Edinburgh Coincidigs

August 24, 2010

Last year at the Edinburgh festival I stayed in a room about the size of a guinea pig hutch; it had no windows, little air and one steel framed single put-me-up bed that sounded like a ghost train when getting on or off it. This happened because I was the surplus human being in the flat and I accepted my lot with a screaming and crying grace. I hauled a futon from my event manager’s flat and discovered that futon mattresses are the hardest things to carry since malaria. They are like huge, flat eels that really, really hurt the tips of your fingers. I put all of this down to experience, the general accumulation of festival anecdotes. The flat itself smelt of mildew. The shower seemed to have genuine contempt for me and the bathroom tap was a single gear stick, impossible to understand, that resulted in teeth brushing being a warm, mushy, minty affair. I didn’t like it that much. I had organised this year’s accommodation in a panic, having been told in April that everyone organises their digs two years before the festival and it would be way too late. If anything I should have been booking for Edinburgh 2013 now and not 2010, the chances of me getting somewhere to stay were so slim you would have to collide two neutrons to look at them. Against all the odds however, I did find somewhere to stay, via Facebook, with strangers.

“So what’s the flat like?” I asked my new friends in the car on the way up.

“Absolutely no idea,” came the response.

As the car pulled up I recognised that  it was the same street as last year.

“Lots of people rent out their flats for the festival in this area,” I thought to myself out loud.

Approaching the door of the building I got an overwhelming sense of deja-vu.

“What a coincidence,” I thought breathlessly, “this must only be one or two doors from that horror flat from last year.”

Walking in I ignored the similarities of the stairwell, back door and even bikes in the hallway, convincing myself that all the buildings in this area were decorated the same. It was during my ascent of the stairs that the sense of inevitability began to punch me in the face. I walked into exactly the same flat I stayed in last year and had a war veteran’s flashback moment. I clawed at the walls and shouted “I am not going in there” whilst pointing at the room of my miserable internment. This outburst was enough to convince my new friends to let me have a bed this time, and that I am a maniac.

Luckily the flat had been mildly improved, and I have a bed so it is a world apart from 2009’s horror-show. Now to cover it in mayonnaise (reference to previous incident in Leeds where I woke up in a duvet of creamy mayo having thought it hilarious the night before to become a sandwich). Or salad cream. I woke up next to a corn on the cob the other morning. That isn’t a euphemism for an earnest woman in a mood, I actually woke up next to a corn on the cob. I have no idea where I got it from. Who sold me a corn on the cob at 5am?  The fringe can be a strange place.

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