It was amazing that we got there at all really, what with me driving and Alex Gray navigating - two blondes in one car.... all the way to the Pitlochry Winter Words writing festival. There was one roundabout we went round twice - that was because we were wittering on about a little plot point that had drifted into her brain at three thirty that morning and I was concurring, having had a similar experience about two hours later. The creative moon must have been hovering over the West Coast that morning.
The festival was quietly attended for all speakers except Neil Oliver, he of the lustrous hair. I think he could make a fortune doing the L'Oreal ads - because he is worth it. I have never met him but I do know his old sidekick Tony Pollard, (they used to dig ditches together on TV and look at who killed who, why and when and every episode I saw they blamed the English but then .. they could do the who killed who and why bit on the streets of Paisley without ever having to dig a hole). Tony wrote the book The Lazarus Club which is as intellectual a crime book as you will ever read. But at a publishing party, I was sent into a corner to 'see what was up with him!!' This was from a very posh publishing boy ( he looked about twelve). Posh publishing boy was very scared of Tony's general demeanour (Scottish!), his drinking (one glass of red wine), his language (Glaswegian) etc etc. Once dispatched I realised that Tony was being his usual self - just totally unable to understand the guy he was talking to because every second word was spiffing. Some people in publishing have only two languages .. .Enid Blyton English and A level Harvey Nichols. That is a good topic of conversation to get Chris Brookmyre started on, if any English person ever says to him, 'I didn't understand what you were saying,' he just keeps saying pardon.
And I mean KEEPS saying pardon. Wonder what Mr Salmond would say to that!
Meanwhile the Penguins are flying me to London for posh drinky parties ...those occasions where I never have enough hands..drink in one, posh pringle in the other and trying to shake hands with somebody important with no free limbs.
I've got very exciting news about Crime fest but I will wait until it is all confirmed until I let you know but it sounds like a joke... A Scot, a Swede, an American and a South African sit on a panel....
Next weeks exciting episode is my travels in Midlothian! and the strangest coffee shop in the shop. It was straight out of League Of Gentlemen - it was a local shop for local people!