The Book Festival's bags are purple this year, which will make for a nice colourful year once half of Edinburgh are carrying them around.
I like overheard scraps - when I went out to find some lunch all I heard as I walked past a couple was 'a conversation about Tighnabruaich'. I wonder what there is to say.
I went down to Tarbert for a week after our festival - which was not quite as relaxing as I'd hope, although that was the festival's fault rather than Tarbert's.
For the first couple of days it rained, in that quiet but persistent west coast fashion, and I didn't do very much - didn't even read any of the books I'd brought with me, but went out and bought comfort reading from the charity shop. (Tuesday must have been the day we went to Lochgilphead, actually, but it still rained, and the good charity bookshop closed when we'd only been in it 5 minutes, and long before it was supposed to.)
On Wednesday it cheered up, but by then I felt like half the holiday was gone. I had a lovely day anyway - down to the sale of work at Skipness, which I haven't made for years because the weeks never match up, where I bought a book of John Buchan short stories, and then back to go on the Waverley to Tighnabruaich and come back over the hill to get the ferry back, and it was all warm and peaceful and lovely.
Thursday I had a proper adventure and went to Islay, where I hired a bike in Bowmore and cycled round to Ballygrant by the back roads and back by the main road, which was a lovely trip, with the Paps of Jura in front of me most of the time. Then I got the bus down to Port Askaig and went over to Jura and prowled up the track towards Inver to look at the Paps from even closer, and then back to Port Askaig and home again - my favourite route because you follow the coast of Islay and Jura to start with, and my favourite ferry - I don't get on with Finlaggan at all!
Every time I go to Islay for the day I think I should go for a week, but it never happens.
On Friday I walked round the glen road - the little end bit of the Kilberry road up to the A82 - although half the time it was raining again, and on Saturday I had energetic plans to walk the Cowal Way from Portavadie to the Glendaruel junction, but the path was such a disgrace that I ended up lost and thrown out on the Otter Ferry road instead. I went back up to Millhouse and tried to find the right route back over to Portavadie, but that just proved that it wasn't just me and the whole thing was a mess. I'll start again from Millhouse next year and hope for better luck, but at least I'm warned now.
And then it was Sunday, and time to go home again.