Some people who don’t live in Edinburgh (now officially one of the friendliest cities in the world, but we knew that already!) may be unaware that it’s a city of many festivals. Just as almost every day of the year is now ‘day of the’ something (I see national dog day took place only last week, according to Twitter anyway), we have a festival here almost every month, with August being particularly over-supplied with them. This weekend I am doing my best to get out and participate, having been to a Fringe show yesterday and already in possession of two Book Festival tickets for Monday. This is actually quite minimalist compared to some of my previous Augusts, especially the ones where I helped backstage at a Fringe show.
It can be quite tiring going into town at this time of year, or even going out at all. Although I like to see people from all over the world swarming around and enjoying the setting and the entertainment, I now realise that it can be quite hazardous being in the middle of a crowd when you aren’t all that steady on your feet, although carrying a tasteful lilac coloured stick is also very helpful, in that it may be used as a weapon if necessary – fortunately this didn’t arise yesterday! It is also very nerve-racking getting through the centre of town in any form of transport, because being in a festive and light-hearted mood seems to encourage people to suspend their natural caution about crossing the road in front of buses, trams and taxis.
Even going to work hasn’t been without its excitement, as the City Council decided to try and squeeze in some last-minute roadworks before the schools went back, using the opportunity to make their aversion to motorists clear in several ways – first by setting up the roadworks randomly without putting any warning signs in place, so that the first indication that a road was closed came when you actually got to the roadworks instead of well before that to give people the chance to go the other way. The next clever trick was to put a new road surface in place that I’ve seen compared to cat litter on social media – and not the dust-free kind either. It just lies on top of the existing road surface and throws up dust and grit all around as you drive over it. For once cyclists and motorists seem to be united in their hatred of it, which I suppose is a miracle in itself.
After a huge writing effort last weekend – I wrote 6,000 words of my latest mystery novel on Sunday alone – don’t ask me how I did it as I usually only manage about 1,000 words on a good day! – I have taken it fairly easy with the first round of edits, during which I only read through the thing and make a list of the chapters and what happens in them, which often comes as quite a shock. However, and this shouldn’t really take me by surprise but it always does, during the past few days I’ve also had what I think is an excellent plot idea for my NaNoWriMo novel, to be written in November, and I’ve even started the research I already know is needed for it. I hope the excitement won’t wear off before the end of October!