My Edinburgh: Virginia Ironside, Writer
Wednesday 15 August 2012
I can't have been more than 10 when I first visited Edinburgh with my father, who'd designed the sets for a festival production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. We stayed in the Old Waverley Hotel (which is still there) on Princes Street. The whole place was granite-coloured hell. Even the counters at Jenners (which is also still there) were manned by sour-faced old Edinburgh spinsters who looked shocked if you wished to be so extravagant as to purchase anything; the town rolled up its streets at nine at night.
Now it's unrecognisable from the old days. It's edgy, cool, and huge fun. I was here two years ago with my show and have returned this year to do it again. It's on in the mornings (timed so that the old people will be up and the young still asleep) and manned by sore-headed young technicians who have been up sometimes until 6am the night before. I love Edinburgh. I love its cobbled streets, the geometrically designed New Town, with its Georgian buildings. This time round I shop at Armstrongs, a chain of three excellent vintage shops including the aptly named Rusty Zip. And there's the charming Treasure Trove on Castle Street, a Self Aid charity shop that sells knitted sandwiches and other eccentric delights, all hand-made by good people on their uppers.
Virginia Ironside's 'Growing Old Disgracefully' is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot (0131 226 0000) 12.15pm daily, except Tuesdays
Virginia Ironside's Must-See Event
I've got tickets to listen to my latest hero, Thomas Heatherwick, at the Edinburgh book festival on 25 August – he designed the bendy buses, the amazing Olympic flame device with the cauldrons, and the curling bridge at Paddington Basin. And the Cambridge Footlights at Pleasance Dome were brilliant. Clever, original, and fresh.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 4 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Spanish town saved by botched restoration of century-old Christian 'Ecce Homo' fresco of Jesus
'Beasts of No Nation': Netflix releases trailer of first feature film, starring Idris Elba
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be