Day 1 - Sunday 9th September

John O'Groats & Inverness

After so many months of preparation, at last I have set off on my 6-week library tour. All the props have been packed, and instructions have been written for the neighbours who are to feed our cat Goblin.

Beth and Mike from Scottish Book Trust drove me to the very north of Scotland. On the way we stopped in Inverness to do a signing at Waterstones. It was very crowded, and a lot of the children told me, “We’re doing a project about you, with Mr Edwards”! Just as the end of the queue was in sight, Mr Edwards himself (teacher at Smithton Primary School) appeared, accompanied by his 5-year-old son Finlay. Here is a picture of them (below left).

Julia Donaldson in Inverness & John O'Groats

Sky News interviewed me in Waterstones – very good publicity for the start of the libraries tour, since as well as celebrating libraries I want to fuel anger against all the cuts and closures which are happening in many places – though less so in Scotland than in England.

At last we reached John O’Groats. The famous signpost had been taken down for the night, but here is a picture of me standing by a slightly less famous one (top right).

My husband Malcolm has just joined us. (He took the train to Thurso) and we are all set for tomorrow’s events in Thurso and Wick.

From Michael Merillo and Beth Bottery:

The event in Inverness was a real treat; Waterstones at the Eastgate Centre did some superb advertising and more than 150 families showed up to take advantage of the opportunity to get their Julia Donaldson books signed.

The drive north was traffic light, which made for smooth driving and, as we reached John O’Groats, the sun came out for the first time all day, and we enjoyed a very lovely sunset over Caithness.

Beth enjoyed the landscape so much, she claims to be moving to the hinterlands of the north Highlands.