I had a great day at Cheltenham Literary Festival on Sunday. To be honest, Cheltenham is a bit of a schlepp from Cambridge, so my deal is to go there and back in a day -- and I do as many gigs as anyone wants me to fit in (provided that it includes our now traditional "How to read a Latin poem" slot, with Peter Stothard and Llew Morgan) .
This year (in reverse order) I did a lecture on Roman Laughter, we three did a session about the Epigrams of Martial (in Latin), and when I arrived I went straight into a session on "ageing" with Lynne Segal (who has just done a book on the subject) and Libby Purves. It was a rather a good-humoured and extempore event, riffing on the idea of what it was to be old.
In some ways it picked up on a series of British Academy debates I had been involved with, on the same subject. So I was ready to go with some of the questions and arguments and provocations. Why do we think it a compliment to tell someone that they look younger than they are? Isnt it actually great not to have periods ever again? (That got some of the warmest applause.)
And, in the middle of all this, I had fun meeting people -- an old student, a couple of great potential students for Classics, friends from all over the place, and (at close of play) a great group of commenters (you know who you are!).