Diary: I'm Staying at the Same Hotel in Edinburgh as Lynne Truss and Barbara Trapido. at 2am a Fire Alarm Brings a Drift of Authors Downstairs in Red Satin Pyjamas, Kaftans, Neat T-Shirts

By Bakewell, Joan | New Statesman (1996), August 23, 2004 | Go to article overview

Diary: I'm Staying at the Same Hotel in Edinburgh as Lynne Truss and Barbara Trapido. at 2am a Fire Alarm Brings a Drift of Authors Downstairs in Red Satin Pyjamas, Kaftans, Neat T-Shirts


Bakewell, Joan, New Statesman (1996)


Challenging the Edinburgh Festival is like challenging Everest: it just won't budge. "Too many people," you may say, or "Other places are just as good." The fact is there is only one unassailable Edinburgh Festival, a world peak, irresistible magnet for performers and visitors alike who swamp the city with good humour. I am one such, fully prepared--sensible shoes, folding umbrella--just to stroll the streets, drop in here and there, take my fancy with whatever show catches my eye.

I am appearing at the International Book Festival and, like many of its writers--Barbara Trapido, Lynne Truss--am staying at the Channings hotel. I am in a position to tell you what festival folk wear in bed. A fire alarm around 2am brings a drift of authors downstairs. Red satin pyjamas, eastern kaftans, neat T-shirts. Some self-conscious souls stop to dress before descending. Some of the women clutch handbags: no one comes down hugging a precious manuscript. Soon there are groups in the street--it is a balmy night--casually exchanging festival chatter in their nightshirts and nighties. Me? Thank goodness I remembered the yellow silk dressing gown.

The Book Festival is celebrating its 21st year: 500 authors from 30 countries in 650 events. But that's just the numbers; the people are what matter. We congregate in the authors' yurt, a series of bamboo-framed circular tents, laid out with colourful rugs and cushion-strewn divans. The first person I meet is Drue Heinz, cultural mover and shaker, founder and presiding spirit of the Hawthornden Literary Institute, which is one of the festival's sponsors. Among others are Valvona & Crolla, the legendary Italian delicatessen, whose name adorns our coffee cups. Alexander McCall Smith, on his home patch--Edinburgh, not Botswana--draws the crowds. But an audience for Latvian poets? No problem. Catherine Lockerbie, the festival's presiding genius, has neatly located them in a smaller tent, so their event is virtually as full as McCall Smith's. Scots writers are here in force. A L Kennedy teases her audience of Edinburgh ladies, "Health warning: I'm about to say 'cock'," then goes on to read, from Paradise, her new novel, a hilarious episode involving drink and semen in equal measure. The Edinburgh ladies queue to buy their copies.

I go walking in the sensible shoes. No need of the umbrella--Edinburgh is exotically hot. In St John's church hall I find an exhibition of "New Scottish Furniture". This is serious stuff, the project part-financed by the EU and the Forestry Commission. Sixteen furniture-makers have put on display a whole range of styles. Some of it is a bit knobbly and eccentric for my taste--a crazily convoluted bed surely destined for some gothic Scottish castle--but there are more austere looks on offer. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Diary: I'm Staying at the Same Hotel in Edinburgh as Lynne Truss and Barbara Trapido. at 2am a Fire Alarm Brings a Drift of Authors Downstairs in Red Satin Pyjamas, Kaftans, Neat T-Shirts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.