Jim Haynes newsletters
Newsletter No. 722
International Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Tuesday, July 30th: Up, shower, shave, shampoo,
dress, pack. Elena, the beautiful young woman from Lithuania, arrives
with fresh croissants. She is so lovely. How kind of her to arrive. Call
a taxi and we go to collect Antonia Hoogewerf. And continue to the Gare
du Nord. Hug Elena farewell. Quickly clear customs. Joke with the French
official about Louisiana. Train departs at 11.47. We are served a delightful
lunch. There is an almost full page obituary of Garry Davis in today's
International Herald Tribune. Dear Garry, we were cohorts for a
number of years. In 1971 I tracked him down in a tiny village on the Swiss
border and urged we get into action. We created a World Passport that
was recognized by a number of countries. My home in Paris became a World
Government Embassy and we issued passports to hundreds. Then one day the
French government brought a criminal case against us. Too long and complicated
to go into here and now. The upshot was that I stopped issuing passports.
Garry left France and settled in Vermont where he continued. Just weeks
before he died, Garry had a World Passport sent to Edward Snowden in Moscow.
Nansen, a Norwegian diplomat, issued his own passport just after the Russian
revolution and won the Nobel Prize for Peace two times. Dear dear Garry,
RIP. We arrive two hours later at St. Pancras. Taxi to Ernie's. I exit
but Antonia continues to Patricia, her sister's place. Collect the key
from the woman in flat 4 as Ernie has instructed.
Wednesday, 31st: Breakfast with Ernie. Bus afterwards to Chiswick and lunch with Dorota Chrisp. Late afternoon taxi to John Flattau's hotel, the Pelham. In the evening, dine with John, Isaac & Becky, Antonia, Ken Howard and his friend, Ben. It's a wonderful Thai restaurant called Walmer Castle. Try to talk John into going up to Edinburgh, but no success.
Thursday, August 1st: Antonia collects me at
9.30 and we head for Kings X and Edinburgh. Kate, a lovely Edinburgh University
student, meets the train and takes me in a wheelchair to the 1st class
lounge. There a taxi is called and I am delivered to 84 Great King Street
and Antonia continues in the taxi to her hotel. Greet Ruth and Martin.
Ruth is watching her grand daughter, Stella.
The Surrender condom pack cover
photo©Nacho García (Sweetmedia)
Then see Isabelle Stoffel and her director, Sigfrid Monleon, plus her producer, David Ricondo. And the lovely Violeta Medina, who is taking care of press. See Bill Burdett Coutts and we exchange greetings.
Broadway Enchanté is as wonderful as ever.
The Le Monde quote, "The best anti-depressant ever!"
is 100% accurate. I am not sure how many times I have seen the show, but
I love it every time. So full of joy! Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink
thank me afterwards from the stage. Two sweethearts.
Friday, 2nd: Up at 8. Blood sugar level is OK.
Ruth brings me coffee and toast. See Stuart Trotter in the kitchen and
give him a condom. Tablet and mobile telephone are recharged. I call Barbora,
the wonderful young woman from Lithuania. I managed to get her a job in
Summerhall. We agree to meet at the Florentine at 12.30. Quickly shave,
shower and dress. Out the door and stroll the short distance to the Florentine.
Barbora arrives just as I do. Looking extremely beautiful! We taxi to
the Scottish Arts Club and have a wee meeting with Chris and Mhairi Kerr.
Broadway Enchanté flyer
Barbora leaves us. We go upstairs to a studio and it happens straight away. Isabelle sings, Edouard plays the guitar and I chat about Broadway Enchanté. Over quickly. They drop me in a taxi at Summerhall. See Robert McDowell and Rupert Thomson. Let myself get talked into seeing a very silly show. Afterwards Robert takes me upstairs to see Richard Demarco. Am introduced to lots of people. Richard looks great! Greet Richard's assistant, Terry Newman. Somehow we talk about Garry Davis. See Catherine Robins. Test my blood sugar again and its far too high. Damn. Go downstairs and sit in the court yart with Catherine and with Astrid Silins. We are joined by David Hammond who has a 17 piece big band concert every Friday night at Summerhall. He and I talk about Tam and Gunnie MacPhail. He goes to get me a hot chocolate. Get into a conversation with two fellows from Belgium. One is the father of a little beauty. They have a production in Summerhall Bonanza. Marina, from Madrid, offers me a ticket to see a show in Spanish at 8 pm. I accept. I call Toni to see if she would like to join me. She says she will stay in her hotel room and do some writing. Later I am pleased she did not join me. The show is super silly. But Isabelle Stoffel, Sigfrid and David say they will come. I elect to have a quick meal. We rush to see the show. They like it better than I do. But I think I am tired and this is one reason. Afterwards we have drinks in the bar. Sigfrid and David decide to see a late night production. Isabelle and I find a taxi and I drop her at her place. And continue to mine. And straight to bed.
Saturday, 3rd: Up at 7. Then back to bed for
two hours. Blood sugar level is OK. Ruth brings me coffee and toast. Walk
to Florentine and have a latte and a bacon roll. Bus up the Mound and
stick my head into the Assembly press room. Chat with Bill Burdett Coutts
and with Kelly Fogarty. Give all the press staff condoms. Walk to George
Square and spot Sigfrid and David. Sigfrid photographs me in front of
the rhino sculpture. Visit briefly with Elsa Parent and she is so lovely.
She will go to New York after the Festival to discover her American roots.
Lucky New York! Walk to the Teviot and hand out leaflets and condoms.
Chat with Shawn and Ruby in the coffee stand. Ruby is from Sydney. Tell
Ruby about my free trip round the world thanks to the Mayor and Mayoress
Sunday, 4th: Up at 8. Last night's party was
a big success. My blood sugar level is a perfect 137. My nurses in Paris
would be pleased. Give myself my morning insulin injection. Ruth arrives
with coffee and toast. We discuss last night's party. We talk about her
two daughters, Grace and Tara, and their pregnancies. Quickly shave, shower
and shampoo. Call Astrid. She invites me to join her and a journalist
friend of John Lloyd's for lunch in the Grassmarket. Call Catherine Robins
and get invited to her place for brunch. Take a taxi to Catherine's and
she greets me and leads me out back to her garden. We are joined by Anna
Stableton and a fellow named Steve. Then Antonia Hoogewerf arrives. I
mention Antonia's family name, Wheatley, and Catherine reveals that her
mother and father know Antonia's mother and father. Small world. After
a delightful brunch, I slip out and go to meet Astrid in the Grassmarket.
We have lunch in a restaurant called Gennaro with a journalist friend
of John Lloyd's, David Goodhart. And his son and his son's girlfriend.
And David kindly picks up the check for everyone.
Monday, 5th: Up before 8 am. I have an email message from Jesper in Brooklyn. Ruth brings most welcomed coffee and toast. And the Aurora Nova programme. Call Carol Allison to see if she has a room and/or bed available for Clare. Alas she is full. Thank her for looking after Barbora. Bus up the hill to Café Rouge and await Antonia's arrival.
Sit at a table in the window. Talk to the nice waiter from Poland. Antonia arrives and we order. A feast. After we stuff ourselves, Antonia departs for Waverly Station and a train South. She is going to her grand daughter's wedding. Talk to a pretty young woman from Berlin. Elisa Schloht is an actress. I offer to get her and her friend tickets to The Surrender and Broadway Enchanté for today.She is delighted. Go across the street to the post office and purchase stamps for France. Write a few postcards. Taxi to the Scottish Arts Club. I have forgotten it is closed on Monday. A cleaner lets me in and I sit and write a few cards to friends in Paris. My mobile phone rings and it is Isabelle Stoffel. We are on the front page of The Herald today. Hooray for Neil Cooper. Inside is a great review and a wonderful large colour photograph of Isabelle.
The Herald front page header on Monday August 5, 2013
Taxi to the Assembly press room and visit with Kelly, Fiona and les girls. They are one of the best shows in the Festival. Kelly gets me a ticket for the Peter Straker's Jacques Brel show this afternoon and for Steven Berkoff and Nirbhaya tomorrow.
