Edinburgh tradition: The first day of the festival (the first Sunday in August) there is a big parade that tie up a lot of roads and generally makes getting around quite difficult. Thousands of pipers, marchers and students on floats.
Personal tradition (in development): Despite my better judgement and all efforts to the contrary, I get caught up in it.
I was shopping for trousers (I brought two pairs with me, tore one pair badly, other pair now so dirty that they are in danger of walking away by themselves) at Armstrongs (esteemed purveyor of second hand clothes on Grassmarket). Chained bike to railings, and just as I had finished a policeman who had been watching me told me that I couldn’t park it there (I imagine it’s the high point of his year, the opportunities to tell people they can’t do this or that, can’t park here, can’t go there are boundless). So I moved the bike. And come to think of it, there were a lot of people just hanging around, weren’t there. Trouser quest successful, I got out of the area just as the pipers started up. It’s amazing to think that there are that many people who play the bagpipes in the whole world (let alone just in Edinburgh). Wouldn’t we notice them practicing?
Went to see Holly Tomas at the Tron at 7:30 – late start, but fine new band including a double bass and percussionist who took over the whole of the back of the stage. Some golden oldies and some fine new tunes (I think), and Holly encores with Parasite (I think that’s what it’s called – not the Nick Drake tune).
When I step out of the toilet door at the Cafe Royal (we congregate in a toilet before the performance in lieu of a changing room – I imagine performers, raw recruits and international stars, hanging about in toilets across the city) I have no idea how many people will be there. So it was a nice surprise to see that a number of seats had been sold (particularly for a Sunday). Warm, too (numbers and warmth do not necessarily go together. Sometimes the nicest audiences are quite minimal – yesterday for example). And very few fluffs on my part – hurrah!
Stopped by the Tron on the way back to see what the Edinburgh Songwriters Showcase open mike was like, but discovered that my Performer’s Card wouldn’t get me in free. I don’t mind paying, but didn’t think I’d stay that long, so I gave it a miss. I’ve booked a spot for tomorrow at 11:30, so we’ll see what it’s like then.