always, to get the best out of everyone, including the audience.
One of the lovely things about the Buxton Festival is the atmosphere and the intimacy: the Opera House is small by modern standards. I can’t find out the exact number it seats but it must be in the very low hundreds. The excitement is infectious, the guest speakers are always very approachable; this morning – as always – we almost felt we knew our speakers at the end of the hour.
After the event his morning many of us, including Matthew Parris, sat at tables outside the pub opposite the Opera House, enjoying a coffee or beer while the three explorers signed books for a long queue of people anxious also to have a quick word with the authors.
And now we look forward to Alastair Sawday talking tomorrow, not about holiday destinations or ‘Special Escape’ self-catering cottages but about ‘Slow Food Britain’ and the global food crisis…
We have recently as a business joined Friends of the Peak. This charity is run and managed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and its aim is to safeguard the landscapes of Britain’s first and most beautiful national park. They challenge and campaign against developments that threaten the Peak District’s beauty and tranquillity.They […]
Tom’s Barn and Douglas’s Barn have been closed this week for a complete repaint and spring clean. The painters have already completed Douglas’s Barn and Janet and Louise have worked their magic to get it all spruced up and ready for business again. Tom’s Barn will be open again next Friday and Douglas’s is available […]
Happy new year to everyone, hoping it is going to be a good one! We have nearly completed our 1st year here at Tom’s Barn and Douglas’s Barn and what a great year it has been. Met some lovely people, lovely well behaved dogs and a few beautiful babies. Looking forward to the coming year […]