On Thursday, we’re off to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It’s the first time I’ve ever been, and I’m a touch stressed that there’s something I’ve forgotten, not to mention the travel arrangements and the weather. There are four teachers, 48 pupils from 3rd and 4th years, and me, and we’re all looking forward to seeing our chosen authors

Most of the organisation was completed before the summer holidays, including the discussions with the teaching staff, applying for tickets, bidding for transport assistance, booking the bus, not forgetting to ask for permission to go, but some things, like consent forms, had to wait until the new term, and of course, getting consent forms returned is soooooooo easy.


Day 1: go to the office and beg and plead for the consent forms to be printed asap, even though it’s the beginning of a brand new term and they’re already run off their feet. Then I realise the accompanying letter isn’t photocopied, so I run downstairs again only to discover the photocopier is out of order. Back to the office again to get the letters printed onto headed paper. I owe the admin team at least one packet of chocolate hob-nobs by now.  We get the consent forms and letters handed out to 3rd and 4th years. The Festival organisers send through an e-mail asking us to be seated 40 minutes before each event start. That would mean arriving at 9.50am; we leave at 9.15 for the hour’s journey through. I leave a message on their answering machine.

Day 2: the vast majority of forms are returned quickly but two pupils now have other appointments that day, and two forgot to tell their parents and now don’t want to ask. So we turn to our reserve list and ask the office for four new consent forms and to remove the four who can’t go. Two packets of chocolate hob-nobs. I get a message from the festival organisers, detailing the arrangements if we can’t be there more than ten minutes early. It’s going to be tight.

Day 3: the 4th year pupils who hadn’t told their parents yet turn up with their money and consent forms. Argh!  Fortunately, the other teacher hasn’t had the chance to hand out the reserve forms yet, so we can still include the two 4th years. The other reserves are still happy to go. Then sadly, at lunchtime, we find out that another pupil’s gran has died. We decide not to annoy the office again just yet for more changes until we know for definite who’s going and who isn’t. I also get a phone call from the bus company, asking me to confirm the 51-seater bus for Wednesday. I confirm the 53-seater bus for Thursday.

Day 4:  wondering if a case of chocolate hob-nobs might come in handy.

It’s interesting to note that in all of this, as a Librarian, I cannot be deemed the person responsible for the trip.