A brilliant weekend at another successful Portobello Book Festival. Can't believe how good a programme they give us every year - and the whole thing is run entirely by volunteers. Very impressive.
The opening inheritance-themed event on Friday night included music from the Lothian B'Us Male Voice Choir (I'll never get on a bus again without hoping the driver will burst into song) and a beautiful song from Rosie Nimmo to raise funds for the refugee crisis (Clouds Colliding - check it out) as well as a couple of sets from The Blue Moon Travellers and a few tunes from Doug Johnstone who also read a short story. Other readings included more short stories, essay extracts and poetry, and it was lovely to be given the opportunity to read an extract from Ursula's Secret. Highlights from the rest of the weekend included a writing and yoga workshop run by Meaghan Delahunt and Brigid Collins - hope they'll do more of these - and Val McDermid talking about her inheritance books. For obvious reasons, I was particularly interested in hearing novelists Catherine Simpson (Truestory) and Lucy Ribchester (The Hourglass Factory) talking to Lynsey May about their experiences of having their first novels published and what happens next. Always good to know what to expect...