Friday, August 12, 2005

The first day of the Edinburgh Festival

Long ago and far away in Edinburgh, I was travelling on the number 27 bus with a schoolfriend who was fond of discarding her shoes and walking about barefoot (I think she thought this was the hallmark of a free spirit; to a cynic it's the hallmark of someone who wants to catch hepatitis). It was Festival time and everywhere Edinburgh folk were going about their business deliberately ignoring the cultural delights on offer. We got on at Tollcross and went upstairs. An old dear who sat at the back of the bus stared po-faced at K's feet and after a few moments' reflection remarked sternly to her friend:
"Aye. They all come out the woodwork for the Festival".
I always found it funny that every year Edinburgh would fill with people from London "discovering" the city for the first time - my bar, my shops, and my quaint city. The people who lived there, including me, were largely unmoved by the spectacle, or like the denizens of Leith in Trainspotting, saw it as an opportunity to give a fat tourist a kicking and steal his jacket.

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