Monday, 5th: Up before 8 am. I have an email
message from Jesper in Brooklyn. Ruth brings most welcomed coffee and
toast. And the Aurora Nova programme. Call Carol Allison to see if she
has a room and/or bed available for Clare. Alas she is full. Thank her
for looking after Barbora. Bus up the hill to Café Rouge and await
Antonia's arrival. Sit at a table in the window. Talk to the nice waiter
from Poland. Antonia arrives and we order. A feast. After we stuff ourselves,
Antonia departs for Waverly Station and a train South. She is going to
her grand daughter's wedding. Talk to a pretty young woman from Berlin.
Elisa Schloht is an actress. I offer to get her and her friend tickets
to The Surrender and Broadway Enchanté for today.
She is delighted. Go across the street to the post office and purchase
stamps for France. Write a few postcards. Taxi to the Scottish Arts Club.
I have forgotten it is closed on Monday. A cleaner lets me in and I sit
and write a few cards to friends in Paris. My mobile phone rings and it
is Isabelle Stoffel. We are on the front page of The Herald today.
Hooray for Neil Cooper. Inside is a great review and a wonderful large
colour photograph of Isabelle. Taxi to the Assembly press room and visit
with Kelly, Fiona and les girls. They are one of the best shows in the
Festival. Kelly gets me a ticket for the Peter Straker's Jacques Brel
show this afternoon and for Steven Berkoff and Nirbhaya tomorrow.
Tuesday, 6th: Up at 7. Decide this is silly and
go back to bed for another hour. Ruth brings coffee and toast at 8, so
get out of bed again. Test blood sugar levels and it is high again. Damn.
Get a good review of The Surrender via email from Toni. Ruth tells
me that she enjoyed The Surrender and that she and Martin enjoyed
Broadway Enchanté. Martin has not seen The Surrender.
Taxi to Stockbridge and leave two shirts and a pair of trousers to be
dry-cleaned. Go the Scottish Arts Club and write a check to pay for another
12 guests. Walk to the Traverse and get tickets for Events for Thursday
evening. Chat with all the Traverse press staff. Not sure how many there
are, but it includes Ciar O'Siochain, Becky McGann, Jeremy Abrahams, Julie
McSkimming, Joy Parkinson, and Kate Park. Leave them and go downstairs
and have lentil and bacon soup for lunch.
Wednesday, 7th: Up at 7 and this time, stay up.
Sugar level is OK. Ruth brings coffee and toast. It's nice being spoiled.
Martin Walker calls to say that Sophia has a reading today. I tell him
I hope to be there. The BBC sends a car to collect me about 10.30 and
delivers me to the Royal Mile near Moray House and Betterton Street where
Ricky and I first met in 1957. They are filming a programme for the Culture
Show on BBC2-TV about the history of the Traverse. It will go out nationally
on the 28th of August, the day when I am travelling to Paris.
Jim Haynes and Sue Perkins
(snapshot from the film by BBC2-TV)
I walk down to the Hotel du Vin and collect Toni. She
has some salmon and I have a hot chocolate. We sit in the open court yard.
Afterwards we walk to venue C in Victoria Street to see Executed for
Sodomy: The Life Story of Caterina Linck at 6.30. Alas for me, the
production is disappointing. One unusual event did take place: I give
two women a condom and a leaflet about Toni's show, The Surrender,
and the women throw it back at me. Don't remember exactly what they say,
but they are disgusted. I have insulted them in some way.
Thursday, 8th: Ruth brings coffee and toast at
8.30. Get up and get into action. First the blood sugar tests, then the
insulin injection and pills. Get a text from Martin Walker; he reports
that he and Julia are on the island of Mull. Talk with Barbora who says
she will come to Great King Street at 11. She arrives and looks fabulous.
We briefly embrace and then head out to St. Andrew's Square and the Bank
of Scotland. Because I do not have my bank card with me, I am only allowed
to withdraw fifty pounds. But if I come back with my passport, it can
Friday, 9th: Ruth and I discuss the Book Festival.
