First things to point out about Edinburgh, the city:
1. It is cold. Even in August. It makes returning to London feel like arriving on a Greek island.
2. Lots of big old dirty buildings. All historic and what not.
3. Everyone says thank you to the bus driver.
Things to point out about holidaying without the Boo:
1. Just because the Boo isn't there doesn't mean it's a holiday. I am still owed a beach, ok.
2. It's not a good idea to look at too many photos of the Boo, or peruse the children's section of the programme, coz then the missing her gets worse.
3. Being myself without her is actually quite exhausting. I become possessed by the freedom, try to achieve too much and end up feeling sick. Like when I commute to work and become a mess of spotify, kindle, podcasts and snacks. I want it all. Combine this feeling with being at the biggest most super amazing theatre and comedy festival, with hundreds of routes to fun and laughs. My obsessiveness was annoying even myself.
4. On the plus side I abandoned all of my sense of direction and allowed R to guide me through the city. This was basically the blind leading the blind, because it's normally me who does all the concentrating on what's going on and where we are meant to be going. So while my feet were exhausted from all the excess walking in wrong directions, my mind was all floaty light.
How to accomodate oneself in Edinburgh
1. Sleeping and showering. Best done at the home of a relative, or boyfriend's relative. Even better done when the relatives are super amazing people with super cute cats. It's free, and then you can go shopping for thank you cards and candles, always a fun thing to do.
2. Or I dunno, rent something somewhere at an extortionately high price. This is the thing that performers bitch about the most, and rightly so. I feel pretty bad for them. Most of them have to put on a free show, they spend a fortune hiring venues and somewhere to sleep, they almost never break even, I'm not really sure why they bother. Except that they clearly really love what they do. Which brings me to my next point...
How to decide what shows to see:
1. For the locals it's a more free-flowing experience. They're not riding the same high of obsessiveness that I was. The ones I spoke to mainly go to the free shows, or hang around outside of venues, knowing that in a last minute bid to fill seats, a desperate promoter will offer them free tickets. They're also around longer to read the reviews and get recommendations.
2. Read the reviews. This doesn't work if you arrive on the opening weekend, like we did.
3. So I made my own judgements based on the tiny blurb and photo in the programme. It's amazing how brutally satisfying that can be.
4. Add the shows that you want to see to the Fringe App calendar. But then you realise how hard it is to keep to a schedule, or to squeeze in more that 3 shows a day when your other half is on a perpetual mission to find the best Scottish breakfast in town. So you end up only using the 'what's on nearby now' feature of the app, which is actually the best feature anyway. So you can peruse that and make a plan to actually see something, anything, nearby, while boyf is deliberating on the quality of his haggis.
5. If worse comes to worse you could just take one of the one million flyers that are enthusiastically shoved in your face at every third step. You could take it and read it and go to the show that it advertises. Or you could take it out of politeness, shove it in your poncho pocket, and recycle it when you get home three days later.
We only saw theatre and comedy. Apparently there's other stuff too like dance and music and film. But they're generally more expensive and less funny. We wanted the funny. So these are the shows that we actually did see, with a quick summary of their merits.
Sarah Bennetto: Another one of boyfriend's friends. A funeral themed show, which wasn't quite ready yet so we were treated to a funeral workshop/rehearsal. I thought the fart joke worked quite well, and was impressed with the mournful Owen Wilson impression.