The Dreams Hit the Road

In which the author outs what he means when he says dreams

The dreams first came to us, in a distant airy place far from the prying eyes of the peering public. We cradled them lovingly, removed them from their wrap, and counted them diligently. Then we saw where they were due, their category and whether they were destined for greatness, to be blessed with the names of the Creators. We lifted them onto a lorry and waved goodbye. Off they went into the ether, wending their way across Scotland till eventually they met their mark and found their centre: Edinburgh, a city of literature and learning.

And it’s here the metaphor ends as I reveal that I’m working at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year.

This post, and all of my posts, are not reflective of the beliefs or opinions of any individual or any organisation, apart from myself. All opinions are my own. All love goes to my readers. All thanks go to my wife for editing. All mistakes and opinions are my own.

It’s incredible, actually. To work behind the scenes for an event that you have respected and admired your entire life. It’s a privilege to want to see what you do succeed. It’s especially good working at it from what is, essentially, the start. Processing the intake. You see so much.

Something which I think is amazing is the fact that they turn a tiny patch of land, Charlotte Square, into a bustling and vibrant village. A town centre based around books. It took about three weeks for the construction team to build it, reusing a lot of material from previous years to minimise the environmental impact.

Though the wood all seems pretty fresh.

Turning a small park into the site for 300000 visitors, about a third of them going to events, a space for 1000 authors and writers, a workplace for hundreds of members of staff is something else entirely.

So I’m now being honest and revealing I was actually counting books. Not dreams. Books. Then again, books and dreams are fairly comparable. Both take you to distant places, and can be illuminating and beautiful. Both are populated by incredible characters and touch us at the deepest recesses of the soul. And sometimes that truth is so much weirder than abstractions. Books > Dreams.

If you’re free in Edinburgh, between Fringe shows, for instance, there are a million worse places to spend your vacant hours than the Book Festival.

The writer of this piece will write what he can about the Festival but fancies it depends on what further illumination he receives as events reach their crescendo.