what the start of the Festival Fringe means to me…

Well, first, there are the torrential downpours of rain – these usually happen just as people are arriving at our theatre group’s venue. They may or may not be accompanied by thunder and lightning immediately overhead.

Then it’s impossible to park anywhere within several blocks of the venue, a church hall in Newington. Yesterday I drove round for at least half an hour trying to find a parking space. The place I always use in an emergency, a street behind the main road, has acquired yellow lines since the last time I looked. Also as I drove it became clear to me that the only parking spaces I could see were always on the wrong side of the road – no matter which side of the road I was on. There must be a law of physics for this.

Knowing this would happen, I planned to take the bus, but was put off doing this by the torrential downpour of rain.

On working days, there is also the fact that it’s impossible to walk along, or get on a bus, anywhere along Princes Street without becoming aware of large groups of young people. I have nothing against young people, but I’m not so keen on groups of any kind. When they get on the bus and swarm all over the place trying to stand on the upper deck, which isn’t allowed, and completely blocking the exit through which I have to get off at the stop after the one where  they all got on, my liking for them does take a nose-dive.

Some people would probably complain equally about middle-aged and older people walking too slowly and blocking the pavements. I don’t mind this, since it gives me an excuse to walk slowly myself.

Of course all the above isn’t at all important compared to the wealth of culture that is suddenly available on our doorstep, with the Fringe just the precursor to the official Festival and the Book Festival, my favourite event of the year.


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