It’s festival time!

The Viking Festival returns with a vengeance this Saturday, as those narky Norse warriors just won’t take a telling!

They keep invading our shores, year after year, even when it was the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs, but the Scandinavian soldiers, with their plundering ways, just refuse to lie down!

This year’s festival in particular seems to stand out for its sheer volume of activities to supplement the traditional elements, such as the Haakon Haakonsson Lecture, the Party at the Pencil, and the continental food market.

With a Viking food and drink festival on the esplanade this year, we should all be raising a glass to the volunteers who put on such a great festival for our general merriment!

The scale of the festival has increased significantly over recent years, and this year, there is even a Viking book festival, with workshops, book signings and talks.

And there is also the ambitious open air theatre involving Gathering Storm which is at the intriguing location of the old Burns Garden, within the grounds of Douglas Park, which has rarely seen this much activity in many a year.

On Sunday, I was lucky enough to interview Peter Purves, who featured as a companion in the last Dr Who episode to feature the Vikings in 1965. Sadly, many of Peter’s episodes were wiped after transmission, but ‘The Time Meddler’ with the Vikings, survived the purge! You can read my interview with Peter at Moving forward a decade, Largs will be once again be featuring the melodic magic of the timeless ABBA, as a new tribute band visit these shores - Abba Gold. I am sure we will be rocking in the aisles to some of these tunes which resonate many years later. The Scooter Rally is also revving into the Isle of Cumbrae this weekend. While I like to ride my bicycle, there is no doubting that these scooters can seriously impress. Earlier this year when over in the States, I was bowled over by the Harley Davidson musuem in Milwaukee, which had every model replica on display, going back to the very origins, when they were not far removed from bikes themselves. Strap yourself in for a visit to Cumbrae if that floats your boat!

And with the soon to be vanquished Vikings, and super scooters on their way this weekend, brace yourself for 4-6 September, as the cowboys are coming too! I am being reliably informed that big efforts are being made to revamp the Country and Western festival on Cumbrae, with a bid to give it a more family friendly focus. Yee-hah to that!