What a treat to get to listen to much loved children’s author and illustrator Judith Kerr talk about her life and work at this year’s Mountains to Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire! From her early childhood in Germany to the family’s flight to Switzerland just as Hitler took power, to their move to Paris before the family decided to settle in London. Despite all the moves and changes over those childhood years, all Judith wanted to do was draw and draw. She ended up studying textile design in London.
Her first stories were inspired by her own children and she wrote ‘The Tiger who came to Tea’ for her daughter. Stories about Mog, their family cat, soon followed. The ‘Mog’ stories like ‘The Tiger who came to Tea’ becoming classics, read by generations of children all over the world.’ Her novel, ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ was inspired by her own childhood during the Second World War.
As she talked with her editor, Ian Craig, we were treated to her wonderful art work. At 93 she is still writing and creating books which include ‘My Henry’ (about her and her late husband) and ‘The Great Granny Gang’. It was wonderful to see that creativity is both timeless and ageless, and Judith certainly inspired all of us in the audience.
It was great to meet up with Joanna Trollope. She talked to a packed audience with great honesty about her life as a writer and theme of her new book ‘City of Friends,’ which explores the working lives of women.
A discussion on Brexit chaired by journalist David Murphy with economics expert David McWilliams, journalist Martina Devlin and historian and lecturer Diarmaid Ferriter certainly provided lively views on what may or may not lie ahead for Ireland in the coming years as Brexit finally is triggered.
This year, as ever, Mountains to Sea provided a rich array of different events for festival goers to enjoy.
Thanks to all those who organised and planned the Festival programme.