Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

When I was a teenager there was a brilliant television adaptation of John Wyndham’s post-apocalyptic novel, Day of the Triffids. Thanks to the wonders of the Web and the BBC I was able to sit down and watch the 1981 series in one afternoon. It stars John Duttine as Bill Masen who is the main protagonist and narrator of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The novel was written in 1951, only a few years after the end of the Second World War and before the end of the period of austerity imposed during the war. In this context some of the themes of the novel become clearer: The idea of the destruction of humanity, by weapons or a terrible accident; Dealing with shortages of food and other related themes.

The production values don’t match up to the amount spent on today’s drama but the story telling is very faithful to the original story. Quite a relief when you see how badly some movies get chopped about in the name of entertainment. Overall it is rather a bleak story and the fact that it is possible to have produced it without fabricating a happy ending is a good thing.

I thoroughly recommend the book and if you feel inspired then watch the drama unfold 1981 style.

Day of the Triffids – SeeSaw

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The First Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2010

Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2010

The First Stoke Newington Literary Festival begins on Friday 4th June and promises to be a really high powered event. It’s very exciting to live in an area where events like this happen.

Stoke Newington has a long history of links to famous writers. Daniel Defoe is remembered with a street to his name just off Stoke Newington Church Street. Other famous writers include Joseph Conrad, Anna Sewell and Edgar Allen Poe. There are many more to add to the list.

The events start on Friday 4th June kicked off at the newly refurbished Assembly Rooms on Church Street by Diane Abbott MP. There is an event packed weekend ahead with plenty of organised events happening.

There will be many well known authors and presenters present and there is plenty of scope to learn more about the craft of writing. There are three workshops set up to help writers, aspiring and experienced, to hone their skills.

If you’re new to Stoke Newington there are plenty of excellent pubs, bistros, cafes and eateries along Church Street. Clissold Park is having lots of work done at the moment to make it even more lovely but there’s usually space to sit under a tree with a book and a coffee and snack from the Spence.

There aren’t any literary events for children this year but it is the first so I hope that they will be catered for next year.

Update via Twitter:

@StokeyLitFest @bookmeme Storytelling with Secret Seed Society on Sat 11-2 at farmers market, then more at Bookshop on Sunday from 2pm.

I’d love to see something like a Readathon in the park or some illustrators doing outdoor classes for children. My son is an avid reader and artist.

The festival has been organised by Liz Vater, Jo Adams of Stoke Newington Books and Anne Beech of Pluto Press.

Many of the events are ticket only so check the official website for details.

It’s going to be a brilliant event, have a great time and good luck to the organisers and participants. I guess the Spence is going to be busier than ever this weekend!