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Why can't we be more like the French?

It used to be the case that August at Four Colman Getty had a slightly calmer feel to it than much of the rest of the year; it was a good time to catch up and prepare for the onslaught of the Autumn.

I’m not the only person to have noticed a difference this year. The last few weeks have passed in a whirl of activity: new business discussions alongside exciting current client projects. Why, I wonder, can’t we be more like the French and just take the whole month off?

But on the other hand we have lots of good news to report as a result of all that unexpected activity.

First off we have won a significant new commission from Coventry in the form of RISING, a new Global Peace Forum delivered through a partnership between Coventry City Council, Coventry University and Coventry Cathedral. Coinciding with both Armistice Day and the 75th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz on 14 November 1940, it’s set to cement Coventry as an international centre for peace and reconciliation.

Every bit as exciting is the news that we’re going to be working with Amanda Foreman whose four part BBC Two series, The Ascent of Woman, launches on 2 September. The Ascent of Woman charts the role of women in society over the course of 10,000 years. The programme will be available on iPlayer.

Our digital team has been hard at work on the Man Booker Prize as we glide from the longlist through to the shortlist announcement on 15 September. This year for the first time we’ve been working with a team of super young vloggers who will be posting vlogs (video blogs) as they read and debate their way through this year’s contenders. This innovative new venture, coupled with the newly-introduced Man Booker Prize podcast series, has resulted in a 24% increase in website sessions at longlist stage compared to last year, a phenomenal increase.

If you’re planning to be in London over the Bank Holiday, do take a trip to the Bankside Gallery in Hopton Street to see Unfinished Portrait: A Life in Photographs, a free exhibition celebrating the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth.

You may already have read about the show which features many unpublished photographs from the Christie Archive and beautifully captures her life from early childhood. It seems that the Queen of Crime was a thoroughly modern woman who enjoyed surfing, roller skating and adventure so it’s well worth a look – and fun to see while Partners in Crime continues to attract record audiences on the BBC every Sunday night.

The month rounded off nicely too, with a lovely Man Booker International event at the Edinburgh Book Festival with Marina Warner in the chair. I’ll be back with more news next month.

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