Endarkenment and yurts
Jonathan Mills' prediction that a theme of Enlightenment in this year's Edinburgh International Festival programme meant a parallel theme of endarkenment, proved uncannilly accurate at the weekend as a power cut at the Usher Hall plunged performers and audience into darkness.
The book festival was having similar problems on Friday night when the generator caused a blackout just as Ian Rankin took to the stage to announce the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
Mr Rankin - no stranger to dark places, at least as far as his books go - gamely carried on with the announcement.
Torchlight presentations weren't required as by the time Sebastian Barry stepped forward to receive his prize for the wonderful Secret Scriptures, the power had been restored and the lights were back on in the main tent.
Acting book festival director Richard Holloway was reasonably relaxed and speculating wildly about where any additional power source could be placed in the tight-packed site.
Beneath Prince Albert's plinth? he asks with a wink.
Amidst the expected handful of cancellations and changes on Saturday is the news that former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren has pulled out of an event.
Not the shyest of flowers, it can hardly be because of the pressure - it appears he's had a fallout with the New York-based storytelling society The Moth, with whom he planned to appear.
Apparently, they wanted to cut back his story about how as a teenage wine taster he used sexual phrases to describe wine.
The book festival is playing down any fall-out.
They say he simply didn't have enough time to prepare his story.
Despite the intense content of his books, author David Peace turns out to be, in person, a softly spoken affable Yorkshireman who charms the surprisingly sparse audience in the main tent on Saturday night.
Having completed the acclaimed Yorkshire set Red Riding Quartet, while living in Japan, he admits he's now moving back to Yorkshire, meaning the third part of his new Tokyo trilogy will be written there.
Asked about how he moved between such eclectic subjects - the Yorkshire ripper, a Japanese serial killer, Brian Clough - he admitted it was a strange jump.
The Damned United, he said, had meant to be entirely focused on Leeds United but Clough's story dominated.
"In some ways," he admits,"it felt like a waste of a good book."
And fans can look forward to another Peace sporting life. He confirmed at the weekend that he intends to get under way shortly on a book about Geoffrey Boycott.
Meanwhile, book festival regulars have been paying tribute to departing festival director Catherine Lockerbie, who announced her decision to quit after nine years, just a few weeks before this year's festival began.
Among them poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy who penned an ode for the occasion.
INSIDE THE YURT
(for Catherine Lockerbie)
Inside the yurt was a pond where goldfish swam
and the poets fished for haiku, undisturbed
by the piper playing an old lament outside.
Inside the yurt was a parliament, the politicians
took off their masks at the door and lay down
with the truth, a dram, from where they watched
London Town floating away like a dream.
Inside the yurt was an elephant, a hump-backed whale,
a swarm of bees, a Vice-President of the USA
who had come to say enough was enough. Inside
the yurt was a mosque at dusk, the sound of a wholly
human voice. A novelist whizzed round and round
in the yurt in her red Ferrari. A scientist checked
his notes on the next tsunami. A polemicist helped himself
to a large red wine and salami. Inside the yurt
was a loch where the National Monster swam
and another dram... and another dram... and another dram...
Inside the yurt was a magic pen which signed the name
of someone who wasn't there. Inside the yurt was the key
to a prison cell; a candle burned. Inside the yurt
was a wishing-well, a gaelic spell, the Hogmanay bells,
a nine-year queue of children, women, men,
two million, then, all in the yurt in a singing ring
for Catherine, for Catherine, for Catherine,
who brought to the yurt the living, giving word
and the bells and the books and the candles. Thank her.
Carol Ann Duffy