Tuesday 22 October 2013

Farewell to Edinburgh!

The weather today for my final day at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival was perfect, and my walk back to my hotel up along the historic Royal Mile was a great way to end a wonderful and very full week of stories and storytelling.

The final storytelling session I attended tonight was hosted by the talented and incredibly charming Margaret Bennett, who hugged me at least half a dozen times, and called out from the stage halfway through the second half that I should come up and tell a story from Newfoundland. Margaret is no stranger to Newfoundland, and is the author of The Last Stronghold: The Scottish Gaelic Traditions of Newfoundland. Margaret had planned to be back in Newfoundland for Festival 500 this past summer, but ended up in a cast instead! It was great to talk to her, hear her fabulous voice, and see her up and around.

The other great treat for me tonight was that I finally got to have a chat with my Icelandic kindred spirit, Sigurbjörg (Sibba) Karlsdóttir, who was in town for the festival, and who I met at the very first Federation for European Storytelling (FEST) conference in Oslo in 2008. Sibba runs the Hidden World walking tour, pointing out the sites where elves and the huldufólk have been spotted. You can read the article National Geographic did on her right here

I'd like to point out she is cheating in this picture, and standing on staircase. There is no way she is that tall!

It was a great end to my time at the festival, which continues on in very capable and talented hands without me till Sunday.  And so, farewell to Edinburgh. Thanks to the very generous Donald Smith at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, to Annalisa Salis, to Barbora Voráčová, all the Centre staff, volunteers, event hosts, my fellow storytellers and the very appreciative audiences.

Next stop, Orkney!

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