June 9th, 2013

earthrise

reposting from 2008: Iain Banks in Brussels

Originally posted by nwhyte at Iain Banks in Brussels
As mentioned a few weeks back, Iain Banks gave a lunchtime talk in Brussels on Tuesday, in Scotland House which is the top two floors of the building where my own office is located. (The building also houses the Brussels representations of Norway, just below Scotland; Sweden, occupying the three lowest floors; and Gibraltar, around the corner from my office; and of course I myself have certain quasi-diplomatic duties too.) The Scots put on a decent spread of standard Brussels sandwiches; I was pleased to see both guidoeekhaut and quarsan there as a result of my publicising it. Both of them have already written the event up on their respective blogs.

The actual lecture room was filled up, with a dozen people left standing at the back after the 150 or so seats were taken; we were welcomed formally by the jolly Linda Fabiani, Scotland's Minister for Europe and Culture, and then Iain Banks immediately began by standing up and dominating the entire room, leaving the unfortunate Scottish attaché for fisheries and agriculture (nominally chairing the meeting) cowering in his seat and attempting to interject the occasional question.

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Anyway, great fun; I was feeling pretty grotty, but the event lifted my spirits for the rest of the day.