On Sunday I was over at Old Gala House for the launch of Julian Colton’s latest poetry collection, “Cold Light of Morning”. It was a good venue for a well-attended event. I’ve never had a book launch of my own, primarily because of my grim certainty that nobody would show up and I’d be left standing in a draughty hall with a pile of books on a table by my side, declaiming to no-one as the open bottles of own-brand Coke go slowly flat. But Julian’s launch was a brisk and memorable affair, and it was real privilege to be asked to read a couple of poems from his collection; his best yet, and one of the strongest to emerge from the Borders in quite some time.

Also last weekend was the Alchemy Film Festival. Hawick RFC were playing in a cup final up at Murrayfield on Saturday, so Hawick would have been a ghost town but for the constant stream of visitors brought in by the festival. You don’t often get the feel of a cosmopolitan city in wee towns like ours, but that was definitely the vibe generated by Alchemy and its attendees. Some excellent films throughout, especially at the last showing, where my own collaboration with Sara Clark, “The Fifth Miracle”, was on show. If you missed it, you can catch it online here:

Lastly, next meeting of the Teviotdale Writers’ Group is this Thursday 23rd April at the Border Club in Hawick. New members always welcome!