Tag Archives: Cheltenham

Transported: By Commuter Tales

Man sitting opposite: six weeks of train travel he says in a type of weary exasperation. I’ve been doing it for four years I reply. I then have to take out my headphones as he tells me about his shoulder. He’s been on a cycling trip to Wales with a friend, his friend slammed into a gate and he fell after hitting his friend’s bike. His shoulder was compressed and there were various injuries to do with ligaments etc and he is now attending physiotherapy sessions. He’s thinking of going private because the once fortnightly appointment on the NHS is not enough.

The 1652 on the way back to Bristol: A commuter’s husband manages a car rental place. He frequently changes cars and their friends say they never know in which car he will turn up. They also get cheap petrol. Much shaking of head and mirth.

A quiet zone carriage on the 1752 from Cheltenham: The carriage is full and one man is talking on his phone somewhere towards the back. I sit near the middle on the right side by the aisle. At Bristol Parkway the people from one of the tables get out and a young woman not yet in her twenties walks in and sits down while still talking on her phone. A minute or so later a much older woman stands up and is practically shaking. She proceeds to yell at the young girl who looks much bigger than her in stature and to threaten her with ‘if you were a man I’d punch you in the face, no one else is talking on this carriage. I have travelled all the way from Manchester and no one has talked the whole time’. The girl looked up at her then went straight back to her conversation with barely a pause. She seemed most unperturbed but the older woman was so angry she packed her bags and moved to sit elsewhere. I didn’t think it was the right time for me to mention the guy chatting at the back of the quiet zone.

On the bus in Cheltenham around 8am: A woman sitting at the front of the bus leans across to steady herself on the rail across the passageway. She’s in her 50s, wearing a vest and a woolly jumper, has a slightly ruddy complexion and short grey hair. I wonder why she’s leaning but think nothing of it until she takes out a bottle of white wine and drinks some before putting it away in her shopping bag.

The 0730 from Bristol: The king of commuters (unofficially) has been making the journey from Parkway to Cheltenham for 19 years. He has a law practice and has recently been trying out a fold-up bike. He doesn’t have it with him today and I ask how it’s going. He tells me that on his way to work the saddle had slipped, the pedal had fallen off and his leg had been impaled on the latter. He has taken photographs and is ready to sue.

Temple Meads

Guillermo Del Toro, Cancelled

For those who booked a ticket to see Guillermo del Toro at 7pm on Friday 8 October at the Cheltenham Literature Festival you are about to be disappointed.

Guillermo del Toro is unable to attend as he has cancelled his planned trip to the UK and is no longer intending to visit Europe over the next few weeks.

If you have a ticket then please contact the Box Office for a refund or exchange your session for a different one. There are many to choose from.

You can buy tickets and browse through all the sessions at http://cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/.

Cheltenham Literature Festival: Derren Brown

I recently wrote about some star appearances at the Cheltenham Literature festival and now there are three more additions. Derren Brown, Simon Pegg and Maureen Lipman have all confirmed their appearances and their tickets are sure to sell out very quickly.

Derren Brown, 9 October, 8.30-9.30pm.
The conjuror and illusionist extraordinaire presents his brilliant and hilarious Confessions of a Conjuror. Find out how his weird and wonderful mind works as he discusses his obsession with magic and the amazing journey that is his life so far.
Demand is meant to be high- Tickets are £13.

Simon Pegg, 17 October, 7.45-8.45pm

Actor Simon Pegg joins the Festival to discuss his brand-new autobiography, Nerd Do Well, a joyous tale of a home-grown superstar (from Gloucestershire) and a local boy made good.
Tickets are £17

Maureen Lipman, 17 October, 4-5pm
Actress, author and Festival favourite Maureen Lipman returns to Cheltenham to present a one-woman show featuring monologues and sharply-observed episodes from I Must Collect Myself, her new book.
Tickets are £7.

PS I have already booked tickets for Derren Brown so if you’re going I’ll see you there.

Cheltenham Literature Festival, Meeting The Stars

The annual Cheltenham Literature Festival is bringing the stars to this South West town for the 61st time in 2010. Between 8 and 17 October, the likes of Michael Parkinson, Antonio Carluccio and Alexei Sayle will be wandering the streets and settling for an hour or so to talk about their latest work. The theme this year is Dreams and Nightmares and my suitably favourite event is Guillermo Del Toro discussing his new novel The Fall on Friday October 8. Tickets are £7 and the session is on between 7 and 8pm.

Some other eagerly anticipated sessions include Mark Kermode, Melvyn Bragg, James Ellroy, Hanif Kureishi, Alexander McCall Smith, Sue Townsend, Michael Caine and Jo Brand.

You can buy tickets and browse through all the sessions at http://cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/.