Quid pro quo, I don’t think so!
I know this may seem a little big-headed but I am genuinely beginning to think that The Scotsman may have some sort of vendetta against me. Yes this seems unlikely but I really cannot think of another explanation for recent goings on. Perhaps they are so threatened by my blog that they feel the need to pour cold water on my every endeavour least I overtake them and become Scotland’s leading broadsheet.
If you have the time have a little read of this link and see what you think…………
For those of you who have forsworn The Scotsman after the last piece of guff they wrote about me the precis is if you want people to write nice things about your book festival you have to give them lots of free stuff.
Obviously organising an amazing event, featuring six world class authors, in a beautiful setting with wall to wall sunshine and providing said journalist with a friendly welcome and a free ticket for him and his wife plus a whisky tasting with 6 malt whiskies for only £8 is simply not enough. We should have sent a runner to the nearest Dolce and Gabanna and fashioned a designer sunglass containing goodie bag out of the skin of our own babies – point taken.
I am apoplectic with rage. I think what really gets to me is the fact that we all worked so hard to make the festival a success. Those of you who have small children will understand how difficult it is to co-ordinate childcare especially when you are feeding a baby yourself. Allan and I had to run around like blue-arsed flies to fit in all of our work commitments and allow me to go to meetings. Allan and my mum both spent most of the whisky tasting washing glasses in the kitchen despite the fact that they weren’t on the committee, had paid for their tickets and my mum doesn’t even like whisky!! (in fact she can’t even stand the smell, it was torture for her). On the Saturday morning each committee member turned up and uncomplainingly paid for their own tickets despite the hours of unpaid (and largely unthanked) work we had put in.
To have some bourgeois journalist complaining that he had to pay for his own B&B in order to come and enjoy our idyllic island is almost too much for my blood pressure. I’m not sure where he thinks we would have got the money to wine and dine him from? Perhaps he was hoping I would chip in a little of this months child benefit and that older members of the committee could have done without fuel this spring and contributed some of their pension? Most likely he had read the previous article and thought Allan and I could spare a little of our ‘enormous salaries’ to support him.
The book festival was the first community spirited thing I have done since coming back to Colonsay and this has left a very bitter taste in my mouth. The reason I became involved was to allow myself and other islanders the opportunity to engage in a cultural activity which would normally be outwith our sphere. With one paragraph I feel that the whole event has been somehow cheapened. That it is assumed that we want to compete on a national scale and, if so, we will be judged not on the quality of our event but on the quality of our freebies.
Fortunately feedback from the authors – some of whom were happy to stay with friends on the island and all of whom did not receive free accommodation for their partners and families has been more positive. Colonsay is a magical place. Some people get it, some don’t. This guy didn’t and that’s his loss.