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It's that time of year again

Borders Book Festival time!  I have been down in Melrose since last Wednesday, working in the bookshop at the Borders Book Festival.  Highlight of my year!  Now I am home again, and been through my photos, which in small measure record a brilliant weekend.  The rest is lodged in my memory and it has been such a cracking time, there is no danger that those memories will fade.
Last Wednesday we set up the bookshop.  
From a sea of boxes an orderly bookshop appeared, and after a sustained attempt by Storm Hector, early on Thursday morning, to ruin everything by almost blowing away one of the tents in the orchard area of the festival, and the regrettable cancellation of the Schools Gala Day, the main programme kicked off on time with The Hairy Bikers, who, during one of their interviews, I overheard to say "it's a bit like Glastonbury, but with library tickets"!  Best quote of the festival! 
Before their event, they sat down and signed a huge number of their cookery books, in an impressively speedy and practised routine!  
The new grand dame of The Great British Bake Off, Prue Leith, made an appearance later on Thursday evening.
And we also enjoyed the peaceful presence of Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, Abbot of Samye Ling Monastery at Eskdalmuir in south west Scotland.
This year there was a vintage cinema in a vehicle which looked very much like my old school bus, but with an extra bit on top which houses the cine reels!  In a year when we are celebrating the centenary of the birth of Muriel Spark (the festival hosted a session where Ian Rankin and Alan Taylor discussed her work), the cinema showed The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Over four days, we had a pretty impressive line up of speakers.  In addition to Gordon Brown, William Hague, comic strip king and creator of Millarworld, Mark Millar, Richard Dawkins, Anthony Beevor and Natalie Haynes, here's a few more.
I managed to hear Misha Glenny, talking about the recent television series, McMafia, which is a fictional story based on the facts in his book of the same name.  Extraordinary - and scary - stuff. 

There's plenty of good food, drink and treats to be found at the Borders Book Festival!  I am a regular visitor to the ice cream stall,
and creme brûlée is my favourite pudding - so I visited here too!
Of course the books are the real stars of the show, and they were getting plenty of attention.  We sold masses!
The other brilliant aspect of the book festival is its venue - the gardens of National Trust for Scotland property, Harmony House.  They are wonderful, and full of delicious scents as you walk from one festival marquee to another.
There can't be many world class book festivals held in a vegetable garden!
Mark Millar at his book signing.  Some travelled from the States to hear him, and Nottingham, and no doubt others from far afield.  
Apart from the gale force winds we had on Thursday, we also had rain on Saturday
but lovely sunshine too.  
On Sunday morning I had a short walk by the river before heading back to the book shop for a final day of books, authors, book buyers and brilliant buzz.  
Robert Peston kicked off the talks on Sunday, which was eventually rounded off by Kate Moss.  
Lamprocapnos spectabilis, bleeding heart, in the flower bed near the book tent, except that my heart was not bleeding as the festival drew to a close.  It was singing with the love of it all.  Can't wait for next year now.  My bed and breakfast room is already booked!


  1. Looks totally brilliant! Love The Hairy Bikers!
    Just what you need - time to do what you love! X


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