My sincere thanks to the New Zealand Book Council for awarding me an International Travel grant and funding my flights to and from the UK to attend the Dundee International Book Prize gala dinner and Dundee Literary Festival. Thanks, too, to Literary Dundee for funding my accommodation at the Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa. I am grateful for your generosity, my trip would not have been possible without your assistance.
And what a trip!
The Courier headline on the morning of the Dundee International Book Prize gala dinner:
I promptly took my person to the Street of the alleged incident.
Perhaps the alleged flasher misread the To Let sign for ToiLet.
It was in this state of naivety and openness to learning that I experienced Dundee.
On one's first visit to Dundee, one must have a room with a view, and this was mine:
from the Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa. And look right, a lighthouse on a boat. It would be easier to see if its light were on. The sun hadn't quite got its act togeether by 9.30 am, jet lagged, obviously.
But by mid norning it was a glorious day in Dundee, and how better to see the city's sights than in the company of local writer and blogger Rachel Fox, affectionately known online by moi since 2009 as T'other Rachel.
Fancy, travelling betwixt antipodes to discover the Discovery had done it first.
The Discovery expedition to the Antarctic was led by Robert Falcon Scott, of course, whose name I filched for my nom de plume the year I was shortlisted for the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize.
The Discovery appeared to have brought back a few unregistered passengers:
I don't know how long the penguin's been staring at that compass, but I think someone ought to say it isn't working.
Are we nearly there yet?