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Friday 16th May 2014


I would have thought I had been to the Edinburgh Fringe enough by now for Edinburgh City Council to put aside a compimentary suite in the castle for me to live in while I am up there. Or for grateful local citizens to club together to find me a free penthouse. Or at least for a 10% off voucher for the Tempting Tattie. But nope, I still have to pay. More each year. If only I had bought a house here in 1987 I could have saved myself an awful lot of money. But alas I had no money then.

We tried to sort out where we'd be living this year this afternoon, but to no avail. We thought we'd found a place, but then it turned out that someone had beaten us to it. It's just got so expensive that the money is meaningless now. A month in a smallish but central two bed flat will set us back £3000. That's for quite a smart place, but even a studenty dive is going to be £2000 and I am at an age now where I need a bit of a comfort so I can relax. The year that due to an administrative error we got upgraded to a swanky flat on the Royal Mile demonstrated how much a pleasant living environment can make the whole experience less stressful. I still think that all comedians, or even just the ones for whom Edinburgh has led to financial success, should get together and buy a massive building, with free rooms for anyone who is performing. Then rent it out to students for the rest of the year.

But of course, none of us are going to bother to organise that. Even though it's probably a very profitable business as well (how much would a house bought in 1987 in Edinburgh be worth today?). 

I could have done without this stress today, and we didn't even find anywhere to stay yet. Hopefully we'll have more luck on Monday. I am not punting for offers here, folks. I don't want a room in your flat. Just expressing the ongoing frustration, but realising nothing will change.

Tonight I went to the gym to watch York City play Fleetwood in the second leg of the play-off semis. The Minstermen needed to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg. Whatever happened though I was going to use it as an opportunity for a two hour work-out. So even if my team were not victorious (as my head told me would be the case), I had a good chance of dipping under 85kg tomorrow.

I wore my York City top and hoped that my pedaling on the exercise bike would somehow power my team to victory. I was surprised that no other York or Fleetwood fans had had the same idea (in this gym at least), which meant I would have to work all the harder. The team played well and with courage, but couldn't make the breakthrough. It may be for the best. They had an amazing season and getting to the play-offs after being third bottom (and only on goal difference) on Boxing Day was achievement enough for me. And 100 minutes of cycling (plus 20 minutes of weights during half-time) made this a pretty intensive work out for me. Obviously I would have liked the game to go to extra time so that York would have a chance to win, but I was relieved that it didn't as I don't know if I could have done another 30 minutes (and I think the gym would have closed before the end of the game).

Great exercise tip though. I might need to support a football team that is on TV more often, so I can become a superman!

I didn't get as far with Sunday's script as I would have liked. Hopefully raw terror will propel me onwards tomorrow. I felt the same about show 5 at this stage and that was one of the best of the series.

But we will see. I fear that this year I will be proven to be an overambitious man who is forced to learn his limitiations. But that's not a bad thing. And I am glad that I am pushing myself. But even though it will be a relief to get the Meaning of Life series out of the way (for me, the producer, editors and animator still have a lot of work ahead of them), all it will mean is that I then have to face up to the unwritten play (and let's not even think about the stand-up show yet).
Am I laughing my way to disaster? If so I hope I at least get to be in a nice flat at the Fringe!

You'll be able to buy tickets on the door for Sunday's Meaning of Life gig - just £10. Or book ahead if you like.

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