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wigging out at wigtown

I'm at Wigtown literary festival - I have been since thursday, and already I am taking vitamins, going for walks, making up for the intense program of festivities. There was the talent festival won by an amazing local girl- aged 14- and called Zoe, who, strangely had been in the class I had talked to earlier that day at Douglas Ewart school, Newton Stewart. John Paul Flintoff- the multi-talented writer and journalist who makes his own clothes devised a Noh slapstick comedy routine which worked suprisingly well for the talent show, the point of which is to seamlessly blend local and imported writerly talent. Martin Bell, Tom Hodgkinson of Idler fame and Sadakat Kadri have all given great performances. Later this week there will be the top crime writer Jason Webster- whose novels are set in Valencia Spain, Johnny West who penned the first book yet on the Arab Spring- Karama- Sarah Hall and Roger Moorhouse- the world's foremost historian of WW2 Berlin. There is also Blo-karting with Carole Anne Brown- blo-karting being land yachting at incredible speed using an ingenious piece of kit that folds down to a pack you can put in your car boot that weighs only 25 kg. The theme of the festival is the great outdoors. Today we went swimming at Rigg Bay- it was beautiful- sunny and not too cold. Accompanied by the polymathic Shaun Bythell- owner of Scotland's largest secondhand bookshop - we took the plunge without another beach tourist in sight. that's part of what makes Wigtown so special- it's far enough away to seem like a real adventure.

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