Friday, March 15, 2019

Aye Write Day One


Yesterday saw the opening of the Aye Write book festival in Glasgow.

                                             This was the scene outside the house as we left.
                                              There's a wee red Staffie in here somewhere.

The name of the festival means little to an outsider. I’ve seen it spelled ‘I write’ as in 'it’s me who writes'. But it’s much more sarcastic than that. It means 'Yes, ok. ' As in 'Yes, Right'  but is used with extreme sarcasm as in…

‘I think Donald Trump with go down in history as the greatest president the USA has ever had.’
The answer to that will be ‘Aye Right.’  As in Not on yer Nellie pal.

                                          Posing for pics-  I was told to look stroppy!

 I have three chairing events…. Lots of prep. The first one was last night. I was interviewing Michael Mackenzie (a name to watch for the future), James Oswald and Neil Broadfoot. Both of whom you might have heard of. The title of the talk was ‘A smack in the Central Belt’.


                                                       Nice eh?

The Central belt is that bit across the middle of Scotland where Glasgow, Edinburgh and Sterling iare located. And, the three authors were writing about those three cities, hence the name of the chat and our main topic of discussion.

                                               Two people called Mitchell, looking at Mr Mitchell
                                              in the Mitchell Library.

The day before, in a weird twist of marvellousness in this strange topsy trumpy brexity EU inny/outy world where Scotland had a heat wave in February, there was a voice of sanity through the nonsense.  Time out magazine has published its list of the top ten cities in the world. On the list, at number eight was a city, a higher place than Dubai and better that Washington DC.


                                                     Look relaxed they said

Much more importantly, it was voted better than Edinburgh.
Of course you can tell by my malicious glee, that it was Glasgow- the dear green city.

                                                     Not as relaxed as that though.

Timeout ranked the top 48 cities in the world and Glasgow got  in the top ten for dynamic music, clubbing and food. Which I cannot comment about, but back in the day yeah, it was pretty hot on music.

Today we scored high on affordability and friendliness, and I’ll chib anybody who says differently!
55% of whoever it was that voted said that Glasgow had changed for the better, maybe because at one time it couldn’t have been much worse. But it’s nice to know we scored better than Madrid and Tokyo, Las Vegas and Lisbon.

                                                           Trying a different look.

PS Edinburgh finished at number 30 on the list of 48, much higher than Dubai or San Francisco.


                                      Three photography students were asking us to pose.
                                         One other author, nameless, refused.
                                            Not a crime writer I hasten to add.

Glasgow was also on front of all the English cities on the list except London;

They did say we were the smallest and the rainiest but we were prized for our 'daft but engaging wit and gregariousness'….. I think that means drunk.
                                                     Before kick off

Then they spoiled it a little by saying if only its weather was as bright as its future !

But one thing that Glasgow has in spades, its weeness. The locality of the airport, the motorway.  We can zoom around in and out and get up to no good really quickly, then getaway

Who was number 1? New York!

No quarrel with that one, sitting at Central Park on that it day in October at the pond watching the model boats sailing in the autumn sun, is one of my favourite memories of all time.

                                                    Do something violent, they said.

Melbourne, a bit far  and I have never been, so I can’t comment but  pleased we were up there with Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Berlin and Glasgow.

So pleased.
                                                  Mentally readying myself for the event

                                                  Underway at last

                                                            Mr Mackenzie, debut novel, debut on stage, he was great!

                                                     Neil and James, all hands.

                                                        A foray into black and white

Caro Ramsay


  1. Caro, Here are am in #1 saying I loved Glasgow the one and only time I was there. I will come back, even though my favorite building in the place has burned down twice in the meantime. But now you'll be there.

    1. Did you ever make it to the Hill House? Charles Rennie Mackintosh's house on the err...hill, near Helensburgh? If not, I shall take you there by the medium of blog!

  2. Hmmm, "daft but engaging wit and gregariousness." Was it the town Time-out was talking about, or one of it's proudest advocates?

  3. You would have had a ball Stan. Aye Write is growing every year and becoming more international, so here's hoping you all get an invite one day. What fun we could have!

  4. Jeff, we are all daft with our engaging wit and gregariousness. It's the amount of alcohol we consume.

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