Monday, 22 September 2008

More hob-nobbing

Sorry for neglecting you, blog. Realised I have opportunities for much more name dropping since Wordplay, our splendid Shetland book festival. Met the rather dashing young writer Alan Bisset in the pub and he likened me to Scarlet O'Hara! (we were out on a henny party in our ball gowns- shall try to source a photo from somewhere). Three really good sessions I went to: John Hegley - extremely entertaining, great at working a crowd; Adrian Mitchell - lovely, touching, personal poetry; Will Self - very clever & witty. Heard him on the radio talking about how our book festival was all good and real and locally-grounded etc whereas in most other places they were just 'Nuremberg rallies of the bourgeoisie'. Have just read an excellent couple of short stories by him, bit grim but enthralling, I think I'll make more effort to get into some of his writing.

Book group's been interesting since we started a democratic dictatorship scheme where one member wins a draw to dictate the book we'll read. Jean's choice last month was Peacocks Dancing by Sharon Maas - enjoyable, exotic and melodramatic tale set in Guyana and India. This month is my choice and something totally different - the misery of 1930s England through Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell. I've really enjoyed re-reading it, but not sure what the rest of the group will make of it!