Monday 1 July 2019


Last time we spoke, I was gearing up for Edinburgh International Film Festival, and I was EXCITED.

Matching #edfilmfest nails by the brilliant Buff CS
Festivals are addictive things. You work on them year-round (shhh, people who ask "but what do you do the rest of the year?"), going from the calm, fallow period where you've got AAAGES of time to plan and reflect, moving into a slightly more concentrated state of deadlines-are-near, followed by months where it takes over your life, you never get to the end of your to-do list, and suddenly it's the month of your festival, you work every day, and emerge at the end exhausted and elated, unsure if you've got it in you to do it all over end. Then comes the chilled, planning period where you think 'oh wouldn't it be cool if we did this?' and you read lovely audience feedback which makes it all feel worthwhile, and it all starts all over again.

I'm currently in the exhausted and elated stage. This has been a hard few weeks. In a stroke of grim timing, I got sick the week before the festival started. Not just a bit of a cold, but a severe salivary gland infection - which I'd never heard of before, and wish I hadn't. It's kind of like the mumps, in that your face gets HUGE and swollen, but it has other fun symptoms like a swollen tongue (the grossest thing that's ever happened to me), fever, and a whole lot of pain.

I've never had anything like it (and I've had the mumps! This was worse), and it turned me into a sad little frog, waiting on antibiotics to kick in, up to my eyeballs on codeine, still trying to keep up with emails and phone into conference calls, even though moving from the sofa felt like an impossible task. I got through the week, my giant face returned to normal, and everyone was very supportive, but I think it's been a good lesson not to push myself through sickness like that again - two weeks on I'm only just really feeling like myself again.

EIFF Marketing & Development teams, hiya!
But the show must go on! And it did. We had red carpets and cool guests, lots of people came and liked what they saw, we drank a lot of whisky, ceilidh danced, I met interesting new people and watched great new films (my very, very favourite was The Biggest Little Farm - if it's playing near you, go see it!), and hung out with a great group of festival pals.

Now I've got a few days off to do nothing (what a treat!), then I'm off to a lovely friend's wedding, followed by a fun summer. I'm going to Dublin for the first time, it's the (other) Edinburgh Festivals, and then at the end of it all, I'm off to Greece so there's millions of things to look forward to... although secretly, I'm most excited about doing nothing this week - bring it on!

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