Thursday, 29 January 2009

Book Fair begins... kind of

Still the building work continues, but the Fair goes on for another couple of weeks yet, so they've got time.
Kevin and I bought some books for the NLS, including one on the development of vaccines. We don't want to weigh down our suitcases, but as we are leaving behind what feels like several kilos of NLS leaflets, then we should be OK!

After our welcome by the Mayor on Monday (previous post) we were given a walking tour of Dalhousie Square which is being renovated. Naively, I thought it was being pedestrianised, but in fact the police were holding back a huge build up of traffic for us. All along our route we were assailed by photographers; this happens everywhere we go, and they are now referred to as the Book Fair paparazzi.
Then on to St Andrew's Church (established 1818), for a lighting ceremony by the Governor of Bengal (high security throughout), followed by a church service, more tea and refreshments (always on offer here), and then back to the hotel. By this time, Kevin and I were zombie-like after missing a whole night's sleep travelling the previous day.

We spent the next morning at the Scottish Cemetery (see the RCAHMS blog link for more information) and also Park Street Cemetery, but that's another posting...

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

O Calcutta!

Kevin Halliwell (Foreign Collections) and I are at the 33rd Kolkata Book Fair, where Scotland is the theme country. Everyone has been so charming, and the Scottish delegation (including Sir Andrew Cubie, Lord Charles Bruce, Alexander McCall Smith and the British Council staff), were welcomed and presented with bouquets of flowers at the impressive and historical City Council Chambers (pictured).
The Book Fair itself is open but there was still a lot of building of stalls going on when we left at 6.30 today - including a mini White House for the U.S. pavilion, with cut-out Obama figure!
We've had a hectic couple of days, so more reports and pictures later.