I’ve spent 5 of the last 7 days at the festival – getting soaked while soaking up the literary atmosphere! Actually that’s a half-truth. The festival has plenty of experience- it knows how to keep its audience dry. But have I ever seen rain like that that came down on day one? Yes, but not in Scotland. Barbados maybe ….

I don’t have the words, but a know a pair who do. I guffawed when read this on the way home last night.

From The Little Book of Scottish Rain by Ron Butlin / Tim Kirby.

You have to laugh about festival weather, otherwise you’d be as miserable as those waiting for the bus last Sunday night. Mind it had been dreeping for 12 solid hours.

From The Little Book of Scottish Rain by Ron Butlin and Tim Kirby

But it’ll take more than that to come between me and the festival.

“What’s the event you’re most looking forward to?”, is the question I’m most frequently asked. This year, it was my very first event. And this is THE moment that the festival will have to work hard to beat.

Lizzy meets Tim Winton

Got that! TIM WINTON !!!! So what did I say? Something profoundly understated. “Gosh, I’m happy to see you.” Actually 2019 is my summer of Winton. I’m working through his back catalogue via audio book. I loved Dirt Music. Not enjoying Breath much to be honest, More thoughts later as apparently Breath has parallels with The Shepherd’s Hut, and I liked that one, a lot.

So how do you follow that? The Edinburgh Book Festival knows me well and 2019 could be known as The Festival for Germanophiles. Whether it history, anglophone novels about German history, or German literature per se, there’s plenty on offer this year. So much that I can’t attend it all. Still in week one I have listened to Grant Watson on Bauhaus Imaginista, Clare Clark talk about In The Full Light of the Sun, her novel based on art forgery in 1930s Germany, Jen Calleja on translating Marianne Poschmann’s The Pine Islands and attended two events on A New Divan, a work created to continue the dialogue between Goethe and the Persian poet, Hafiz.

Surprise of the festival to date is that I have fallen in love with the sound of the Persian language. This in response to Narquess Farzads reading of Hafiz in the original. And so I now the proud owner of a copy of Hafiz’s Divan, Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan and A New Divan!

A new, unexpected reading project

What else? A reading of Tom Leonard’s version of Brecht’s Mother Courage in which Mother Courage speaks Glaswegian, a Basque wine-tasting, a lecture on Chernobyl, doodlings by Alberto Manguel. Too much to write about now. I’ve only come home for a change of clothes! Check out my instagram feed, where I’ve posted photo digests of my days at the festival. More to follow soon. I’ve another 6 days to attend ….