Monday

Edinburgh Fringe Day 11 part one. Amazing Americans.

Here in the Dell in Colinton is a lovely Victorian, Edinburgh stone house which currently contains six
women and one man. In the 12 days than I have been here, there hasn't been a single obvious scratchy bit; we get along. A lot of that is down to the energy of the house itself—the love between Anne-Marie and her partner; the plethora of dogs all eager for a scratch and a good word; the essence of love expressed in every gift-shop ornament that sits everywhere to greet you and remind you to 'sparkle, smile and shine.'

I'm generally a bit grumpy about piles of positive clutter everywhere but there's no doubt that the atmosphere is just lovely. I have piled a lot of the stuff in my room in the fireplace—it's a single room with a month's worth of luggage in it—but it's obviously still working.

Mind you I have lost three socks... But that is part of the cosmic dance of socks. They are probably having a riotous time on the Fringe and will be found hungover and senseless in a gutter in Grassmarket about three months from now. The lone sock is sulking in my suitcase. I may have to put it back in the washing machine to see if it can also find a loophole to a parallel universe and find its own joy.

But all my other socks are being hand washed by me and dried on the windowsill. There is a place for being a control freak and potentially running out of socks is definitely one of those.

As well as the lovely house, there's the Water of Leith tumbling by in its ravine just over the wall and hundreds of trees surrounding us and the constant 'kee ... kee ... kee' of the buzzards circling overhead. That does remind me of home. And you just have to walk a short space down the road to see the hills to the south of the city. It's just amazing that they rise right over such a magnificent place. You simply can't forget that it's Scotland.

The double bedroom next to mine is occupied by two young American women who have come over for a month to enjoy Edinburgh and the Fringe. Pretty impressive in itself but amazing when you find out that they are both from rural Washington State, had never been on an aeroplane before, never left their country before and only got passports a month ago.

Kaylin and Stephanie are sisters-in-law and as intrepid as they come (and they chat with me about Montana all the time—apparently everyone in Washington State has relatives in Montana). Every day they catch the bus into the city and see the sights and different shows. Not once have they appeared fazed by the whole, huge difference of this country to theirs. They are incredible.

Mind you, as I'm the only person who speaks 'BBC English' here, they often query words and pronunciations which is rather fun. I adore the American habit of going 'lil bit' for 'little bit' and they were fascinated that there actually was a different pronunciation.

So, I have a link back to Montana (which I love so much) as well as a lovely home here for the duration. And I've been to Washington State and love Seattle too so there's another synchronicity. And I just feel so amazing and so humbled (in a good way) at how easy it was to find this lovely place to stay as soon as I had committed to the Fringe. I am totally looked after, thank God.

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