I first came to Edinburgh when I was 18 to serve on the Perrier Awards panel, and was inspired to try stand-up myself. In the intervening 22 years the press initially dubbed me a a 'fresh face', then 'a rising star', then an 'established name'. This year I was described as a 'permanent fringe fixture'. Like the rain, the sweaty venues and the panpipe players outside Waverley station, I have become part of the festival furniture.
Even Greyfriars Bobby only remained by his master's grave for 14 years. I've spent way longer than that haunting the places I discovered in the last millennium. Bar Napoli on Hanover Street, The Tempting Tattie on Jeffrey Street and the St Vincent Bar on St Vincent Street have all enjoyed my unwavering devotion. In recent times I have added the Dagda Bar on Buccleuch Street (I still can't pronounce that street name, in taxis I have to say 'it's near the Meadows') and Lord Bodo's on Dublin Street to my August itinerary.
I used to think that there was something vaguely tragic about my mum and dad going back to the same Eastbourne B&B every year because 'they knew what they were getting'. That's how I feel about the Fringe now - being in the same place each August is reassuring. The only difference is, I see a lot more political theatre and nude dancing than they ever did.
If I ever
stop loving this city or this festival, I'll stop coming. That might take at
least another 22 years.
Lucy Porter: Northern Soul, The Stand, 5.10pm, to 25 August, not 12, 19 (0131 558 7272)
Garret Millerick: Does It Matter? (Underbelly, Bristo Square, 10.50pm). He's a very funny man and it appeals to me because it's a late-night philosophy show. I'm sure there will be lots of drunk deep thinkers there.