Thursday, August 13, 2009


What is the point of mobile broadband? In five year's time will we laugh at them as much as minidisc recorders? On the thick stones of Edinburgh the little beggar has given up, which is why i'm typing gamely away in a cafe/laptop farm full of fierce-faced people stabbing self-importantly away.

I am very happy, however. To write Harry Potter, JK Rowling booked the penthouse of Edinburgh's finest hotel. I am penning my latest book in an apartment above a gay sauna. It's as lovely as can be - although the air does whiff of chlorine and farts.

In between flailing away at my wordcount, I am seeing STUFF. Mostly wonderful stuff. I am not trying too hard. This morning I walked past some student actors in Elizabethan skirts bouncing up and down singing a warm-up song about bananas. I checked the crowd to see if there were any pretty boys. There were not - just a slightly flushed, overweight boy surrounded by a lot of girls with pinched faces and the make-up of 50 year-olds screaming "Banana! This is how we peel the banana!". So I decided it was safe to hate them and move on.

I've deliberately avoided seeing any Token Gay Plays, but did go and see a comic called Jimmy McGhie on the basis that he looked pretty in the flyer. He told nice jokes and his shirt kept riding up, which made up for the fact that Future Husband Rhod Gilbert was sold out. There was also a suicidal Welsh transvestite sing-a-long called Sue which was brilliant. There we are.

Apart from theatre and comedy there's also the joy of trying to use the Fringe Website which has the kind of woeful search engine you hope St Peter will use when it comes to judgment day ("Well, I'm typing in 'sodomy' and all it's offering me are tickets to a short film...").

At night (which in Edinburgh appears to start at about 1 am) I am finding the gay scene oddly flat. I'm either blaming the smoking ban or my indigestion, but it's peculiarly lifeless. There's a new barclubbar called "GHQ" which looks a little too imposing to even try and drink in. CeCeBlooms still has checkerboard tiles on which florid women are whirled around to Kylie by whip-thin dancing boys. As I'm getting older I'm noticing I'm edging further and further away from the dry ice and towards the slot machines and the scowling pensioners who sit there letting off 2a.m. farts.

Other than that, I dunno. It's kind of brilliant, really. I've also been watching Quatermass 2 again. It's a gift that keeps on giving, especially at scrapy-o-clock when you're utterly, utterly smashed and really just need to hear a women with plums rammed between all of her cheeks crisple enunciate "Johnny! Johnny! What's Happened To You! Is it the Amonids? Johnny?" Bliss.


richardwatts said...

There's a couple of great Australian comedians performing over in Edinburgh at the moment - if you get the chance I highly recommend The List Operators, Geraldine Quinn, and Wes Snelling/Benn Bennett...

Skip said...

Damn! Missed this recommendation due to shoddy wireless.

richardwatts said...

If yr still in Edinburgh: