Welcome to my blog.

A 'mixed' day at the Edinburgh festival.

A breakfast event, at 8:30am, was an earlier start than I've been used to this summer.  It kicked off a varied day, although it's only 6:00pm just now and the final chapters have yet to be written.  So to a quick run down...

Festivals Edinburgh breakfast debate
A well informed and good sized audience heard from some very interesting speakers at the breakfast debate.  Topics ranged from risk taking to new technology, city infrastructure to marketing.  There was near universal agreement in the many strengths of the festivals, although a state of conflicting interests is clearly a pretty permanent state of affairs once you scratch the surface.  (Maybe it's just the vocal minority though.)  More to come in next week's Fringe Society AGM for sure.

Missing a show
 I had a (free) ticket to a show, which I managed to miss by turning up at the finishing time.  I ran the last few hundred yards for fear of being late, not realising the show was already over.  Didn't feel particularly good about this...  But, I'm not going to mention the show as I hope to go see it again (at cost).

Meeting a spaceman!
There is a man climbing a ladder at the Forest Fringe venue, six feet at a time (then back down).  His name is James and he wanted to be an astronaut, though missed his chance by turning 24.  So he's going to climb to space, which NASA reckons starts 50 miles up.  He's due to finish on 30 August, so I hope to be there for the climax - but today I was very fortunate to be there for climb number 20,000!  This was great.  A really good moment that was shared by four people: James, his colleague Andy (Ground Control: he turns over the counter), a cheerleader pal of theirs and me.

I made a joke that at 20,001 that really was some Space Odyssey, which made James smile.  I'm going to add that to the Guardian's coverage of this endeavour, then get back to my cider.

Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief

Mark Watson's roaming Edinburgh book launch for 'Eleven' #watsonbooklaunch