Now I feel bad. Mal Peet is such a nice man! And he writes marvellous books. We went along to Mal’s signing to make up for having missed his event.
And the lovely Mal asked if we’d been to see Morris (Gleitzman), which we had. Turns out Mal had wanted to see Morris himself, but I suppose it would be frowned upon to leave your own event to go and admire a colleague. We agreed that in my case it was OK to say that Australian trumps English writer.
But, oh dear, I feel bad. He could at least have seemed more put out.
So, there he was, signing piles of copies of Life, An Exploded Diagram, before calling on his wife to come and sign (one that she had written, I hasten to add), while he went outside with us for some photos. Mal leaned against that tree like a pro. He had lost his voice (one of the cons of authoring away in lonely garrets for most of the year and then coming out and talking to crowds), so couldn’t manage too much protesting. Very nice to finally meet Walker’s Ruth, as well.
We had just come from someone who is used to flashing cameras. Ian Rankin, whose audience was that very minute lining the Charlotte Square boardwalks, posed in front of the collected paparazzi, and when I happened to turn round, I saw some tourists pressing their noses against the nearby gate, trying to see what was going on.
A minute or two later someone passed me a mobile phone through that very same gate. She was on double yellow lines and just needed this phone handed to someone in the yurt. Brave of her, and I hereby declare the mobile delivered.
Then we went and dined on M&S sandwiches on the concrete Chesterfields in the mud. Not that I was able to get up afterwards, but that’s another story.
(There are more and/or different photos on Photowitch every day.)