Well. I’d intended today’s post to be a new rough chapter of the ongoing saga of Granny Battle and Ellis, but I’m afraid I got a bit sidetracked.
No reason, really. Just something took my mind of stuff a bit.
Although I did rather wish I’d known it was going to happen before packing a scuzzy jumper and jeans, no make-up, and no miraculous hair-tarter-upper before this overnighter in Edinburgh.
I had a little plan, you see.
Just a silly, self-indulgent one.
As I’d be finishing my shift in Edinburgh in the afternoon, I thought I’d take a wander to The Oxford Bar and have a wee pint of Deuchars there, in honour of Inspector Rebus. For the non-Rebus fans out there, The Oxford Bar is Rebus’ local in the books by Ian Rankin. It’s a real pub, not a made-up one, and even “Harry, the grumpiest barman in the world” * is real, although he’s now the landlord.
So I was all ready to potter to the hotel after my shift, get changed out of my orange-hued clobber, wander down to said pub, sit there with a pint and write today’s blog post, with a little note in it about writing it from The Oxford Bar. With a pint of Deuchars. After possibly having been grumped at by Harry.
But it all went a bit pear-shaped.
To cut a long story short…
Today I met Ian Rankin. Not at a book signing, but in a pub, at the bar. I said hello. He said hello. I think we shook hands. We talked about a bit of stuff. Then he, a lovely German lady who had been interviewing him, a few locals and Harry bantered at the bar, and occasionally – when I could unstick my tongue from the top of my mouth and squish the shyness down right into the toes of my boots out of the way – I joined in a bit, and felt like part of a small group of everyday people enjoying a bit of idle banter at a bar, in a pub. Then, after a while, he politely left to hurry off to his next engagement.
I’ll just permit myself a small squee here…
I then lingered at the bar, chatting to the lovely interviewer lady, Harry, and the locals, about life, music, guitars, and just stuff in general.
An utterly wonderful couple of hours with perfect strangers, in a smashing wee pub that felt as if Rebus himself was just around the corner in the back room, working on his latest case…
Oh, I did make one Granny Battle decision today though. I think the little orange dragon now has a name.
I think he might be called Ian…
*That’s an Ian Rankin quote. I know that because I read it. But I also know that because he told me today that he’d written that once. Eeeep!