Taxi to the Assembly Members Bar in George Square for the Scotsman
Fringe First Awards. Chat with Bill Burdett Coutts, Joyce McMillan, Carol
Tambor & Kent Lawson, Karen Koren, and several Indian actresses from
the wonderful show, Nirbhaya. Of course they all know my incredible
friend, Alyque Padamsee, in Bombay.
Saturday, 10th: The Book Festival starts today.
And the Herald Angels Awards are this morning in the Festival Theatre
on the Bridges. Once again an early morning start. Stewart drives me up
to the Bridges and drops me in Chambers Street. I am one of the first
to arrive. See Keith Bruce and he tells me that I am mentioned in his
column in today's Herald. Greet Jackie McGlone, Bill Burdett Coutts,
all the Indian actresses from Nirbhaya, Anna Stableton, Neil Cooper,
and am introduced to a John Lloyd. I tell him that I went to Edinburgh
University with another John Lloyd. Wonderful coffee and bacon roll.
Sunday, 11th: Blood sugar level is a low 114.
Lunch today with Astrid Silins at her place in Leith at 1.30. Text Frederik
a message that the Scotsman critic was in their performance last
night. John and Sheila are invited, but they cannot come. Astrid's elevator
is out of order and John cannot make it up all the stairs. I can barely
make it for that matter.
Monday, 12th: Ruth kindly brings coffee and toast
at 8.30. Wash and dress and out the door about 9. Walk up the street to
the printers and have another 50 copies produced of the Chicago Tribune
article about the Sunday dinners.
Tuesday, 13th: Sleep late this morning. Up about
8.30. Martin brings me coffee and toast. Ruth is off to babysit Stella,
Wednesday, 14th: Taxi to Waverley Station to
change my Eurostar ticket and am told they cannot do it. The taxi driver
tells me his daughter has diabetes 2. Damn, poor darling. Go for a Thai
take-away round the corner from Bristo Place. See Kelly who is also having
something. Taxi to the Assembly Roxy to see Julien Cottereau. He is deliciously
funny. Sit next to a lovely girl from Milano.
Thursday, 15th: Up at 7.20. Test my blood sugar and it is high this morning. All the pasta I ate last night. Damn. Ruth arrives with coffee and toast. I thank her for collecting my dry cleaning from Stockbridge. She asks if I can get her a ticket to a talk at the Book Fair on the 22nd. I tell her I will try. (And I succeed.)
Taxi to Summerhall. Sit in the café and have
a hot coffee and a croissant. Go up to the session with Sean Hignett and
Sheila Colvin. Catherine Robins chairs the event and successfully steers
it along. Her talent is wasted; she should be in the United Nations. She
does a fantastic job. On the panel from left to right: Sean Hignett, John
Martin, Ricky Demarco, Catherine, myself, Sheila, John Calder. It is all
a part of the Traverse Through Time lecture series organized by
Xela Batchelder, and is all being filmed and it will be made into a book
and a documentary. After we are finished, I go down to the bookshop to
collect the copies of Thanks for Coming! and Everything Is!
that have been stored there for me. And they are not to be found. The
young woman in the shop thinks they have been sold.
Traverse through Time flyer
Take the No 2 bus to Bristo Place. Fiona Evans gives
me an Assembly producer's pass. Kelly tells me they found the rhino sculpture.
But she didn't see the second one. Walk to the George Square Info hut
and get Elsa's mobile number from Arron Ashton. Call her number to see
if she is free to dine, but get her answering machine. Taxi to Merchant
Street in order to see Nehru, but it is on every other day and it is not
on today. Damn. Go into Divino and have a hot chocolate. Taxi to Hill
Street Theatre and Tomek Borkowy opens the taxi door for me. He just happens
to be going out when I arrive. Go up and see a one-man show that is just
starting. Not my cup of tea. But there is something about the performer
that I cannot put my finger on. Later I realise that it is Bremner Duthie.
He used to live in Paris and he created a one-man show that consisted
of Kurt Weil songs. And it was very good. Tonight's show was a bit of
a mess. It needed, as far as I am concerned, a good director. Maybe even
a better script. I still think he should do a Kurt Weill show about Weil's
life and music. It would have structure.
