Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Eleventh Hour

The Burning Fence Festival

It is not the passing of the years that ages a man but the surrendering of his ideals.

And as I read Tony's submission 'The Burning Fence Festival' I was reminded of the above quote. Tony's story centres around a man who was too poor to go to music festivals during his youth. In later life when he did have enough money to go it seemed that it was too uncomfortable and the that the idea of queuing for a lavatory was intolerable. The queuing is the easy bit so I've heard.

The protagonist's daughter convinces him to hold his own festival in his garden. It was interesting that no reference was made as to whether our character was discussing the subject with his son or daughter but the group all wrongly assumed he was talking to his son.

The festival is a great success and the climax to the evening is the garden fence burning down.

Linda described the story as a light read that was a gentle family piece. Rob stated that this was Tony at his wistful best. Chris thought it was pleasing writing but did have a little moan about the words 'nice' and 'nicely' as he thought they had been over-used. I was thrilled that at long last there was a climax.

The was a long debate about whether it should be 'oblivious of' or 'oblivious to'. Tony was later to clarify this will the following information. The usual preposition following this word is of (oblivious of the people around her), though to is sometimes used, especially with inanimate nouns (oblivious to the difficulties). Purists have objected to the use of oblivious to mean 'unaware', but this sense is now common and widely accepted.

Everyone agreed that the dialogue at the end of the story was excellent - both well paced and humorous. A very enjoyable piece Tony.


  1. As a life-long fan (and also the brother) of Tony Gillam, I can't wait to read The Burning Fence Festival.
    Meanwhile, on Annie's point about toilets at festivals and the intolerable queuing for a vacant loo, I can report that at the magnificent Paul McCartney concert in Hyde Park on Sunday they had open-air urinals (no screening from female eyes) which I found totally bizarre. Women happened upon them with a mixture of amusement and embarrassment.
    Anyway, best wishes to all at Severn Valley Authors from Phil of the Shrewsbury Scribblers.

  2. Thanks for your best wishes, Phil.