Thursday 8 August 2013

Fringe benefits

In the same way France is wasted on the French, I would like to suspect that Edinburgh is wasted on our Scottish friends (and enemies), but I doubt that is the case - there is an obsessive pride in wearing tartan and blowing the bagpipes which gives a sense of national identity the English would do well to learn.

Our trip north of the border started with a fairly gruesome journey by (non) Sleeper train courtesy of ScotRail.  It eventually left two hours late, which meant after 2.00 am.  The downside was a very uncomfortable marble floor at Euston, the upside was seeing people return home after a night out on the tiles.  It's amazing how lovely and friendly they were in their inebriated states...probably best were the lesbians who were very excited by our trip, gave us a show and tell of all the things they'd pinched from the bar they'd been at, and were obviously deeply in love/lust with each other as the one explained how the other one kept digging her in the ribs when they were asleep.  We were woken up at 7.30...the time we were due in a stewardess who explained that the train had broken down and we would have to change.  then she came back and said we didn't have to change.  Then she came back and said we did have to change.  The Cat's Mother generally retained her sense of humour.

Anyway, we eventually arrived in Alba at about 10.30, dumped our bags and headed up Scott's Monument.  Gorgeous view...but for someone who suffers from vertigo these days, being crowded into a space about the size of a bath tub with twenty other people a couple of hundred foot above the ground was a challenge for me.  The Cat's Mother generally lost her sense of humour as we first fought our way up the 278 steps and then fought our way down again.

Edinburgh is just a fabulous has a solid beauty which must be matched by few others anywhere in the world.  It's fantastically laid out, and really I could wander around for days enjoying the magnificent architecture.

We were there to see The Cat and The Boy perform in 'The Actors Nightmare'.  They can't possibly realise how lucky they are to be a part of The's something that I hope they will both look back on with much affection and pride in the future.

Other highlights were La Clique...a fabulous cabaret show that we've seen before, but that didn't make this any less memorable....particularly the forty-five year old man dressed in a sparkling blue lycra bunny outfit, and Piff the magic dragon who did terrible things to his chihuahua (RSPCA - not really).

(from an earlier tour)

Best of all for me by a mile was 'WotNoFish'...a heart rending tale of the narrator's great aunt and uncle, Ab and Celie Solomon.  The Great Uncle had drawn a cartoon on his wage packet every week and given it to Celie his wife, and together the wage packets told the tale of their life together.  Beautifully told by David Braverman, who manages to subtly draw you in from the beginning, and make you laugh and cry as their story unfolds.  Truly inspiring.

Other than that we saw some hit and miss comedy, and a show that sums up all that's great and bad about British society: 'Shitfaced Shakespeare' you might expect it's a performance of Much Ado, with one of the actors completely and utterly legless.  You couldn't help but laugh, but really it's a complete train crash.

Anyway, I took some pictures

The journey home was a little easier

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Normal? Service? will be resumed as soon as possible

In the meantime, I read that some 300 people have complained to the advertising watchdogs, the ASA, about the new Marmite advert.  Evidently it demeans the work of animal rescue charities.  If ever we needed proof that people need to get a life (or just a sense of humour)...