Every week BAR­BARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talk­ing. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­

Harefield Gazette - - YOUR SAY -

WELL DONE to all those in­volved in Cul­ture Bite, the ex­cel­lent Arts and Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val which ends on Tues­day.

A mind-bog­gling range of ac­tiv­i­ties have been held in our li­braries, the­atres, parks and adult ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres. It has in­cluded au­thor talks, Bol­ly­wood danc­ing and art classes.

There was even a Girls on Tour Af­ter­noon Tea, with five suc­cess­ful fe­male au­thors shar­ing their thoughts – and pre­sum­ably cakes – which sounded right up my street. Sadly, I was oth­er­wise en­gaged.

I did how­ever did get to hear Jeanette Win­ter­son, the au­thor of Or­anges Are Not the Only Fruit, at the Com­pass The­atre. She was an ex­cel­lent speaker, talk­ing on the Re­for­ma­tion of Mar­riage. Five hun­dred years since Eng­land broke away from the Catholic Church she imag­ined an­other re­for­ma­tion: the ‘tra­di­tional union of hu­man be­ings’.

She was un­flinch­ing in ques­tion time – noth­ing was out of bounds. There was a wide and lively dis­cus­sion. Be­fore ar­riv­ing, she had asked whether there would be a rov­ing mi­cro­phone. She said she was told: “Oh no – in Hilling­don we shout!”

I asked her (loudly) about re­cent re­ports that pornog­ra­phy is dam­ag­ing how boys view girls, and she said yes, like many of us, she was con­cerned that young chil­dren were get­ting their sex ed­u­ca­tion this way, which sadly ex­cluded love and affection, vi­tal in any re­la­tion­ship.

Please Hilling­don Coun­cil, con­tinue to or­gan­ise Cul­ture Bite. Next year I’m ar­rang­ing my di­ary around it.

If you missed Vic­to­ria and Ab­dul at the cin­ema it’s not too late, as The Beck The­atre in Hayes is show­ing it on Mon­day Novem­ber 13 at 7.30pm. It’s many years since I’ve gone to the cin­ema twice to see the same film but this one im­pressed me that much. It is poignant – sur­pris­ingly funny in parts – and beau­ti­fully shot.

Bm@il Good Ser­vice Awards this week go to (roll of drums) … the po­lite and help­ful work­ers at the Civic Amenity Site in Hare­field, and at The Alder­bourne Unit at Hilling­don Hospi­tal. Both in­sti­tu­tions have been com­mended for their staff ’s wel­com­ing at­ti­tude, in­clud­ing giv­ing of­fers of help, with­out be­ing asked.

The wooden spoon goes to the id­iots who van­dalised the new pond in front of the vis­i­tors’ cen­tre at Cran­ford Park in Hayes, which was cre­ated by vol­un­teers.

Not nearly the same level of aw­ful­ness, but a wooden tea­spoon to all the shops that gave me old £1 coins in my change, the day be­fore they ceased to be le­gal ten­der!

Cul­ture bite: Bar­bara saw au­thor Jeanette Win­ter­son at the Com­pass The­atre, Ick­en­ham, as part of the Hilling­don Arts and Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val

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