Friday, 20 January 2012

Cranking Up

2012 is cranking up. Yesterday was a 22 hour day. Halfway through, at 1.30pm, Tina Fox and I set out in a blizzard, to start delivering invitations to householders around Moffat to take part in our Moffat Book Events Open Gardens day, part of Beyond the Garden Gate May 26/27. I love walking round Moffat, for the houses, the gardens, the wrought iron gates, the trees. Tina pointed out a delicate tropical creeper in two hedges, apparently surviving the cold climate - it has little brilliant red flowers in summer; I will track down its name for a later posting. We admired a bank of snowdrops by Sidmount Cottage, forsythia, viburnum and daphne. We have decided at the 11th hour to apply to Dumfries & Galloway Council for a share of the limited funds available for specific projects, so last night I was tweaking the draft sent by Marilyn our MBE Project Manager. A press release also went out in the evening from Sarah Mathieson announcing our September MBE event, inspired by Alexander Men whose birthday (and Elvis Presley's) it would have been today. I booked myself a cruise up the coast of Norway in April. Hotel rooms have been booked for our speakers in May, and our VIP Russian visitor to Moffat Feb 20-25. Anyone who would like to meet Ekaterina Genieva, director of the Rudomino State Library please let me know. She will be in Moffat getting to know the town and progressing preparations for the international conference mentioned above. In the evening, I watched the first of four BBCTV programmes on Putin's Russia by Angus Roxburgh, which made me suddenly long to be there, listening to the beautiful language. I see that my standup comedian daughter Abi experienced the same emotion - she must be the only Russian-speaking standup on the circuit, and appealed yesterday evening on Facebook for any comedy club owner in Moscow or St Petersburg to get in touch. She includes in her repertoire arcane cross-cultural feats such as performing in West Side Story in Russian (she studied voice at the Moscow Conservatoire) and can do Susan Boyle in Russian.

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