When perusing the fantastic lineup for this year’s Bath Literature Festival I was very excited to see that our very own Queen of Shops, Mary Portas, would be attending to speak about her new memoir, Shop Girl. I really love Mary Portas (and her sassy bob) so naturally when I was invited by the Bath Literature Festival to attend a couple of their events this was right at the top of my wishlist! Thankfully, despite being completely sold out and with a waiting list, they managed to squeeze myself and Kelly into the packed Banqueting Room at the beautiful Guildhall.
I can now, with some authority, confirm that the official cut off point for being fashionably late is a measly three minutes as it was at 11.03 at which Mary graced the stage to begin an enthralling 60 minute discussion with the wonderful Viv Groskop. Mary spoke about what inspired her to write her memoirs (we can thank Kirsty Young) and discussed some of the more difficult chapters of her life and how they helped to shape the person she has become today. The importance of the high street, her belief that M&S needs a woman at the top and Ed Milliband’s inability to close a gate properly were all covered, along with the opportunity to address recent stories about her family in the papers. It was an incredibly inspiring and at times moving discussion during which Mary spoke with great humour, intelligence and eloquence. She really is fantastic!
There was a book signing straight after the talk and, high on Mary Portas vibes, Kelly and I decided to join the masses and queue for a signature! We had both already bought the book after falling in love with the cover (that’s a totally acceptable way to judge a book, OK) so it was nice to be able to get them signed. Mary was just as lovely in person and even complimented our outfits and hair, much to our relief! We obviously couldn’t help but get a cheeky photo too!