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Monday, August 08, 2011

Three Weddings and a Fringe

I'm in Edinburgh.

Last week Amanda and I had a sort of a family wedding-party in Skye, where much of Amanda's family is originally from, mostly so that our families could meet each other. They all came a very long way, and we were touched and impressed. Only family, no friends (except Sxip Shirey and his bandmates in the Luminescent Orchestrii, who were the "wedding" band). The party was at Clan Donald, and the people and the food were both wonderful.

It made me happy watching Amanda's white-bearded gentlemen in kilts encounter my North London Jewish relatives. At one point Amanda and I were hoisted onto chairs for a Jewish chair dance, while the bagpipes played. I do not believe this is something that has happened a lot in human history. (The piper was Amanda's cousin Hugh.)

I suspect both sides of the family think we're a bit mad, but they are happy to indulge our madness, and we were glad that they did.


Neil Gaiman's photo Saturday Night. From the seven-months-after-the-wedding Wedding Party. You can't tell that the music is bagpipes and klezmer, but it is. (Photo by my cousin Elaine Wolf.)
Neil Gaiman on WhoSay

(Here's a photo by my cousin Elaine. The actual photos were done by my cousin Elliott.)

For those keeping count, this was our third wedding: the first was the art-surprise flashmob one that Amanda astonished me with in New Orleans, the second was the real one on January the second. I think we're done now, although we've talked about having a party for friends, and we may still...

Amanda, Holly, Maddy and I are staying in a rented house in Edinburgh. I'm writing and catching up on email, Amanda is catching up on email and planning her next couple of years, and we're going to a lot of Edinburgh Fringe events.

(So far I think my favourites, of many, have been Belt Up's The Boy James and what I think was the tightest incarnation of Fascinating Aida I've seen in 28 years. Holly and Maddy both loved The Damsel in Shining Armour and Maddy also wanted me to mention how much she'd liked Sunday in the Park With George.)

Amanda and I co-edited the Scottish Big Issue's Fringe Supplement. We interviewed old friends (I talked to Iain Banks - an interview that's in The Big Issue all over the UK -- Amanda to Margaret Cho, both of us talked to Dillie Keane), we recommended things. Here's my link to Book Festivally things - http://www.bigissuescotland.com/features/view/558). And here is Amanda's guide (with occasional interpolations from me) to more theatrical/comedy/musical things: http://www.bigissuescotland.com/features/view/559.

I'm doing pretty good - Over the last couple of days I've written an introduction to Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and I wrote very short story yesterday for the Guardian, in addition to the longer stuff I'm working on - but I'm starting to think seriously about retiring from email. I can't keep up with the amount coming in, and after a long day's e-mail answering I feel like I've done a day's work, and I haven't.

Sigh. And grumble.

Loving the time with both daughters. Missing the dogs and the bees. Felt almost guilty when I heard that we'd got the blue ribbon for honey and cut comb at the country fair for the Fourth Year running: guilty that I wasn't there, and that Lorraine had to extract the honey and cut the comb.

...

This endearing silent film made by children in Toronto, is probably an entry for the 90 Second Newbery award. You can find out about the award at http://jameskennedy.com/90-second-newbery/ By the way, the award entry date has just been extended to October 17th...



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