Posted at 3:35 PM on September 20, 2006
by Euan Kerr
I'm back. The trip was fine. The plan screened two REALLY bad movies on the flight so I read and slept instead which is always a good thing.
One thing which I forgot to mention during my trip was a show I saw on Alexander McCall Smith, the Edinburgh law professor who now has a global following for his "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" novels. His is a prolific writer, with more than 60 books to his name. He is currently writing no fewer than four series of novels, including the "44 Scotland Street" books which he first publishes, a chapter a day, in the Scotsman newspaper. A London Times article recently revealed he writes one thousand words an hour,
The show included an interview with "Cold Mountain" film director Anthony Minghella who is currently working with "Four Weddings and a Funeral" writer Richard Curtis to adapt the first "No. 1" book for the (probably small) screen. It also featured an interview with Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers who is also a fan, and a friend.
As well as the Minghella interest, both the "Scotland Street" and the "Isabel Dalhousie" series are being adapted for television too.
What is remarkable to me is that while I was growing up I used to pass the man my parents knew as Sandy in the street fairly regularly and I had little idea who he was, other than the guy who lived up the street. We have had several fun chats over the years, and he is a true gem.
And now for the Minnesota connection. Sandy will speak at UMD's Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies on Monday September 21st at 7.30pm. His topic will be "The Very Small Things of Life." I would get there early.