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Friday 22nd August 2008

I am starting to think about packing. My plan is to do my final show on Sunday and then come home, load my stuff into the car and head for England. Once there I will hole up in a Travelodge or similar, before completing the journey home on Monday. I see no need to hang around here once all is done. I am not desperate to leave because I am having a horrible time - quite the opposite, it's possibly the best Fringe ever for me - but it's all about the show and once the show is done, then there is no need to linger. I will make Saturday night and the if.comedie party my chance to say goodbye to all my friends.
So, yes, I need to get packed quite soon so I am ready to go. I was going to start today, but tiredness and events overtook me. And the packing and tidying process seemed too big. My room is a mess. My stuff is all over the place. There are piles of newspapers and leaflets and clothes and general rubbish.
I was also looking at the things that I brought up which I have not managed to use. I had tennis racquets and balls, foolishly believing that I might get out on a court at some point, but the rain and the rib injury put paid to that. The brand new balls remain in their sealed tubes. I was also going to bring my squash stuff up, but sanity prevailed and I left it at home on the landing, knowing that I'd never get down to the courts for that one.
There is also, as ever, a pile of books that I brought up, thinking that I might get a chance to do some reading on my long days. But as always I was too tired and distracted to get into a book. So the five novels that came up with me unread will return unread. Why do I even bother?
More surprisingly the DVD box sets that I came up with have also remained untouched. I haven't watched anything like as much TV as I usually do and haven't seen a single DVD, so Frasier and Seinfeld will have to wait for another time.
My suit hangs in the cupboard, not worn once (though I might put it on for the party tomorrow).
Aside from that pretty much everything else has been employed at some time or another. Thank God that I am not going back on the train though. Having a car makes all these extra luxuries easy to carry, so it doesn't matter that I didn't use them. And hey, there's still two days left. Maybe there will be a big tennis/reading/DVD marathon to come!
Tomorrow I will go down to get my car. Hopefully it will still be there. I haven't checked up on it for a couple of weeks, but surely the people of Edinburgh can be trusted!
I felt happy and relatively pain free as I walked home after having a drink or two after a late night gig tonight. This Fringe I haven't really had any day where depression has overwhelmed me, which is probably a first. It is probably not a coincidence that I have spent more time away from the Fringe and the late night drinking establishments. It has made for a happier, if slightly more boring time.
But I felt sharp and observant on the way home, despite having had a few beers. I enjoyed watching the various drunken people staggering around me, some couples laughing and hugging, others crapulously arguing. Some men shouting and singing in a threatening manner, others walking morosely home alone, with just a bag of chips for company. Again, the fact that I have not partaken of late night junk food (or any time of the day in fact) could be a cause or a consequence of my more cheerful demeanour.
As I got down to the National Gallery I felt a bit sorry for the man in the yellow flourescent jacket, whose job was clearly to make sure that the many drunks didn't vandalise the various tents and stuff that are down there. He looked miserable. At the best his job is to just stand there doing nothing until morning, at worst he has to confront idiots tanked up on booze. I hope he has a beautiful family to return home to, because he might have the worst job in the world.
Down to the Georgian townhouses of the New Town and I became fascinated by the little mudscrapers that are at the bottom of all the steps leading up to the front door. Some of them are broken and unrepaired, but others remain. They are an echo of the past, no longer something that anyone would use, unless unlucky enough to stand in some dog crap. But they speak of a time when the streets of Edinburgh were thick with mud, or maybe with horse dung and people would need to clean their shoes before entering these swanky houses. A hundred years on and they're just a strange little totem at the door of every property. Will the Time Team of 3000 AD even be able to work out what they were for or why everyone had them?

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