Friday, 16th: Up at 6. This is crazy. Go back
to bed and get up again at 6.50. Blood sugar levelis not too bad at 165.
Ruth brings coffee and toast. We talk about a production that she saw
yesterday and greatly enjoyed. Bus up The Mound and get off at Chambers
Street and walk to the Assembly press room. Greet les girls. Walk to George
Square. And no Elsa to be found. She starts at 5 pm today. Taxi to Summerhall
and sit with Catherine Robins in the café. John Martin joins us,
looking dapper as usual. We all go up for the second day of remembering
the early days of the Traverse for Traverse Through Time. Today
we have a packed theatre. Astrid Silins, Liz Smith, Anna Stapleton, John
Byrne, Junko MacKenzie and many others.
Saturday, 17th: Up at 7, then go back to bed
for another hour. Ruth brings coffee and toast. Lazy morning. Slowly wash
and dress. Suddenly realize I am missing the Herald's Angel Awards
ceremony. Quickly get into action and get a taxi to the Festival Theatre.
Arrive at the end of the ceremony, but in time to have a coffee and pastry
and to greet a few friends like Keith Bruce, Kath Mainland, and Susie
The Edinburgh Festivals by Angela Bartie, Edinburgh University Press 2013
Claudia Monteiro and I decide to have a quick simple
dinner. We walk to Tiger Lily in George Street. And the only table available
is outside. It is a bit cold but nevertheless we accept. Our waiter is
Richard Simpson and he is a sweetheart. So, too, is Sadiq Ali who produces
two large warm towels for us to wrap around our shoulders. And there is
a third staff member. The lovely Louise Scott from Kinross. A delightful
meal because these three staff members are so nice.
Sunday, 18th: Get up at 6 and then decide to
go back to bed for another hour. Test my blood sugar level and it is a
low 129. Dear Ruth brings coffee and toast and we gossip a bit. I ask
her if she has yesterday's Telegraph and she does. There is a strange
photograph of Frances Sutton in it. Get a call from Sheila Colvin. The
lunch with Junko & Ian MacKenzie is not today, but next Sunday. Talk
with Sophia Walker and we agree to meet at the Traverse on the 20th to
hear Kate Tempest. Talk with Isabelle Stoffel.
Monday, 19th: Awake at 8. Test my blood sugar
level and it is OK. Coffee and toast compliments of Ruth Holloway. Stroll
down Great King Street and purchase The Scotsman and The Herald.
And another lottery ticket. I did not win the 68,000,000 pounds super
jackpot. It's too bad because I had already had a lot of it spent. I would
have secretly given most of it away: to the Book Festival, to the Fringe,
to the Traverse, to the official Festival and to lots and lots of friends.
(I read in 10th of August issue of The Herald that Carol Colburn
Grigor has given more than 20 million pounds to the arts in Scotand, including
8 million to the Edinburgh International Festival. She is quoted as saying:
"Some people's hobbies are buying expensive race horses or whatever.
Our hobby is giving." Hooray for her!) Taxi to the Bank of Scotland
and am able to withdraw 300 pounds. Bus to the West End. Add another 20
pounds to my mobile phone account. Check The Herald and Neil Cooper
has written a super nice portrait of yours truly with a great photograph.
Call Alasdair Riley and we discuss meeting later this afternoon. Walk
to the press tent and Charlotte reports I am in The Herald today.
I tell her I have seen it. We both agree it is a super nice article. Meet
Abdel Bari Atwan in the yurt and we embrace. He is to be interviewed in
the Main Theatre at 11.30. Tell him I will be there and we can meet afterwards.
Back to the press tent and joke with Frances Sutton about her photograph
in Saturday's Telegraph. Show her mine in today's Herald.
Charlotte gives me a press ticket for Bari at 11.30. Call Frederik Steenbrink
and tell him about The Herald article. Text Isabelle Stoffel and
tell her as well.
