40 at 70

In my 70th year I returned from living abroad to set up home in Edinburgh. This is my first year attending the Book Festival in person, having previously watched many events online. I have been to 10 events this year, one with a new Edinburgh friend and five with a friend who came from Kent to enjoy the experience with me. The Festival is over and my brain is still fizzing with ideas and voices of the authors we heard and those of the fellow readers who shared book recommendations with me both in the audience, in the queues, at the bus stop. I bought books to give as gifts to myself and others. I have reserved 12 at the wonderful Edinburgh City libraries. My reading life is enriched far into the future as a result of my experiences. My thanks to Fergal Keane, Sally Magnusson, Irene Vallejo, Devi Sridhar, Gavin Francis, Leila Slimani and Jenny Erpenbeck for teaching me and altering my thinking in such positive ways. And I was indeed a fortunate woman to meet Polly Morland whose book I had already read and will read again and again. It encapsulated all that is good and positive about returning to live in the UK. As I turn 70 I look forward to next year at the Book Festival in this beautiful city I now call home.

Pat Ebhohimen