My last post came across as pretty morose, so before my family put me on suicide watch, I thought I'd write about why I bloody love Edinburgh.
1. The city itself. It's got a massive castle, great art galleries and museums and the oldest floral clock in the world (I don't know why that is even an accolade, but it is.). The split-layered nature of it means that even though I've spent so much time here, I still get lost.
2. The amazing shows you can see here. Every year the best performers descend on this city to try weird and wonderful things. You can see things here that you scarcely thought possible.
3. The awful shows you can see here. Some of the worst theatre and comedy that has ever been conceived gets put on at this festival. One year previously a friend saw a play where someone took a shit live on stage. Whilst that sounds disgusting, the logistics of having regular enough bowel movements and the overcoming of stage-fright to enact such a thing really interest me in that they were able to do it every night.
4. The people. The Scots have an undeserved reputation for being dour. Actually I find them hugely gregarious. Whilst this may be because I'm from London, the least friendly city in the entire world, it certainly makes a change to have casual friendly conversations at a bus stop. In London, if you started up a casual conversation like that, people would generally presume you to be mentally ill.
5. The scenery. Edinburgh is built right next to an extinct volcano. How awesome is that! I occasionally run up it and when I get to the top I feel like Rocky. If you're visiting the city, you absolutely have to climb Arthur's seat. The view is incredible.
6. The weather. Being here really makes you appreciate when the weather is nice as it is now, because it is, by and large, terrible.
7. Comedians walking around. It's an experience I haven't had since university of living in a small city with lots of people you know in it. As I walk around, I will usually bump into a number of comedians I know from the circuit, and generally most people have time to shoot the breeze and chat idly about anything, which is refreshing.
8. The pubs. Not the central boozers that are rammed full for the festival and charging four pounds a pint, but the little locals that sell a selection of real ales. My current favourite is called the Dagda Bar.
9. The young people having a lovely time. Having turned 27 two weeks ago, I have to accept that my time as a young person is over (I deeply miss the Young Person's Railcard. I already think trains are crippling expensive anyway.) but I enjoy watching a company of young actors come up here full of joy and hope and tearing into the festival like their very lives depend on it.
10. My flatmates. I'm lucky enough to live with some of the most talented comedians Edinburgh has to offer; Daniel Simonsen, last year's best newcomer, Pat Cahill, who I'll curse by saying deserves that award this year, That Pair, a brilliantly funny double-act, Alfie Brown, a hugely insightful political comedian and Tommy Holgate, a reformed alcoholic on a mission to spread wellbeing through his shows. In my biased opinion, they're all the picks of the fringe. And now I've blown smoke up their arses, hopefully they won't mind that I came home drunk and ate pretty indiscriminately from the fridge last night...
Matt Lacey is appearing throughout the festival at 7.30pm in the French Quarter at the Voodoo Rooms,West Register Street, EH2 2AA