Edinburgh Fringe Day 26 — Endings and Beginnings.

St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral.
The last day. How perfectly it works out because now I am ready and eager to go home. But how very strange it will be not to go out and perform every night.

I had a last, lovely, lingering walk by the Water of Leith which has a selection of such lovely fairy islands: rocks about 18" or so square covered with moss and lichen with plants here and there as trees. You can almost see the spirit folk sitting with their feet in the water and imagine their tiny houses at the top of the rocky hill.

Most of the day I was packing and very relieved to find that everything would fit in my suitcase (just). There have been a few visits to charity shops here and there... But apart from that it was listening to inspirational tapes or reading and relaxing before heading into town for the very last gig.

I enjoyed the last bus ride in, looking at the now-familiar road and houses, the hills and the view of Edinburgh castle and the towers of the cathedrals. Not sure if I mentioned that I got locked into St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral a week or so ago. I had a lovely wander, looking at the amazing Scottish Diaspora tapestries and then spent about half an hour sitting right up near the high altar in the choir having a quiet chat with God and the angels.

Then the lights all went off. Politely, I finished my prayer and got up just to hear a big door go slam-click.

Luckily, the verger had a few things to do backstage, as it were, so some respectful hello!ing brought him back after about five minutes but he was not best pleased. 'Where were you?' 'Up at the high altar?' 'Why?' 'Um. Praying...?'

Obviously a fairly outrageous and ill-advised thing to do at 6pm. I thought it best not to advise him of my day job.

I'm very blessed because I knew there would be an audience tonight — Anne-Marie, Anita and Emma from Colinton are coming with a couple of friends and I was also promised seven Interfaith ministers (although only three turned up). Still, it was a lovely audience of 18 of all ages and with one good-value atheist with the only respectable answer to the Atheist-orgasm joke I've ever got.

One of the Interfaith ministers in the front row didn't crack a smile which was slightly un-nerving but then I am as fierce on the spiritual wanky bollox as I am on the religious stuff and, as usual, it was hard to tell how much people were laughing. It's an odd thing but when you're behind the microphone only the loudest belly-laugh will reach you.

I remembered all the jokes in the right order, finished dot on time and then, that was it. The whole thing over and George Firehorse coming in to take over. I just picked up my things, said goodbye to the staff who were around and walked away.

...To an utterly delicious supper at The Vietnam House restaurant just around the corner with Anne-Marie and her friends and where the Interfaith ministers had also booked a table so I could flit back and forward between the two and chat to absolutely everyone. The stone-faced lady turned out to have enjoyed it very much (or be a very, very good fibber) and the other four turned up at about 8.45 with 'oh so sorry we missed yous.'

I'm not very good with those. You either really want to go somewhere or you don't. You either get there or you don't. It's absolutely your choice. There was an act I wanted to get to see, Tim Ralph's Rebranding Beelzebub, but in the end I didn't want it enough to stay out until 11pm on the two nights that I could have made it. My loss, not Tim's. The 'I'm sorrys' are good manners of course but we do usually get to places we want to be. It's like the people who don't come but want to see a video on YouTube immediately. No. If you don't come, you don't see it. I know that's terribly old-fashioned in this modern world and hopelessly bad marketing technique but maybe I'm just tired!

And then home and bed and up with the birds to be taken to the airport by beloved Anne-Marie and a last (for now) look at the beauties of Scotland as the big bird takes me safely home to Devon, my Lion and the beagles.

I did it. I did it. Well done me.


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