London in the summer, eh? You'd think that after a quarter of a century of living here, I'd have got used to it by now: but it still surprises me every year.
All of a sudden, everybody in the world decides that this is the place to be. The pavements are crammed full of people stumbling around aimlessly, not knowing where the hell they're supposed to be next. The bars and restaurants are packed to bursting, leaving no room for those of us who actually support these establishments for the other eleven months of the year. And don't get me started on the way tourists clog up the transport system with their inability to understand simple instructions like 'stand on the right'.
It's a good job I'm going to Edinburgh next week to get away from all that sort of thing.
Yes, 2009 was my gap year, and Nick and the regulars covered it splendidly in my absence. But it's 2010 now, and we're back to full strength for our Edinburgh Festival coverage. We've scoured the International, Fringe and Book Festival programmes for interesting sounding shows. We've kept an eye on the reviews in The Scotsman and The List to get a feel for what's hot and what's not. We've booked our travel with East Coast rail, and our accommodation with the University of Edinburgh. All that remains is to go up there and give it some welly for a week.
Your team for 2010 are all old hands at this sort of thing: Anne, The Belated Birthday Girl, Charmian, Diane, Eve, Jan, Lesley, Nick, Old Lag, Rhian, Stephen, Tomas and yours truly. From August 22nd, we'll be giving you daily reports direct from Edinburgh, telling you about all the shows we've seen and all the other stuff we've been doing.
Sure, you could wait until 2020 for the publication of Spank's Edinburgh Diaries Volume Three (Volume One and Volume Two are still available), and read all this guff in book form long after it's ceased to hold any sort of relevance. Or you could come here each day and read it all in near real time. Your choice. Watch this space.
- Saturday August 21st - "The gods can be so cruel, especially to those of us with man-tits" (Richard Herring)
- Sunday August 22nd - "This is no more a story about love than the Bible is a story about woodwork" (Daniel Kitson)
- Monday August 23rd - "It's not just jokes about jam and the division of labour" (A Ant)
- Tuesday August 24th - "I'm from Oldham. People there eat jaffa cakes for the vitamin C" (anon)
- Wednesday August 25th - "This shit is retarded" (third most recent post on the Eels official Twitter feed, dated April 24th 2009)
- Thursday August 26th - "What's the one thing you can't give a ginger? A black eye" (Jeremy Jitler)
- Friday August 27th - "I love to go swimming in the river. Widths, mostly." (Simon Munnery)
- Saturday August 28th - "I'll be 59 next week. It shouldn't be that much of a surprise, I'm 59 now." (Ivor Dembina)
- Spank's Pals' Postscript (part 1) - final thoughts from Nick, Charmian and Old Lag
- Spank's Pals' Postscript (part 2) - further wrapping-up from Stephen, Anne, Diane and The Belated Birthday Girl