It's a hell of a long way from Casa MacBride to Kilmarnock -- four and a half hours of jolly motorway driving, including the vomited pile of half-chewed spaghetti that is Glasgow's roads. Normally when I have to do an event anywhere near Glasgow, by the time I get there I'm wound up and all set to kill someone. There then follows a period of having to calm down before strutting my slightly crumpled stuff.
But not on Saturday! Hurrah and hurray. She Who Must Occasionally Accompany Her Husband To Events So She Can See That He Really Is Working And Not Just Hanging About In Some Hotel Bar Drinking Drinks With Book-Type Floozies and I borrowed Googling Brother's Tom Tom system thing for the car. And it were perfect. I did arrive all nice and relaxed, hadn't had a nervous breakdown trying to get through Glasgow, or find the hotel. Ahhh... calm.
We checked into the hotel opposite Kilmarnock FC's home ground, which was actually pretty nice, even if the bar was full of post-Celtic-match people being INCREDIBLY noisy. Then the lovely Dawn from East Ayrshire Library Services took She Who Must and I for an early dinner and thence to the event, which actually went really well.
I'd love to take all the credit, but the audience was absolutely terrific. There are times when doing an event is like duct-taping your testicles to a rottweiler, then throwing sausages at an electric fence, but the crowd on Saturday night were brilliant -- up for a bit of a laugh from the off. Which meant it was a lot more enjoyable for everyone involved.
It's hard to believe that this was the first book festival the East Ayrshire Libraries have put on, because it was all slicker than a greasy weasel. And a load of library staff turned up to see the event too -- not just on a 'God sake, Mable, come along and make up the numbers!' front either. I can wholeheartedly recommend that if you ever get an invite to speak in Kilmarnock, you take it.
And I don't think I've ever signed so many books after a library event, ever.
Not only that, I bumped into a pair of John Rickards' fans. I know, strange to picture, but there you go -- I'd actually spent most of the event calling one of them a saucy minx and implying she was a bondage fiend -- apparently she always gets me and Captain 'Spanky' Rickards mixed up. God knows how. As you all know, I'm much prettier. I think there may have been hard liquor involved.
One of the many benefits of having She Who Must accompany me down the road was that I had someone to 'chill' with after the event. This we did in our hotel room (by then the hotel bar was full of bagpipes and people in ball gowns) with a wee nippy sweetie or two. And for once I actually managed a pretty decent night's sleep.
The Tom Tom thing managed to direct us seamlessly out of Kilmarnock the next morning (which is a vast improvement on the Hamilton Town House Library event last month, where we got completely and utterly lost trying to find our way back to the motorway in the dark), via Stirling Castle for a bit of a wander around, and then helped me create a sneaky detour to avoid one of the many bits of Dundee they're ruining with roadworks at the moment.
So, like I say: I gotta get me one of those.
In other news, Googling Brother's cats arrived this afternoon for their month-long visit (which is probably why he couldn't refuse me the loan of his favourite toy). So expect many posts in the not to distant about how everything is going very, very badly wrong.
To the litter tray!
Labels: events, Stuff about me