Here's the story, morning glory: it's the middle of June and it's still cold, still wet, and the sun sets at 10.30pm. Well, I reckon one outta three ain't bad.
Preparations for the big party continue apace; and even amid these they -- who is this 'they', I wonder? Are they the same 'they' that say smoking causes cancer, and other vague notions like that? -- still find time to hand out nifty swag like the deftly-acronymed BBC4SJPfNF (via the Saloon) and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. I went to the ceremony for the latter, at the kind invitation of a friend of mine, and let me just say that if a bomb had gone off in that room, Scottish publishing would have ground to a screeching halt. Everyone was there -- everyone. Let me break it down into a few categories: Folks I Do Recognize (the smallest), Folks I Probably Should Recognize (the midrange), and Folks I Would Recognize if I Were Actually Somebody in Scottish Literature (which far and away dwarfs the other categories). Man, that joint was packed like a, um, joint.
Good eats, though. Tandoori chicken.
But much more exciting, in the Count's humble opinion, is the invitation one of my flatmates, who works for the Scottish Executive, has just received for a garden party with the Queen. Okay, so setting it up like that is excitement aplenty -- but if that weren't enough pomp and circumstance (or Pimm's and circumstance, as the case will likely be) for you, check out how it's phrased: "The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by Her Majesty to invite you to ..."
How awesome is that?
Two of the interviews I conducted are now online over at textualities.net (along with some other new content); you can find Jacob Polley's here and Choman Hardi's here. Matthew Hollis will come next week. I'm quite pleased (chuffed, as the Brits would say) with the way they came out, if I may say so -- and no, in case you're wondering, the inclusion of the actual salmon was not my idea. (But I wish it had been.)
And lastly, I ask you: body of the article aside, with tidbits like the last quotation -- "Interesting books just drift out of print because people don't buy them any more. Writers of this quality end up not being stocked or in print" -- what do we file it under, 'laugh' or 'cry'? Beats all hell outta me.