Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Busy day yesterday Tues Feb 21 for our Russian VIP visitor, starting with a working lunch at Brodies with D&G literary development officer Carolyn Yates, then on to the Moffat & District Community Initiative office for a well-attended meeting of Moffat Book Event organising committee and members. We worked through a full agenda, and Dr Genieva had the opportunity of introducing herself and explaining the role played by her major cultural institution, the State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow in the diplomatic and cultural life of Russia, having branches or partners in 27 regions of the biggest country on earth, engaging with literacy and distributing books, liaising with foreign visitors and organising groups from Russia to make professional visits abroad. A design for a Moffat Book Events banner was approved for us round the town in advance of events; details agreed for our fund-raising Coffee Morning at Moffat Town Hall on Sat March 17 and Jean Atkin gave us an update on the marketing/PR for 'Beyond the Garden Gate' Sat May 26/Sun May 27. Marilyn Elliott then drove Dr Genieva and me to visit Dr Ann Shukman at Elshieshields, the historic medieval tower house in Lochmaben formerly the home of Ann's uncle Sir Steven Runciman CH, historian of Orthodoxy and the Crusades. After a fascinating tour of the house complete with a medieval loo in one of the turrets (no longer in working order!)we continued discussions about the international conference to be held in Moffat at St Andrews church Sept 14-17 under the auspices of MBE, inspired by the life and work of murdered Russian priest,scientist and scholar Alexander Men. Another busy day today - and a full report tomorrow.