Tuesday, 20th: Up at 7. Test blood sugar and
it continues to be high. Shave and shower. Dress. Victor Albrow and Hazel
Petherick call. They are downstairs. Go down, pile into their car and
we drive to Victor's studio in Leith. He puts a black coat on me. It fits
and he says it is now mine. That's nice. Shoot is fun. Aterwards they
drive me up to Charlotte Square. Purchase today's Scotsman and
there are reviews for both shows. Joyce McMillan reviews The Surrender
and Martin Gray gives a great 4 star review of Broadway Enchanté.
Call Frederik. Call Isabelle. At last reviews in The Scotsman.
This should help fill the seats for both shows. Greet Stuart Kelly. Call
Alasdair Riley. He suggests we have lunch today in the Scottish Arts Club.
Wednesday, 21st: Up at 7.45. Test blood sugar
level and today it is OK, 121. Coffee and toast. Wash and dress. Walk
to the Stockbridge Pharmacy. Mr Berry is super nice. We talk to the Western
General Hospital. He can fill my French prescription. He tells me to leave
it and he will fill my pill box and I can pass later in the afternoon
to collect it.
Thursday, 22nd: Up at 8. Sugar level is good
this morning. Thank goodness for that. Give myself my morning insulin
injection. The pain that I have had the past few days in my right foot
has disappeared. Ruth is off to babysit a friend's child. We agree to
meet at the Book Fair at 11.10 or so. Get a text from Barbora. She suggests
we have lunch tomorrow, I text Neil Cooper and Dorotha Chrisp. Martin
brings me coffee and toast. Shower, shampoo and shave. Arrange to meet
Neil Cooper tomorrow night in the Traverse at 10 pm. Walk to the Stockbridge
Pharmacy and Mr. Berry fixes me up with all my pills and insulin. Thank
him. Out the door, cross the street and bump into the actress, Una McLean.
We chat a few minutes. She tells me she is shooting a movie in Edinburgh.
What a delightful character. A taxi comes and I hail it and head up to
the Book Festival.
Walk to the French Institute. Vincent Guérin,
the Director, greets me warmly. I tell him I have come to see Adam
Smith - Le Grand Tour at 3 pm. He presents me with a complimentary
ticket and I climb upstairs to the theatre. I am knocked-out by the production.
Vanessa Oltra, the author and one of the two performers, has done a magnificent
job. She is a Professor of Economics at the University of Bordeaux. The
piece is full of her passion and love for Adam Smith. I go down to the
café and soon Vanessa appears. I tell her I loved her production.
Maybe it will be my favorite in this year's festival. I tell her that
Nick Philippson must see this production. She says she has read Nick's
recent biography of Adam Smith, that he was invited to the opening, but
did not attend. I call Sheila Colvin and get Nick's telephone number.
Immediately call Nick and tell him that he must see this production. That
I will get tickets for him, Sheila and myself. I think I get an OK from
him. I see Keith Bruce in the café and I tell him that I have just
seen a fantastic production and that he must see it too. He is going upstairs
to see another production and suggests I join him. I say OK. So up I climb
the stairs to see a piece I think entitled something like How to be
Modern. I cannot get my mind into this production because I am thinking
about the Adam Smith production I just saw.
Adam Smith, Le Grand Tour
Agree to meet John Calder and Sheila Colvin for our
annual trip to Lancer's in Stockbridge. Leave Summerhall, find a taxi
and zoom to this superb Indian restaurant. I think I have dined there
many many festivals with John and Sheila. I tell John and Sheila about
the Adam Smith production. Sheila says she is free to go on Saturday afternoon.
I tell her I will call Nick to see if he is free to go on Saturday. It
is always a delight to dine with John and Sheila in Lancer's. Sheila insists
upon treating the three of us. Hooray for liberated women! I have also
been invited to dine in the Grassmarket this evening with Isabelle Stoffel
and all The Surrender crew, so I excuse myself and find a taxi
and zoom to the Grassmarket.
