Leaving Mr. Hulse to his own devices is rarely a good idea (Read the previous blog for details) but it did give me time to try and get back into the little Edinburgh routine I had developed post-show, namely - stroll up to the "Subway" on South Bridge, then walk back down Nicolson Street until it turns into West Clerk Street, make a left, make a right onto Dalkeith Road and head back to the uni accommodation for a couple of hours catching up, blog writing, reflecting and reading.
If this sounds a little odd, it's really just the Bedlamburgh equivalent of a siesta for yours truly. Relatively early mornings and insanely late nights leave it necessary at some point to just relax - and then there's the walking - Oh the walking....
If you have been to Edinburgh before you will know that it is sort of built on at least two levels. If you have got drunk in Edinburgh before you will know that these levels can take on magical properties.. I actually got lost trying to find my own venue a couple of nights ago. I could see it but had lost all knowledge of how to get down to it other than by abseiling from the upper level of the city I had found myself on. Eventually I just (drunken logically) walked along the street I was on until a road off it descended. Then I just kept looking for roads that appeared to be going downhil until it flattened out again, then I got to Grassmarket, only to find I was at the wrong end of it so had to trek back to Cowgate (Where the venue is). Distance from starting point to destination? Approximately 150ft vertically. Time duration of journey? An hour and a quarter.
Anyway, I digress. I headed back into town after my siesta to pick up my guitar from Base (The venue in question) and walk up/down to Canons Gait where I had a feeling I was doing Peter Buckley Hill's "And Friends" gig, which is my favourite show at the whole festival. I wasn't - it was his day off. I had however walked past The White Horse on the way to it, where comedian Jools Constant was outside, smoking a fag. He asked if I fancied doing his show at 9pm. I did. It was terrific fun and I'm back down there on Friday. Back to Canons Gait for a quick chat with Robin Ince and a bump into the lovely Timandra who claimed she hadn't seen me for twelve years. I think it's less than that but I wasn't going to argue with her - She's a very athletic street performer and I suspect she could beat me in an arm wrestle just by using one of her eye lids.
Then Rick (Remember him?) called to say he, Susan Murray and Gvain Webster were in Bannermans. I like Bannermans. I met up with them (Having first yomped back to the venue to drop my guitar off) and they invited me to some Time Out comedy gig that sounded terribly trade-fair ish so I said "No thanks" and took Rick to Shaggers. It was shit. I was embarrassed. It even sobered him up a bit - enough for him to say "I've had enough" and get a cab back to his van. I headed up to The Loft Bar with Alex Marion which you need a pass for. I haven't got a pass. Alex hadn't got a pass either. I told him the trick was to be confident. I was. We got in and engaged in a conversation with Al Murray (Big star) and Simon Evans (Going places). Over the next few hours I spoke to Andy Linden (Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings) and briefly rubbed shoulders with Sean Hughes, that Hardeep bloke off the telly who I don't think is very funny and a host of other Edinburgh "faces" until one by one they sensibly went home and I was left with a load of open mic spots until 4am when I got a taxi the wrong way with Paul Ricketts and his girlfriend Verity Welch who informed me she had had a dream about me being "The Master" from Doctor Who.
...And then I missed fucking breakfast today when I woke up which really pissed me off because it meant I had to pay for it somewhere else, en route to The Pleasance, to meet my flyer people who were both late. It didn't matter. They did a sterling job for me and dragged 30 people into my show, the best numbers yet. It wasn't an easy show, the audience were a little awkward but I got some really BIG laughs (When they did happen) which was a relief. There is something vaguely terrifying about The Free Fringe in that you are literally dragging people off the street who have never heard of you, might not even like comedy and often are just coming in to get out of the fucking rain. A part of the show covers the fact that I know very few people who have actually been affected by the recession. Unfortunately one bloke in the audience had. He'd had his pay as a mechanical engineer slashed by 25% because of cutbacks.
I told him - and everyone else - that I was giving 25% of my "Bucket money" to Amnesty. An audience of thirty people responded to that by leaving £17.32. £17.32 for my fucking life's work.
Then I had to yomp up to George Street (Via everywhere) to pay in thirty quid that I owed a woman called Bernie before taking a leisurely stroll back along Princes Street, North Bridge, South Bridge (Where I paid £2.29 for a 6" sub of the day with EVERYTHING) and then bought a radio mic clip for the venue (£3.75) and a load of shit from Poundland that I may never need.
Then I came back to the Uni. We are now up to date.