FIRST DAY JITTERS - MAR 25 - 07.56am

So here it is… the first morning of the first day of nine whole days of the Oxford International Literary Festival (2017 to be precise in case you’re reading this far into the future)  and I as always feel a little anxious.
Naturally that’s a good “anxious” as opposed to the more common fretting, stomach-clenching type because I always wonder if I’ll have the stamina to enjoy every highlight. And goodness knows there are are enough of them this year, with my personal favourite being today at 12.00 noon.
Lionel Shriver, THE Lionel Shriver that is who wrote ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ (subsequently made into a film starring Tilda Swindon).
Truth is, for at least a week I thought Lionel was a man but then in fairness but for years I thought Ira Levin was a gal.
Most of all I’m looking forward to see Lionel smile; in all her publicity shots she always look deadly grim and serious. So much so in fact that I googled her last night just to see if she really is human like the rest of us and…phew, she is.
I suppose the severe and austere look is more in keeping with her writing style but I like her happy face more. Regardless, bleak or ecstatic, Ms Shriver is my poster girl for the festival.
And talking of poster girls, Olympian gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill is appearing at the Sheldonian at the exact same time so Ms Shriver will sadly be short but sweet for me.
First however, it’s Roger Penrose, also at the Sheldonian, debating ‘Fashion, Faith and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe’.
As I’ve missed breakfast, it’ll make a nice a literary substitute for eggs and bacon