I love the Edinburgh Fringe. Sometimes.
Last weekend I made the arduous journey northwards through the signal-less wastes of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders to visit one of my favourite cities. I adore Edinburgh; it’s the nearest major city to the town I grew up in, so I have a lot of fond childhood and teenage memories of visiting the place. Oddly though, we never used to go to the Fringe. I really don’t enjoy crowds, the last bus home was too early, and I wasn’t really into stand-up comedy before starting uni. These days though I seem to end up in Edinburgh about once a month visiting one of my best friends (Jono – more on that mess later), and I’ve started a bit of an annual tradition of popping up for a weekend and going to free fringe shows with my good friend Robbie.
This year I decided to go up on the Friday night and stay until lunchtime on Sunday – a good couple of evening’s worth of shows and crashing on Robbie’s inflatable mattress, ideal. Then on Thursday morning a Facebook invite pops up for a Pizza Party at Jocelyn’s place on the Sunday evening. Never one to pass up the perfect foodstuff I decided to change tickets, extend my stay, and crash on Jono’s futon on the Sunday night.
Rookie error. I won’t go into the details, but Royal Mail’s “special delivery” which is “guaranteed by 1pm” is none of those things and nearly resulted in me being trapped in Edinburgh. Fortunately East Coast’s customer service is top notch and they sorted spare tickets out for me. An argument for nationalisation if ever I heard one. But let’s move on.