They were sent out into the world on a tidal wave of good will thanks to the seventy plus friends and family who turned out at Blackwell's bookshop in Edinburgh. They came from a' the airts, as we say in Scotland: Jedburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow and my neighbours from Bridge of Allan. But the prize for furthest flung has to go to my friend Derek who flew in from Delhi.
My speech was a mix of triumph and disaster. My jokes were actually quite funny, but I somehow managed to mislay page five and after a stuttering halt had to wing the rest. Funnily enough that got the second biggest laugh of the night. The biggest was for the mysterious bloke with a beard you could hide a badger in who appeared halfway through. Maybe it was Bob Low's younger, much more handsome brother.
I signed so many books that my wrist ached and I was still doing it when they started putting the lights out.
|Bevvy of beauties: My mum, daughter Kara, Siobhan, Lorraine, Sandra and my sister Carol|
|Our friends Pete and Maureen|
|And Allison and Alan|
|Lorna and Ross, my earthquake advisers|
|Mum and my lovely wife Alison|
|Siobhan and Carol, from Canada|
|Standing room only|
|In retrospect, the tie was probably a mistake|
|James Douglas makes a late appearance|
|I don't know about you, but he scares me|
|The Gees and the Rintouls|
|Lynne Hawley, Christine and Billy Piper and David Caperauld|