I have made some interesting choices this Fringe. One is to do an obscene amount of shows. The final figure stands at 106. This is not a boast, more an admission from a man who needs to learn the word 'no' and who also hopes that this is some kind of excuse for writing this blog 3 weeks too late, on the last day of the festival.
Another baffling decision, slightly at odds with my work schedule, was to choose accommodation further out of town than ever, albeit delightful and reasonably-priced. My taxi-fare-saving bike purchase (Gumtree's finest) has seen me rattling my way around town laden with the day's requirements and pelting from show to show.
I throw myself into the Fringe like a mad bastard year on year because I love it. It's incredible to feel yourself becoming such a better comic over this intense three-week assault course, and I'm regularly enthralled by watching others doing the same.
There has been much talk this year of the Fringe losing its way, and becoming a corporate conveyor-belt, but this is the way of the world. All around us companies are ruthlessly expanding, gleaning what they can from a world currently so in need of laughter in any form.
But cut through that corporate soullessness, wade through the angry disaffected weekend mobs of Cowgate, and you'll find a creative heart still beating relentlessly at the largest arts festival on the planet.
As always I've been inspired, re-energised and uplifted by so many hidden gems at this bizarre and wonderful festival - the youthful Russian troupe creating unforgettable sights using only their hands and feet in Time For Fun, the magical Stuart Bowden's spine-tingling melodies and plaintive narratives in The Beast, Kahlil Ashanti's tour-de-force performance in Basic Training, and many more...
To top it off, a wordless clown (and dear friend) was presented with Edinburgh's top comedy award. Combine this with the last two years' winners - a poet and a character comedian - and surely this points to a need and a desire for the eclectic and the original.
Halfway thought the Fringe I was ecstatic to see a man in a gorilla costume sitting in a rocking chair for the best part of an hour attracting three times my daily crowd. And I can honestly say I laughed out loud more heartily than at any other show as a proud member of an audience of 3 watching a man with a glittery beard in a masonic lodge attempting to play a trombone while doing a birthing ceremony with a hula hoop.
Ticket prices in the big venues will continue to rise, and the competition will certainly increase every year but, as we know from Newton's Third Law Of Modern Comedy, the strength of an action is always matched by an equal reaction, and there's a genuinely exciting comedy underground bubbling away that is well worth your while seeking out.
Like so many others I give my heart and soul to this festival, and nothing matches the joy of presenting the contents of the strange recesses of my mind to willing strangers on my wavelength; the giddy elation I feel as the cobbles beneath my rickety steed rattle my aching bones, on streets trodden by my comedy idols for decades. I've doubted myself just as they did, had my fortunes reversed in a split second on stage just as they have, and had my efforts rewarded in so many ways, ever closer to joining the ranks of those I revere.
And as I cycle back for the final time my pocket jukebox shuffles itself onto The Smiths 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' and a warm glow surrounds me in the night air. It's the feeling of getting away with doing this for a living.