Saturday, August 16, 2008

Edinburgh Festivals

It's that time of year again and apart from my broadband connection problems outlined in this post returning this week and work the Edinburgh festivals have proved distractions from blogging.

The Book Festival is my favourite and this week has seen visits from David Dimbleby, Tony Benn, Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, David Owen and Gordon Brown to name but a few. Speaking at the festival author Andrew O'Hagan suggested Jeremy Paxman could use his fishing rod "for something else" after the Newsnight presenter's comments about Robert Burns reported here in the Herald. Amnesty International held a series of interesting events.

With divorce and family in mind Tony Parsons' talk focused on his book My Favourite Wife about an ambitious lawyer in Shanghai exposed to the temptations of an affair. Louis de Bernières, the author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, made a welcome return to Edinburgh and Carl Honoré looked at the pressures piled on parents to raise the perfect child, arguing for a slower,more relaxed approach. One event I didn't go to but looked appropriate for someone going through divorce was a workshop Dealing with Rejection looking at key practical and emotional techniques to help to deal with rejection with author, playwright and psychotherapist Caroline Dunford. I later discovered this was meant for writers!

On the Fringe I went to see my son perform twice and came across The Accidental Death of an Accordionist at the same venue. This was a murder mystery with the audience participating as dancers at a ceilidh and was great fun. I also went to the Alex Yellowlees Jazz Quartet gig. Alex is the consultant psychiatrist I mentioned in this earlier post

Again on the subject of divorce there was Confessions & Obsessions of a Thirty Something Divorcee this was billed as;

Xara reveals her thoughts about love, life and sagging boobs as she prepares to attend the wedding of her ex-boyfriend. Can she love again?
Sarah Millican's Not Nice was in the same vain. I gave them both a miss.

Next week the Festival of Politics starts and the Law society is hosting a debate. Vice President Ian Smart will line up along with singer Annie Lennox, former cabinet ministers Denis Healey and Douglas Hurd, activist and comedian Mark Thomas and the Society's Director of Law Reform Michael Clancy on a panel under the theme A Law Unto Itself?


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