Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Festivals 2010: And so we face the final photocall

You know how sometimes you'll spend ages on a document/email/blog, getting everything perfect and embedding images and links and so on only to have something (say, Firefox) crash and leave you back at square one with nothing left and suddenly you can't face it and avoid the problem for days? And then other commitments leave you with very little time to do anything and it all gets a bit fraught...

Yeah. Sorry. Let's rush through to the end of the Book Festival, shall we?


Debi Gliori. She was lovely and nervous about speaking in front of a crowd, but did magnificently; the adults were entertained by tales of her techniques and the children entranced by the reading of her new book and then being taught how to draw seals and rabbits. Made me feel a bit soppy, really.


Trying to get atmospheric shots of the site, I was playing with the juxtaposition of these flowers, the logo on the door and a queue going into the tent. Sadly, one grouchy old man (not seen here) decided that it was Immoral And Illegal And Wrong for me to be taking pictures of people without their permission, and despite my explanation of why I was taking pictures and what they were for and the legal status of what I was doing he was unshakable and insisted that he was going to complain. Oh well.



A group of Arab writers involved in the Beirut 39 collection; they each read some of their work and then had a translation read out. What was very moving was when one said that he was from Jerusalem, couldn't really move away from Jerusalem and would probably (he said in a matter of fact and slightly resigned to his fate tone of voice) die in Jerusalem. He then read some poetry in Arabic with such energy that the translation seemed far less exciting o interesting, even though I could actually understand it.



Dum di dum, trying to pap the staff cos they're important too...



Alasdair Grey, everyone's favourite jolly Scottish Santa.



Martin Bell, former independent MP and general nice guy with a grudge against corruption.



I was passing through the Signing Tent and grabbed a few pictures, as is my wont, when I suddenly realised it was Michael Rosen!



Despite being a bit of Danish totty, Lars Husem didn't draw the eye of the girls on site...



Here we see Dom Hastings the Front of House manager (who was very patient when faced with my running in and out of events) looking dynamic against a backdrop of Nick Barley, the newest Director of the Book Festival.



And the strangely disappointing David Shrigley. It's not so much that HE or his event were a disappointment, but I kinda wanted him to be a grotesque stick figure rather than a tall, well bred and recently washed Englishman with a near-RP accent.



Chris Close, who has been taking dramatic portraits of authors, was quite pleased to see that people were enjoying them.



Christopher Brookmyre at Unbound, singing with the assistant of Billy Franks. This was bloody packed - due in part to the free whisky I suspect...



And the man who DID draw the eye of the girlies: Alan Bissett, the gayest straight man I've seen in a long time.



Onto my last day then (sniff).


Tim Berners-Lee looking moody for the Press.



My brief foray into the Children's Bookshop and it's activity centre (because taking pictures of children scares me!)



A meeting with Maisie the Mouse and her creator, Lucy Cousins,  with signing and enthusiastic Sian in the background.



Quintin Jardine, a man who exudes a strange enthusiasm.



The inimitable Lord Robert Winston (who may or may not have stolen a duck).



Ian Rankin talking about what he loves about Twitter (part journal and part uber-reliable source on up to date information) and why he has a white iPhone (they had run out of black ones, so he keeps it in a black case).



Nicholas Parsons, two thousand years old and still going strong - even if he does look like a fairy tale wicked witch.



A rare view of the Press Pod (Yurt) - here showing Frances Sutton aka The General, hard at work even long after she really should have gone home.



Mr John Hegley regaling the Unbound crowd with songs and stories in English and French.



Candia McWilliam here, just before she panicked at the sight of the camera and asked me not to use flash, "or I shall go totally blind!". I mention this because I had heard of her sight problems from one of the staff and so felt rather pleased with myself for the fact that I wasn't using - and indeed rarely do use - flash.



And the King of the Charlotte Square Castle, Nick Barley himself. I had been tasked with getting a Good Photo of him against the bustle of the festival but it never happened, so this was my last attempt.



And so it ended.


But then I popped back for Alan Moore (squeeeee!)


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