Simon Frith has been collecting records and going to gigs for over 50 years. He gave us an engaging insight into his life as a journalist-cum-academic. When asked by Sion (Mule on Rouge) whether – after all these years – he still enjoyed hearing live music, he replied, ‘There’s no experience like it for me.’…

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This was a fascinating event, delivered by Lucy Baxandall of Tidekettle Paper. we learnt that it was the Chinese who invented papermaking, that papyrus doesn’t qualify as paper, and that it’s the Japanese and the Koreans who have taken papermaking to a whole new level. Lucy showed us how to make Japanese paper and gave…

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Eric Thompson quoted from the Romans (above) in his preamble. He went on to read from his recent autobiography, in which he gave a personal account of his career in the Royal Navy, a career which culminated in his being in charge of Britain’s nuclear submarine base in Faslane. I arrived late to this event…

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We have the privacy of access to our own minds, but what would it be like to give a truly honest account of ourselves? This was a theme Jessie Greengrass kept coming back to in her discussion with Nolan Dalrymple. Jessie studied philosophy at university but started to write fiction as she became increasingly less…

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Just had the most delicious lunch at Cafe Tartine. I got talking to Michael Rath, their chef, at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival. He was there to meet his friend, the Irish author, Anne Griffin (‘When all is said’, Sceptre), and he invited me to visit some time. Strange – and wonderful – how one…

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Katy Brand and Andrew Lownie are booked to appear in both the Guildford Book Festival (6-15 October) and our Berwick Literary Festival (not together, as a double act. That would be weird.) The good news is that a ticket to see Katy Brand in Berwick costs £6, while in Guildford it will set you back…

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