Today the world's biggest art festival hits Edinburgh's gardens and closes for three weeks! The city's population doubles in size as people from all over the world flock to the streets and the various festival venues. The streets are filled with performances and exhibitions, actors arrive at bars in their outfits post performance and bars and clubs are open late - 3 am and 5 am.
On our last night, we ditched the sports bras, dusted off the glad rags and treated ourselves to a farewell meal in the old town. It was the perfect ending to the trip - even the part where we ended up in the nightclub, Toy Room. It was so nice to spend the trip surrounded by such lovely people and leave with new friends.
A new report showed women's body confidence is now a 'critical issue' and 'body-shaming' adverts have become so bad that London's Mayor has had to ban them from the Tube - we are in a time where 'festival ready' is more dangerous to young women than ever. Because what it's really telling them, in its subterfuge way, is that they're not 'good enough' as they already are.
I've been delighted that my teenage daughters have fallen in love with music in the same way I did. They go to gigs all the time. Occasionally they are frustrated by a band they want to see playing a club with age restricted access. But it doesn't happen often, and never with outdoor shows - until this summer, when I was told they're not welcome at a particular festival because they're under 18.
They are the places I've found the most immense feeling of community and togetherness. The toilets and the rain are testing, admittedly,, but it can also bring out the best, sometimes silliest in people.
The festival season is well and truly upon us. Radio One's Big Weekend kicks off proceedings this weekend with the Isle of Wight Festival and Download hot on its heels. The mother ship of festivals, Glastonbury, is also a little under 4 weeks away.
Thank god for summer festivals. Thinking about theses potential up-coming music and arts parties keeps me sane throughout the last few weeks of winter with cabin fever. Even if I only make it to one festival annually, it will be just enough to sustain me through to the following year. However I MUST make it to at least one.
I'd never encountered a Tangophone before, and that's because the one at the 2 Cambridge Street apartment in Edinburgh is the only one in the world. We'd just arrived in Edinburgh for the start of one of the lesser-known festivals in Festival City, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, so it seemed perfect that we found ourselves in unique accommodation that was full of stories itself.
If it's possible for six days to say no to fear, to go to a place where fear doesn't exist then surely that must mean that fear isn't real and is something that is imposed on us by the circumstances we live in or by what we believe to be circumstances that stop us from doing what we really want. Mind boggling no?
So much to choose from - the fruit, donuts and balls sex exhibition party, naked pub crawls, kundalini cooking classes, the orgasmatron experience, slut Olympics, booty shines, workshops on how to turn your panties into a face mask, male stripping, spanking at Spankies and - my favorite - the strap-a-thon in Beavertown for women and transgender people only.
Saturday afternoon's judging was a hoot with a raucous hoedown feel to it. The beer and whiskey flowed freely, judges were encouraged to speak out, cut up, and toss spare samples out from the stage where we presided to the rowdy audience below.
The musical highlight this year was Grace Petrie and the Benefits Culture who roused a damp Monday night crowd with their politically charged folk songs. Grace Petrie is the musical soul of Corbynmania. Heartfelt catchy tunes delivering lyrics of love and protest which sum up her generation of politically engaged youth who despise the political establishment.
I went to Reading Festival this weekend. I've been going virtually every year since my first time in 1989, apart from when I got banned, which is a long story (yes, I really am that old and yes, I really did get banned). And you know what? It was still absolutely brilliant.
So now it's out there, how do we achieve Safe Gigs for Women? Writing this in the week we've seen debate on whether women only carriages on the tube, it feels like the debate around achieving safe spaces for women is difficult at best. But here's my ideal.
Among the more recognised names that will be occupying the stages at this year's Greenbelt festival over the August Bank Holiday, will be a little known Filipino priest called Father Herbert Fadriguella.
Bands there were aplenty of all the metal genres you could throw a stick carved to look like a skull at. Admittedly, pre-arrival the line-up felt a little odd in places - mainly because you could read the logos of the headliners.