Were you scared? Could you work out that Spiderman was really – only – Steve Cole? See, nothing to worry about.
Steve came out of his lunchtime event fizzing. So did his Pepsi. All over the signing table. Hence the ‘handy-with-a-cloth’ Spiderman you can see here.
Most unusual sight. Make the most of it.
We’d heard about the suit. Seeing it was almost better than the anticipation. Didn’t see much of the squirrels, though. Those that weren’t appropriated by the audience had already been stashed into a bag. (And they looked like teddies!)
Let’s see how long we can spin out our last weekend in Charlotte Square. There will be more detailed reporting on events, but the general goings-on come first.
We began by getting the first train out of Stirling, in order to go to Michael Grant’s morning event. It was worth it. Once you’re actually out of bed and dressed and all that, it’s not too bad.
He had a very long signing queue, but after more than an hour we were permitted to drag Michael behind the tent to the dustbin area for a private photocall.
We hung on for Steve Cole’s signing, having found two well positioned chairs to watch from. I couldn’t help but admire the ‘Cole Mothers’ who were still smiling after over an hour waiting with their children.
Julia Donaldson sat on her chair for a considerable time, and her ‘Gruffalo parents’ were very patient indeed. Her event was on first, and she was still there, signing away, hours later. Julia’s trusty musician entertained the crowds, and the Gruffalo did his bit.
A lovely message came via facebook, with the news that Jenny Colgan – who doesn’t know us at all – had managed to find Daughter a ticket for her Doctor Who talk that evening. It made our day.
We trailed after Steve back to the yurt, where everyone jumped at the chance of seeing him jump. He jumped for a solid ten minutes for Chris Close while director Barley watched, along with Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Patrick Ness, Melvin Burgess and many more, who happened to be passing.
Found Holly Webb in the children’s bookshop after her early morning event. Very long queue.
Once things quietened down, we sat out in the yurt ‘garden’ again, until I spied Theresa Breslin and Nicola Morgan and we ran over for a signature in Theresa’s new book, Spy For the Queen of Scots. I made the mistake of telling the Guardian’s Michelle Pauli it wouldn’t rain. Hah.
Back to photocall with Peter Englund of the Swedish Academy. He was bemused to be getting instructions in his own language on how to turn. In typical Swedish fashion he shook my hand. I suspect that is as close as I’ll ever get to a Nobel Prize. Oh, well.
As we ran to get to his event, we spied Philip Ardagh, so stopped to chat briefly. That’s when he decided to lean on me. Someone will have to tell him it’s not good manners. Besides, the cool red shoes of 2011 are no more. He’s back to black brogues.
Philip introduced us to Mr and Mrs and Baby Wigtown, which was nice of him. Apparently they have nine star hotels in Wigtown. (Like I believe that!)
Then we ran on, and after Peter’s event the heavens opened. It’s a most effective way to make people take cover. If they have a cover to take, that is. We really, really needed to go and eat lunch, seeing as it was coming on for five pm, so covered all our techie stuff in polythene, looked at the one umbrella between us, and panicked. All was not lost. In the entrance we found people covered in some delightful white bin liners with the words The Guardian on the front. We bought an Observer and got ourselves two ‘free’ bin bags to wear, and the afternoon was a little drier. So were we.
On second thoughts, we could have sheltered under Ardagh’s beard. Should have.
Post lunch we returned for Daughter’s eight o’clock Doctor Who talk, which she very much enjoyed. A quick chat with Jenny Colgan over signing, followed by a dash for a train.
We are now officially back at Bookwitch Towers.