I’m sitting here preparing my article about today’s visit to the Edinburgh Book Festival for The Mumble, the up-and-coming site where reviews of artistic events in Edinburgh, and increasingly more widely in Scotland, are posted/blogged. Part of the preparation is downloading the day’s photos, and I’ve found that as well as illustrations for that article, I have sufficient pictures for a photo-blog entry, so that’s what I’m going to present here. So, the Edinburgh Book Festival is all about…
Kudos. I’m a regular attender of the Book Festival, and have been for some time, but this is the first time I have ever attended as a hard-working journalist rather than in my other role as a literary agent. But this time, with The Mumble out to make its mark and with myself as one of its new team of reviewers, I have ‘Media Accreditation’. This means I get to walk around with a name-badge hanging round my neck, looking like I belong there.
The Book Festival attracts a wide range of people from literary and public life. Perhaps one of the biggest draws in 2014 was George R R Martin. Tickets for his two appearances were sold out within minutes of the Box Office opening several weeks ago. The popularity of his A Song of Ice and Fire series has been enhanced by television’s Game of Thrones which of course is based on it. The most remarkable thing about the series, to my mind, is the way the author has sustained its narrative impetus. Now, though, even he says the TV version is catching up with his books at too fast a rate!
Other ‘names’ in this year’s festival include Carol Ann Duffy, Tony Parsons, Jack Monroe, Alexander McCall Smith, Roy Hattersley, James Naughtie, Seumas Milne, Paul Muldoon, and Billy Collins, to name only a few. It’s likely that a lot of the tickets have been sold, but maybe… just maybe… there might be a few returns? Who knows. It is well worth trying your luck.
The House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha provides a stern, mounted presence, complete with an impromptu seagull…
Sitting in the sun.
Damo! Seriously, it wouldn’t be a visit to Edinburgh if I didn’t manage to meet up with Damo Bullen, grafted-on son of Edinburgh, prolific poet, and brains behind The Mumble.
‘Glory be to God for dappled things…’
Doing brisk business. The Festival staff were kept busy in their various roles…
Ice Cream. Di Rollo’s tricycle-mounted stall was on site again today, and their ice cream is delicious. I spoke to the owner of this family business, who was glad about the warmth and sunshine today. Some of the preceding days had been wet, and the visitors’ appetite for ice cream had been at a low.
Queuing. It’s traditional. This one stretched right the way round the Square. I kid you not.
Now, there was something else… what was it? Ah yes – Books! We can’t ignore the main purpose of the whole festival, its raison d’être, and the centre of attraction, can we.
Books were, and always will be, the driver here at Charlotte Square. Rows of them, stacks of them, poems from Burns to Bukowski, novels, non-fiction, children’s, literary, light – books, books, and more books.
Room for one more?
Nae chance, pal! Find yer ain royal heid tae sit on!