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Saturday, August 24, 2002

There's a review of SHAMBLES over at Locus Online: Reviews by Nick Gevers. (If he thinks that anyone can command Gene Wolfe to write anything... shakes head wonderingly, and grins...)

As of this morning, the computer works. I supose the last of the tea dried out from the hard drive (or something equally technical).

So here's a few days from a week ago:

Edinburgh, which is a beautiful city, has a festival � theatre, comedy, film and books, among other things. The book festival is in a square, filled with huge tents, pods and even a yurt. My first event on the Saturday � the 17th � was in the Consignia Theatre, a huge enclosure a bit like a circus tent. I sat, did a reading, was interviewed, answered questions. It was filmed by the BBC, and flies entertained themselves by dying under the spotlights � first they fell into my waterglass, then all over the table, and finally one flew into my eye. Once the event was over I did a signing (I had the most people in my signing line of anyone at the festival, I was told afterward). Then in the evening I did another event, reading from and talking about favourite children�s books, with writer-artist Harry Horse and writer Celia Rees. That the three of us and the moderator all seemed to have been given a different briefing for the event meant that it was a bit of a jumble, but a very nice jumble. Harry Horse brought along J. P. Martin�s UNCLE, a book that I love. I read from GRIMBLE and from THE LAND OF GREEN GINGER.. Heading out to dinner I found Oliver Morton, who had come up to interview James Lovelock, and talked him into coming out for Thai food with us (authors and Bloomsbury people).

Sunday it rained in an Edinburgh sort of way, grey and persistent, and the tents were almost afloat. I saw a yellow rubber duck floating in a puddle. The authors� yurt was damp and squashy underfoot, and the Press Pod was now, they said, the Press Pond. Interviewed by BBC2 in a nearby caf� rather than out in the blazing sunshine which was mysteriously absent due to the rain. Then I was interviewed in front of a crowd in the �children�s tent� by journalist Anne Johnstone, who had done a lovely smart piece about me in the Daily Herald the day before. It was a long, foodless day, and I was overjoyed to get back to the hotel for dinner with Lucy and Colette from Bloomsbury that evening. Then the fire alarm sounded and they threw us all out into the street, and it was a good hour until they let us back in again. Ate. Did e-mail. Slept.

Then flew to Dublin, early Monday morning, and opened my computer. Typed the first paragraph of this, before being handed a cup of tea by the flight attendant. One tiny air-pocket jolt later, and I had no computer for the week, which may not have been a bad thing really, as it probably brought me a little extra sleep at a time when there was not a lot of sleeping time around, despite adding to everyone�s stress, including mine.

Dublin was wonderful � swirled from pillar to post, until it all turned in to one huge interview done by a many-faced interviewer, whose name was Donald or Gerry or Anna or Mark and who had read Coraline and wanted to know things. Fun signing for about 150 people � a lot more than they expect to see in Dublin on a Monday night.

MORE TO COME --


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