Friday, 23rd: Ruth brings coffee and toast at
8.15. Call Sheila Colvin and we discuss going to see the Adam Smith show
at the French Institute tomorrow afternoon. She is up for it. I call Nick
Phillipson and get cold water dumped on me. Completely different from
the last time we talked when he was warm and expressed an interest in
seeing the production. Now he says no, he is not interested. Damn. What
went wrong. I don't argue with him or try to persuade him. Call Sheila
back and tell her what unfolded. I am shocked and sad because I think
Nick would love the production. I do not understand what changed his mind.
I feel like a ton of bricks has hit me.
Saturday, 24th: I had a superb night's sleep
last night. Coffee and toast à la Ruth. Martin reports he is cooking
a mussaka dinner tonight and I am welcome to join them. Taxi up to The
Herald Angels Awards ceremony in the Festival Theatre.
Sunday, 25th: Today is Isabelle Stoffel's birthday.
Or maybe she is just celebrating it this evening. I have a half dozen
appointments today. Can I made them all? First there is a brunch date
with Zen Craig and Xaviera Hollander in the Café Rouge at 11.
Monday, 26th: Get up and perform my usual rituals.
Then pack. Somehow manage to get everything into the big bag and my medicine
and a few other things in a small cloth carry-on. Taxi up to the Book
Festival to see William Dalrymple. I think he is on at 11 and I am wrong.
He is on at 10 and I have missed him. Damn. Say my goodbyes to Frances
Sutton, Nick Barley, Charlotte Gosling, Tom Birch, Chris Close, Rachel
McCrum, and many others. The Book Festival is almost over. The Fringe
Festival is ending today. And I am departing for London tomorrow morning.
My 56th Edinburgh Festival is rapidly coming to an end. I will be pleased
to be home in Paris in my big bed and my super shower. But I will miss
Edinburgh, the Festival and my many friends.
We all go upstairs to the Gilded Baloon Members Bar
and sit outside on the terrace. Barry tells us all that he loved the production
and wishes to invite it to the Adelaide Festival next Spring. He is the
Director, so has the power to invite the production. I mention Germaine
Greer and ask Barry if he ever sees her. We both agree that she has become
a Grande Dame.One part of me wants to dash to the French Institute to
see the last performance of the Adam Smith show. But I am still upset
that I was unable to convince Nick Phillipson to see the production. So
don't dash to the French Institute. I know that Keith Bruce managed to
see it and that he liked it.
From Hollywood to Hanoi,
a film by Tiana Alexandra, 2013
Tuesday, 27th: Up early. Perform my morning
rituals. Shower, shave, shampoo. Dress. Pack. Have coffee and toast. Thank
Ruth and Martin for putting me up and for putting up with me. Tell them
they are welcome anytime they wish to come to Paris. Call a taxi and soon
I am on my way to Waverley Station and the train to London.
Wednesday, 28th: Up and start getting ready to depart London for home. Discover the shampoo bottle has opened and shampoo has spilled into the clothe bag. Damn, but no major damage done. At least I did not have it in my large bag. Get up and perform my medical rituals. Ali comes downstairs and I join him in the kitchen for coffee. He gives me another clothe bag and I suggest he throw away mine. Samra comes down with their son, Hakiya. He seems to be in a good mood and we exchange playful glaces. More talk about the festival and various mutual friends. The time passes and suddenly Dan Topolski has arrived with his son, Luke. We head for the car. I hug Samra and Ali. And we are off in the glorious sunshine headed for St Pancras. Dan parks the car in a side entrance near the taxi rank. Luke and I head inside to the Eurostar Passenger Assistance. There we are assured that a wheel chair will be provided and Luke is free to leave me. I thank him and ask him to thank Daniel. Soon two fellows wheel me inside through security and passport control. I ask about Michael Jones. Is he still here at St. Pancras? Yes, he is I am told. So please pass my best wishes to him. (Back in Paris, I get an email message from Michael Jones that he was sorry to have missed me.)
That's it. Another Festival. My 56th. I jokingly say that I wish to attend 100 Festivals in Edinburgh and now I only have another 44 to go. It is one hella way to spend the month of August, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, falling in love daily, eating great meals, seeing some wonderful shows (and some not so wonderful). So come and be festive with me next August in Edinburgh...
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