Edinburgh Festival:Diary

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The Independent Culture
THE LOCALS make an absolute killing hiring out their homes. Some flats are nicer than others. This year's is a beauty, though the owner's library consists largely of SAS survival guides. It could have been worse. We heard of another two-bed flat that we could hire at an amazing price. We went to see it - and couldn't work out why it was so cheap - it had beautiful furnishings and large bedrooms. Then we were told the catch. We were to have a house guest - a 12ft boa constrictor. I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to relax after a hard day's work sharing a room with a life-threatening reptile. The owner insisted the snake would be perfectly harmless, so long as we fed it a diet of mice. She then took us to the freezer, and showed us a bag of frozen rodents, which would apparently be very tasty if microwaved.

Another year we were offered a great deal, but the bedrooms were opposite the work on the new museum. We'd stumble in at 6am and the drills would start at 7am - we ended up in the lounge.

Pitching up at 6am you tend to be a bit peckish. If there's no an early opening corner shop, we could always turn to the SAS guides - "How to survive on your own toe clippings" etc.

Parsons and Naylor, Assembly Rooms (0131-226 2428) 7.20pm to 30 Aug