Dan Richards Booked! Festival 2019 review Mary Irvine
Dan Richards ‘Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the World’
Balloch Library Sunday 19th May 2019
This was my favourite event of this year’s festival.
The great intrepid British explorer, risking life and limb to go where no man has gone before (or rarely, in this case) is not of a bygone age. He is very much alive, roaming the outposts of the world, sleeping in huts (the garden shed variety,) bothies, sæluhús (houses of joy), shrines, research stations. Snow clad mountains, deserts, inhospitable terrain. All have one thing in common – wilderness (albeit a beautiful wilderness) and Dan Richards!
Illustrated with amazing slides Dan took us on his own journey of how he came to be this man who travels the world, often on a wing and a prayer, apparently. His story began with elderly relatives who had done wonderful, exotic, exciting things. No ‘spoilers ‘in this review but a fascinating account of their exploits when climbing was done in plus fours and brogues. Must be in the genes, Dan. Would love to see you in plus-fours with belted coat and brogues. Maybe a cane stick? Another inspiration was the pelvis of a polar bear his father brought home. Don’t even ask about the elephant gun. Come to think of it Dan’s father probably also had those genes.
The stories of the haunted house of joy in Iceland, Simon Starling’s shed (made into a boat/winning the Turner Prize) were told in humorous fashion. Dan soon built a rapport with his audience with a great presentation full of throwaway humour and asides. It was clearly his warm personality that drew new friends to him where-ever he went.
There was a serious side to Dan’s talk. It was a subject about which Dan was obviously very passionate and sincere – that of protecting our planet before we reach the point of no return.
I look forward to reading ‘Outpost’ and dipping into some of Dan’s previous books.
Welcome back the great British, (if slightly eccentric), adventurer…
‘Outpost’, published by Canongate, available on Amazon, Hardback £11.87, Kindle £8.54
- Celtic Connections 2020 Hannah Read and Andy Monaghan review by Fionnuala Boyle
- Different from Others with Illustrated Talk, GFT
- Coastal Connections Festival 2020 review and photography by Pauline Keightley
- Creative Conversation: Kate Charlesworth, Illustrator and Writer
- GRIT Orchestra Celtic Connections 2020 photography and review Pauline Keightley
- Helen McClory: Short Story Writer and Novelist at Creative Conversations
- Wrest and Maz O’Connor, Celtic Connections review Fionnuala Boyle
- Sonnet Youth #31 Old Hairdressers
- Launch of Glasgow Historical City
- The Siren Awakes by Linda Jackson, West End Launch
- Petticoats and Pinnacles, NLS Kelvinhall
- Dove Tales: Home Front Celtic Connections 2020
- Jolly Beggars Banquet Cheeky Besom Productions
- Switch Off – Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing
- Creative Conversations, Monday Lunchtimes, University of Glasgow Chapel
- Benny Lynch Heritage Trail, Calton Bar
- Scottish Writers’ Centre Periodical Publishing with Gerry Cambridge, Joy Hendry & Henry Bell
- Val McDermid Crime Writer – Creative Conversations
- Paisley Book Festival 2020
- Glasgow Libraries Christmas Reading Challenge for Kids