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When In Rome

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

(Or Edinburgh...) Drink Irn Bru, obviously.

I'm back from Edinburgh.

I think I left my energy and body clock behind because I'm quite disgustingly tired at the moment. Probably the result of a truly hectic couple of days and spending 18 hours on a coach but my god it was worth it. What an amazing place! How have I never been before? Am already planning a return trip to do some sightseeing and shopping.

We had blue skies! I barely got wet at all, so all that fretting about waterproof shoes was completely pointless.

What did we fit into our packed schedule? Quite a mixture of things really. I know the Fringe is probably best known for comedy but we watch quite a lot of that anyway so we made the conscious decision this time to limit it to a couple of comedians that we hadn't seen before and fill the rest of our time with other stuff.

The World According To Bertie

This wasn't the most dynamic play in the world but it was never going to be. If you've ever read any of the Scotland Street books then you know the joy of them is in the little things. Not very much happens in terms of plot; it's all about the characters. It was done really well and I loved the staging - the play happened in about 6 different locations around the room and we were constantly swivelling round on our stools to follow it all.


This was a little one-man show, aimed at families. Hey, you know me though. I am never put off by anything targeted at a younger age group. Rightly so in this case because I absolutely loved it. It was a really wonderful mixture of storytelling, audience interaction, doodling on post-it notes and tales of constellations. Reminded me a lot of Diana Wynne Jones in style and coming from me, that is a big compliment.

Private Peaceful

I cried. Are you surprised? Thought not. It's a stage adaptation of the book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo and given how astonishingly good War Horse is, I really wasn't surprised by the quality of this. One actor on a very simple stage for a solid 75 minutes - just incredible. It was immensely powerful and moving.

Holly Walsh

Best use of Venn Diagrams. Ever. Oh she was funny. I've seen her on quite a few panel shows but didn't realise this year was her first time doing proper stand-up. You honestly wouldn't have known. She was really at home in front of the audience and we were all howling with laughter.

Chris Ramsey

If this boy doesn't make it very big very soon then there is no justice in the world. I left with properly aching cheeks because I'd laughed so much.

I find it so hard to describe comedy. It's not much use me going "And he did this HILARIOUS thing about Geordie Shore - HAHAHAHAHAHA! It made me CRY laughing!" (he did, and it did, but my retelling of it would be shite). I thoroughly recommend going to see him if you get the chance.

We wound the trip up by being in the audience at a live recording of the Radio 4 programme Broadcasting House. Ex-MP Neil Hamilton sat behind me. Yes, I do realise I'm about the only person in the world who would be mildly thrilled by this.

We've already got the dates in our diary for next year. Can't wait.

ps - am monstrously behind on blog commenting. Sorry! I'll try and catch up gradually but free time is very, very scarce for me this week.


  1. OOH It sounds like you had a great time. I like the thought of Edinburgh but it may as well be abroad its so far away.

  2. Jealous! Been watching some of the Fringe stuff on telly but would love to go. I've never been to Edinburgh either, must rectify that as well.

  3. Edinburgh during the fringe is electric. I lived there for two years back in the mid 90s and I remember feeling a bit like sad after the hoards of festival goers had skedaddled & the place returned to "normality". Glad you had a fab time, it's a very beautiful city.
    Take care luv,

  4. Am very jealous I adore Edinburgh, especially at fringe time, so glad you had a fabulous time...and Irn Bru too!

  5. You ought to be careful who you sit next to (or in front of). You never know what you may catch!!
    Never been to Edinburgh - Mr B's been on tour there a few times tho'. It does look a wonderful place to visit, but SO far away. And I couldn't bear all the crowds at Festival time.
    I do fancy a Caledonian sleeper train journey and a night (or 2) at The Witchery!
    Z xx

  6. Edinburgh is on my list of places to visit asap! Not sure I could handle the irn bru though!

  7. Welcome back! Get you sitting in front of Neil Hamilton, did you keep turning round and bobbing your tongue out at him? x

  8. Sounds like you had a great time!
    I've been to the Festival a couple of times but only for a few hours so only caught the street acts and comedy shows in the pubs.

  9. It looks like you crammed lots in!!
    I've never been to the Fringe, but would love to, so much to see and do.


  10. Sounds great, I love Edinburgh but have never been to the festival. Will keep an eye out for those comedians xx

  11. Fried Mars bars! We have something called Wicked Oreos but the gooey hot mess of a batter-dipped chocolate bar I have yet to try. I wish I could have seen William. I actually was reading the new Patricia Wrede and I thought the same thing about DWJ, which I found odd because I've read about a dozen of Wrede's books but this is the first time she reminded me of Diana. Or maybe I just miss Diana.

  12. Ohhh you've made me want Iron Bru now! I'm glad you had a good time, i've never been but it looks beautiful x

  13. oh man I want to go to the fringe so badly one year. maybe 2012 will be the year for me! The guy Chris looks like a guy I know also called Chris, weird!!

    Bow Dream Nation xx

  14. Chris Ramsey looks like a cut-price Russel Howard.

    You should have gone to some free stuff! There's always loads on, and in the best bars (which the tourists usually can't find).

    K xx

  15. Sounds like you had a great time - good to see that the weather held up. xxx

  16. V jealous! I would have loved all of these! As you know, I adore AMC and I am an even bigger fan of Mr Morpurgo!!!

  17. Ooh I've just been in Edinburgh as well! (to visit old uni friends though, not so much for the Fringe) and was pleasantly surprised by the weather too! It's such a pretty city. I hope you managed to squeeze in a visit to the fudge shop down the Royal Mile whilst you were there!

  18. Ooo,darl,sounds like you've had a proper good time!!
    Love! XXX

  19. Glad you seem to have had such a fabulous time! That photo of the castle is gorgeous... swoon.

  20. Wow, don't think I've EVER seen blue sky in Edinburgh! Sounds like you had a brilliant time, the festival is on My List for definite! xx

  21. Sounds like a great day. I really want to go to Edinburgh and Glasgow for shopping and things (I'd also rather like to meet Ayden from LBOH).

    Think I'm finally coming round to the idea of a pair of brogues for waterproof, sensible shoes... what's your take?

  22. Yay - so glad you enjoyed my home town. The more I travel, the more I appreciate the beauty of Edinburgh. xx

  23. Glad you had a great time in Edinburgh, visiting a new place is always a good thing.

    p.s I am behind on comments too, hence this being five days late. If only we could invent some advance comment form! xxx


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