…and a summer of Festivals continues. Highlights of Edinburgh so far? The opening of a new show by John Bellany at the Open Eye gallery; the opening of a new gallery, the Glasshouse; and the scabrous and very funny stand-up show by Greg Behreindt, the script-writer of Sex in the City and He’s Just Not that into You. Which is odd as not normally that ‘into’ Cosmo movies. Best of all it’s been sunny.
But the show that is a model of how to explore ‘the idea of a country’ is The Discovery of Spain at the National; the curatorial work that’s gone into the exhibition and catalogue is impressive – and there’s a sense of how Spain went from the melancholy decaying empire of the 18th century to a place of duende and the unfettered imagination that the poets of the 1930s would go out to fight for.
Meanwhile I recently gave a reading at the Latitude Festival myself which was a lot of fun as could see Tricky do the ultimate crowd-surf (he was carried so far off from the stage-tent that he emerged in a field somewhere and the concert was over); Tequila Oil has been reviewed by the Independent, Guardian and Financial Times – and by Top Gear Magazine who said I was a good writer but clearly a lousy driver.
Also returned to Peru and the Inca site of Llactapata for a National Geographic and PBS Nova production: we filmed there at dawn on June solstice as the sun shone down the narrow passageway designed to mark that day. Then I had to do a piece to camera on what it all meant.
50 Wonders of the World has just been published by Quercus for £25. Which is a bargain, as it’s a handsome and very large book, which with a little carpentry could actually be used as a coffee table, not just on it.