Winter Words Festival 2012


Pitlochry Festival Theatre

27 January – 5 FEBUARY 2012


the Guardian


If I was in the area, here’s who I would go and see ~


Does he wear that blue turtleneck a lot or is it just me?  I think it must be a favorite or maybe it brings out his eyes … I don’t know.  Anyways, I think he’s pretty great. I watched the entire series “A History of Scotland” and now own the book too.  So, next thing is he has a new book and TV series out called “A History of Ancient Britain” and he will be having a chat about it at the Festival during “An Evening with Neil Oliver”.


A “Literary Lunch with Mairi Hedderwick” will be held where she will talk about her book “Shetland Rambles”. This talented author and illustrator will also be hosting a family event where she’ll read “Island Stories” about Katie Morag and her friends. Ms. Hedderwick amuses me with her stories of island life.



Mr. Tom Devine has been a personal favorite of mine through my reading of Scottish history.  I would love to meet him in person.  He’s going to be giving a talk on “To the Ends of the Earth:  Scotland’s Global Diaspora”.



If you’re interested in politics, there will be “An Evening with Alistair Darling”, discussing his book “Back from the Brink” which describes his 1000 days as Chancellor.  Dennis Canavan will also be there with his book “Let the People Decide”, covering his many years in politics.


Sir Chris Bonington
Liz Lochhead
















Other authors include Ann Lindsay, Liz Lochhead, Sir Chris Bonington, Sue Lawrence and Janice Galloway.

There will be a book fair by Yeadon’s Booksellers and if you prefer second hand reading, Pitlochry Station Bookshop will have books for sale.

As an additional bonus, Atholl Palace Hotel is offering some special rates for those of you who may want to stay in the area.






For more information on the Winter Words Festival, here is the website.

Scotland’s Festival of History

I was checking through mail I’d missed while I was away …. why I feel the need to troll through facebook for the last 5 days is beyond me but there you have it … and I found a few interesting video clips.

First one was for the Scotland’s Festival of History on August 20/21st. It’s held at the Lanark Racecourse and if I still lived close to there, I would be looking forward to checking this out. Here’s a clip for this year’s Festival:



The next one is of the Edinburgh Festival/Fringe from last year. It’s a walk through the street, showing how many things are going on and, in my opinion, the general sense of chaos. I’m not one for crowds; I don’t know how I’d fare with this much going on and that many people but this gives you a good sense of how it would feel.




Pittenweem Arts Festival

Just a reminder that the 29th Pittenweem Arts Festival is on August 6th to 14th. With nine days of over 100 individual visual artists and hosting between 20,000 and 25,000 visitors, Pittenweem is a picturesque fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife.

What began as a photographic exhibition to raise money for lifeboats 29 years ago has continued onto today with the arts festival providing some unusual spots for artists such as sheds, garages, gardens and cottages.

I realized as I was reading about this that I did post a blog about this back in May so it must have caught my eye even then. I could be wrong but it somehow puts me in mind of Rosamunde Pilcher’s books set in Cornwall with the winding streets down to the ocean and people painting in their back sheds.

If you are interested in volunteering, I did see a posting on the volunteer website asking for greeters, ticket collectors, moving equipment and generally being helpful, giving directions, etc.

Borders Book Festival

Harmony Garden, Melrose
June 16-19, 2011
65 events

Set in the beautiful Harmony Garden, marquees and a bookshop and a cafe will be open to celebrate the book festival. Writers, performers, politicians, interviewers, storytellers and artists will come together in the Borders of Scotland to share their wealth of knowledge and experience. In 2010, more than 10,000 people came to Melrose to the Book Festival and this year the ticket sales have been going well so the organizers are expecting large numbers once again.

One of the exciting events is the presentation of the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. Through the generous sponsorship of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, there is a prize of 25,000 pounds for the top writer. This year there are six stories that have been shortlisted.

The Festival has been going since 2004 and this year, Festival director Alistair Moffat has said it is the best programme yet, with “diversity, verve and sheer quality”. He also said, “festivals are bucking the trend of the economic downturn proving, no matter what, there will always be a place in our lives for good literature and live debate.”

Some of the participants are as follows:

Mull, Iona and Staffa with Malcolm McGregor – photography

Mark Beaumont – The Man Who Cycled The Americas

Michael Frayn – One of Britain’s greatest playwrights and novelists, Michael Frayn has written a wonderful account of his upbringing in My Father’s Fortune.

Kirsty Wark – A Life In Books – television journalist talking about what books have changed her life.

Michael Parkinson – well-known interviewer talks about his past.

Roodica the Rude – a children’s book about how Roodica, a young Celt, takes on the Roman invaders.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland – Alexander McCall Smith, will announce a sweeping new project – creation of a tapestry for all Scotland that will tell the story of the nation. There will be a series of brilliantly designed and stitched panels to be made in every part of the country.

You Can Write! – a creative writing workshop.

James Douglas-Hamilton – the politician, offering his perspective on British politics over the last 50 years.

Alexander McCall Smith – author of the famous 44 Scotland Street books.

Barbara Dickson – A singer, song-writer and actress, she will talk about her autobiography.

For tickets, you can phone the box office 0844 357 1060 or go online to