John showed me up to the blue room in the Masters lodgings, where I was to spend the night. It was a boiling hot day and the sun streamed in through the ancient windows which looked out over the chapel and the Alington Room where I was to give my lecture later that evening. I looked through my notes and tried to calm my nerves. I had been asked to talk about the relationship between the central characters and also about my lyric writing and how I came to write POSSESSED. I had made copious notes but decided to just talk and play some of the songs from the Oxford Playhouse performance.
I was greeted by champagne on the lawn and John introduced me to Pat Miller and the rest of the academics who were running the summer programme. The students were swanning about drinking champagne too. They were mostly Juniors, but in the States this means they had completed their first two years of University and had another two to go.
The Alington room was a beautiful old paneled dining room. We had a fabulous supper and I chatted to the students near me who were all very bright and rather excited. Eventually it was time and John introduced me. Once the wave of nerves had left, I found myself flying through the story that had captivated me for so long. There was so much to tell, I could have talked all night, but this was only an after dinner talk and all I could do was skim the surface. I did manage to play some of the songs, and then we had questions outside. The questions were extremely thoughtful and I particularly enjoyed this part of the evening.
John and Pat and the students were so enthusiastic and hospitable. It was a fabulous evening!