In 2017, Charlie began a 9,000km triathlon along the perceived border between Europe and Asia. But Following the Line was not just an endurance feat, it was an exploration into what it means to be Asian or European. In this talk, Charlie discusses what divides or unites the peoples either side of the line, and comments on the diversity of landscape, environment, religion and culture along the border between East and West.
BBC TV wildlife presenter and cameraman Gordon Buchanan has travelled the planet – through South America, Asia, Africa, Papua New Guinea, Russia and Alaska – and will definitely
have some interesting answers! This is a talk for any wildlife enthusiast who wants to enjoy spell-binding stories of the natural world from a man who has experienced the most inspiring and dangerous animals face-to-face. Animal Families and Me promises a unique opportunity to hear personal recollections of Gordon’s globetrotting travels as he delves into his world of weird, wild and
wonderful wildlife, all illustrated with his own film footage and photography. With a reputation for
relishing dangerous and tough assignments, his tales of challenging expeditions make for a thrilling evening that’s not to be missed.
The Queen has had corgis by her side ever since she was seven years old and persuaded her father to buy one for the family. The dogs are the Queen’s constant companions and Jenny’s book reveals the scraps and scrapes in which the dogs have been involved.
Daughter of Sir John Junor and school-mate of Princess Anne, journalist, TV presenter and popular writer, Penny Junor is possibly best known for her royal biographies, originating with Diana: Princess of Wales, earning her the label of ‘royal expert’. This is a fascinating and affectionate look at the Queen and her most faithful companions on what really makes our much-loved and longest reigning monarch truly light up.
3.00pm – 4.00pm | £8.50
Coorie, or còsagach in Gaelic, is the Scottish version of hygge – a recently popularised Danish word, meaning to create a warm atmosphere and enjoy the good things in life with good people. Gabriella Bennett has travelled Scotland speaking to people whose love of coorie shows in their homes, creativity and approach to a life lived well. Join Gabriella as she explores what coorie is and how it has helped nurture the astonishing creativity for which Scotland is famed, despite an often harsh and unforgiving climate.
4.30pm – 5.30pm | £8.50
Get together with one of the most important and beloved religious leaders of our time as he extends an invitation to reconsider life’s greatest mystery. Now in his ninth decade, former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway presents a positive, meditative and profound exploration of the many important lessons we can learn from death: facing up to the limitations of our bodies as they falter, reflecting on our failings, and forgiving ourselves and others.
A reviewer and writer for the press, including The Times, The Guardian and The Scotsman, Richard is a frequent presenter on radio and television and is well known for his support of progressive causes, questioning and addressing complex ethical issues in the areas of sexuality, drugs and bioethics.
6.00pm – 7.00pm | £10.00
Archaeologist, historian, conservationist, author and broadcaster, Neil Oliver is best known as presenter of the BBC documentary series, Coast. This event is his personal account of what makes these islands so special, told through places which have borne witness to the unfolding of our history. Cradling astonishing beauty, the human story here is a million years old, but the tolerant, easy-going peace we’ve enjoyed has been hard won. We’ve made and known the best and worst of times. We have been hero and villain and all else in between.
Beginning with humankind’s earliest ancestors, he takes us via Romans and Vikings, the flowering of religion, civil war, industrial revolution and two world wars. From windswept headlands to battlefields – each is a place where the spirit of the past seems to linger. “I have chosen what I consider to be the most characteristic features of the face I have grown up to know and love… in this present climate of public fear, disagreement and uncertainty about the future, I think it is timely to look again at the past, the story of this place from its earliest times.”
7.30pm – 8.30pm | £14.50
From 1988 to 2017 David was the Highland Correspondent of The Herald. His patch stretched from the Mull of Kintyre in the south to the Shetland island of Unst in the north; from St. Kilda in the west, to the whisky country of Speyside in the east. David helped the first community land buyout in modern times in Assynt, covered the anti-toll campaign on the Skye Bridge, along with the efforts to save Gaelic and protect ferry services. Join David reflecting on the issues affecting the Highlands and Islands during his time of coverage.
10.00am – 11.00am | £8.50
Not so long ago vibrant, wild forest stretched across much of Scotland. Beavers and cranes were at home in extensive wetlands. Salmon and trout filled the rivers. Lynx, wolf and wild boar roamed wooded glades. Today, it’s easy to be seduced by the raw beauty of the Scottish landscape, but it is sadly an ecological shadow of its former self.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Join conservation photographer Peter Cairns, who leads the call for a new vision of a wilder Scotland, where forests abundant with life are regenerating, rivers lined with alder and willow run freely, damaged peatlands are revitalised and oceans support the great whales: a place where nature works as it should, wildlife flourishes and crucially, where people prosper.
6.00pm – 7.00pm | £8.50
One of the most accomplished exploratory
mountaineers of all time. Simon Yates is best
known for his role in the harrowing expedition
to the Andes documented in Joe Simpson’s
bestseller Touching The Void. Following that
experience in Peru, Simon has been increasingly
drawn to places where few others have trod.
This illustrated lecture features spectacular
images and film of the most remote and rarely
explored mountain ranges of the world from the
Arctic to the Antarctic and Alaska to Central
Asia – there is hardly a significant range that
Simon has not visited.