Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Edinburgh Eve

I've never been the sort of person to lie awake in the early morning, hours of delicious sleep ahead of me, and think, no, it's no use, I'll get up and be useful to the world and myself. I always manage to frogmarch myself back to unconsciousness, fall back to sleep by sheer force of will.

This morning, though, nothing was happening. I tried sternly lecturing myself about the inevitability of tired crossness, showing myself mental images of uncalled-for shouting and bursting gracelessly into tears over dropped things, but to no avail.

It's no use, I thought. I'll get up.

Partly the problem was that Ben hadn't come home all night. He had been out on a pre-Edinburgh poetry rampage, fueled by coffee, deadlines and being "on a writing roll". He was burning the word-candle at both ends and I couldn't sleep.

So I got up at about six, and stared forlornly down the barrel of a day that would require actual mental facility. Oh dear, I thought. I hope nobody asks me to do any sums.

Tomorrow we go to Edinburgh.

Yesterday evening Sophie, Lowri and I sat outside my front door in the last shards of sunlight and began to embark on the serious business of Getting Really Excited About It All and working out which shoes to take. I've been rehearsing for the last week, practicing getting the loop pedal-wielding accurate and trying to work out what it would be like to perform to a small audience on the top of a bus every day for ten days. My extract of the show is set in an office, and is loosely-based on a blog post I wrote back in 2008. In fact, it's loosely-based on this blog from about 2005-2009. Not all of it, thank God. I don't think even Edinburgh audiences could cope with that much daydreaming about ponies and Charmed.

In an office, as most of you will know unless you happen to live on a beach, carousing in the sand every day and surviving on seafood and smugness, there are desks. The central feature of my office in my piece is a desk. This morning I discovered that the stairs are too, well, too bus-like to fit a table up, so I must trudge to Argos and find a smallish, foldable one. This, along with my cello, loop pedal, a speaker, props and costume, a stupid amount of clothes and an irrepressible number of pairs of boots, I must take to Edinburgh with me on the train tomorrow morning.

We are all getting the same train: Sophie, Lowri, Dan, Ben and I. Clutching only our dreams, way too many clothes, musical instruments, a small table (me) and a tea trolley (Lowri), we will whoosh up, noses pressed to the windows. I am sort of terrified. What if it all goes wrong? What if my bit of the show is awful and everybody laughs at me in a bad way then makes me go and sit in Glasgow for the rest of the festival? What if I run out of money because I have spent it all on stupid small tables?

But I am more excited than terrified, really.

The only problem now is that I have to pack sensibly on hardly any sleep. My brain is currently dancing around some trees somewhere singing out of season Christmas carols, and so cannot be trusted. I would not be at all surprised if I arrived in Edinburgh to find that all I had packed was a small, foldable table and a single boot.

If you are at Edinburgh this year, come along:

Wrong Place, Right Time (me, Lowri and Sophie)
Upstairs on the Comedy Bus
Three Sisters
1.45pm, 2-12th August

Geddes Loom (band busking set)
4,5,6 August, Mercat Stage on Royal Mile at 12pm
13,15,16 August, Mercat Stage on Royal Mile at 6pm

Anthropoetry (Ben and Dan)
Fingers Piano Bar
7.50pm, 4-16th August


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I have a vision of you on the train to Hogwarts.

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