Edinburgh during the festival is not my Edinburgh. I lived here as a student and briefly as a graduate, but Edinburgh during the festival is a totally different beast. So too am I, charging around in the desperate hope that some good will come from it all.
Streets I ambled down with nothing to do and days to fill, I now find myself scurrying along – sending waddling holidaymakers flying as I try to avoid being late for that all-important opportunity to plug my show on barelyahandfuloflisteners.fm or to do a quick face-to-face interview for a free weekly bulletin that gets handed to people visiting patients on the trauma ward.
I feel like a stranger here now. The whole city has been fly-posted with publicity material, but if I scratch through the many layers I can still find the Edinburgh of my memories nestling safely beneath. Some people think that the volcano that sits in the middle of this city is its most remarkable feature, but it’s actually the fact that not a single roadworks project started in Edinburgh since the Age Of Enlightenment has yet been completed.
But as I sprint around this city I still have time to reflect on the memories triggered by various sights and sounds; pubs in which I have spent entire days; doorways in which I have been kissed and/or sick; kebab houses where I’ve eaten everything on the menu three times over.
I am a healthier man now than I was at university and I still amaze myself at the abuse I suffered at my own hands in the city’s excellent eating and drinking establishments.
One of my favourite spots is on George IV bridge where I once saw a posh drunken woman yell at a taxi driver “I own three properties in this city. I bet you still live in rented accommodation”.
To this day, it remains the most middleclass piece of drunken abuse I’ve ever seen.
Miles Jupp: ‘Telling It Like It Might Be’, Gilded Balloon, to 30 Aug (0131-622 6552)
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