Tuesday, 7 August 2012

On the Fringe

It's hardly surprising after all the terrible things I've said about the Scots and Scotland that just as we departed for the wee Bonnie lands I went down with a heavy cold which got worse and worse the longer we stayed north of Hadrian's Wall.  A heaving cough even allowed the tour guide at Mary King's Close to remark that the plague seemed to have returned after an absence of 350 years.

Visiting the underground slums of Edinburgh had not been the main focus of our visit, of course.  We were up there to see The Cat and The Boy do their stuff on a public stage.  We found the venue easily enough...it was buried deeply in Edinburgh's popular red light district.  A nice place to find your children, especially when they're in the care of teachers who still look as though they're at Primary school.  The performance was  superb...of course it was, and they played to a half-full house, which evidently is a real achievement when the Fringe's average audience is just 4, I'm told!  Anyway, we and they were pleased as punch.  I still can't get over how amazing it is for them...I hope it's an experience they will treasure for ever...I'm sure they will.

We took the opportunity to see a few other things as well...The Pajama Boys who were only half as good as when we last saw them, Marcus Brigstock's morning show which was topical and raised a few laughs, Shirley and Shirley who were just as funny as when we last saw them, Tim someone who tried to raise a laugh out of science theory (the others laughed, I sat there stony faced), Iszy, a bisexual comedienne who managed to spin 30 minutes material out to an hour, Bill Clinton The Musical which was very good indeed, although somewhat late to market and The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs after which neither I nor you should ever touch an Apple product.  I think there may have been some more, but it became a bit a a blur.

Not a purple penis..The Udderbelly

As for Edinburgh itself, I had forgotten just what a remarkable city it is.  Beautiful, grand, solid.  The Scots are very lucky to have it.  This was the first time I'd been there for 25 years and I'm sure it hadn't changed much, but I can't quite remember.

There were some odd moments

UP was harangued by a Scottish man when he tried to leave a lift ahead of the women, even though nobody else could move until he did

A very dour man moaned as we tried to get a photo of the cafe where JK Rowling penned some of Harry Potter...he scowled when we explained what we were doing and tried to tell us we were at the wrong cafe...Google was later to prove him wrong...I hope his young daughter on his shoulders is not infected by his miserableness....

We were delighted to spot the golden post box, painted in honour of Chris Hoy's cycling win, but generally and indeed genuinely perplexed by how disinterested the local population seemed to be in the Olympics even when their local heroes were picking up medals.  Not a smile, not even a slight cheer, not a jump of enthusiasm.  Bizarre, really bizarre.

At least when we were in a somewhat sophisticated restaurant during Super Saturday nobody asked us to be quiet as Britain picked up one medal after another

So we're back..The Cat and The Boy will return at the end of the week.  In the meantime, this morning I managed to get tickets for the Stadium tomorrow night...we can't wait!