Bards for Breakfast: Elspeth Brown, Donald Adamson, Anne Dunford

No wellies needed on this poetic tour of Scotland's coasts and waters. Breakfast on coffee and croissants. Brave rocky beaches and dangerous seas, scale dizzy heights with a bold mountaineer and his faithful helpmate. Fresh air will blow in from the East and West coast and all the airts.

9.30 for 10.00 – 11.00  Crafty Crow  £4 Incl  coffee/tea & bun

Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020

Karen Lloyd: The Blackbird Diaries.

Karen Lloyd shares her deep-rooted knowledge and affection for the flora and fauna of the British Isles. The Blackbird Dairies is a celebration of landscapes that rarely feature in nature writing, but more than that, at a critical time of species loss, she offers rare insights into the lives of species on the edge, such as the curlew, and why golden eagles disappeared from the Lake District.

Karen will also discuss the project she recently initiated at Lancaster University; ‘Reimagining The Lake District Uplands,’ which investigates ideas of ‘cultural’ landscapes, and what the term means in a time of climate crisis. 

11.30- 12.30 Mill on the Fleet £8.00

Murray Armstrong: The Fight for Scottish Democracy

Journalist, author and former associate editor of The Guardian Murray Armstrong brings a little known chapter of Scottish history dramatically to life in his timely book The Fight for Scottish Democracy. Three Scottish weavers were executed for high treason in the summer of 1820. Nineteen more men were transported to Botany Bay. Their crime? To have taken up arms against a corrupt parliament and the aristocratic Tory government that refused to reform it. Five years of unsuccessful mass petitioning of Westminster by working people in Scotland and England in the face of the government’s intransigence forced an escalation in tactics, and on Easter Monday 1820 - almost exactly 200 years ago - the call for a general strike to secure the vote was answered throughout the western counties of Scotland. 

1.30 – 2.30  Mill on the Fleet  £8.00

Jean Atkin & Ross Donlon: TWO  CONTINENTS, ONE PLANET

Award winning Australian poet Ross Donlon (The Blue Dressing Gown, Mark Time Books 2011) is our International Poet this year. Ross joins the popular and once local Jean Atkin (How Time is in Fields, IDP, 2019) in an exploration of time, memory, people and places from both sides of the planet.

3.00- 4.00  Mill on the Fleet  £5.00 

Miller Caldwell: Spies in the Family

Miller Caldwell’s Scottish born great aunt Hilda Campbell, married a Hamburg GP. With a son in the Hitler Youth she was a housewife and mother. But when widowed in 1938 she decided to visit her ailing parents in northern Scotland. The Gestapo took note and using her son to blackmail her, forced her to spy on airfields and report on troop movements. She returned to Germany in 1939 as a double agent. She survived the war and became a British Ambassador's wife. 

Soon to be a documentary on TV and Netflix.

'..... just what the best historical novels should be; the individual's story from the heart of great events" Mark Sadler

4.30 - 5.30  Mill on the Fleet  £8.00

Big Lit sing-in

A decade in and the only way to celebrate Big Lit is with a good old pub session. Focusing (in a beer-enhanced fashion) on the art of the lyric, local musicians will bring you classics from Bob Dylan to Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley to Hamish Henderson. A healthy smattering of original home-grown material makes each session unique - come prepared to sing, play or listen in one of Gatehouse's most welcoming venues

9.00pm onwards  Masonic Arms   Free