Still the loveliest man on the Fringe!

After seeing thirty six shows in the first eleven days I took a bit of a breather, that’s not to say I didn’t wander out to savour the atmosphere, chat to flyerers, mooch around Bristo Square. Mind, I didn’t go out any more than necessary last Sunday, a very very wet day indeed; the old moose cave did need a bit of a tidy round too.

Tuesday I dipped my toe back in, going to see the loveliest man on the Fringe, Aidan Goatley, once again at Sweet Grassmarket. Mr Goatley has a brand new show this year Aidan Goatley: Happy Britain Part I. I knew about his idea to find the centre of all 105 counties in the UK and to ask who ever he finds there what makes them happy, but what happened? Why Part I? Let’s face it, it was a pretty huge undertaking, so bad news – he didn’t manage it as quickly as first envisaged, as so often happens in life; good news – there’s Part II to look forward to next year (touch wood!).

We hear all about the ups and downs of his attempt, along with amazing stories about the folk he’s met on his travels, oh, I could have sat and listened to him all evening, such a wonderful raconteur. Alas the show came to an end, a lovely end which sent us all back out into the world uplifted, glowing with warm fuzziness (like the old Ready Brek advert). In fact after getting home that evening I just had to dip back into his book Never Eat The Buffet at a Sex Club* (*contains no food or sexual references), a collection of his previous work. It was almost like he was in the room reading to me 💛

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That was quick!

Crikey, turn your back for a minute and January runs out on you! Mind it’s not a month that inspires me to do anything but soak in hot baths and read books, though not at the same time sadly. Maybe I should rig up some Heath Robinson type contraption to hold a book and turn the pages upon command, hmmm.

Early in the new year I finally finished Game of Thrones as so far written, so come on Mr Martin, stop sidelining it and finish the next book! Then after all that fighting, treachery, sex and dragons, I had a change and picked up Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, yep, very different indeed, and rather absorbing. I did figure out the twisty bit sometime before it was revealed but that’s okay as it was her relationship with workmate Raymond that kept me reading.

Just one thing kept coming to mind, that readers would think, well with a traumatic back story like that, who’s surprised by how she became, she has our sympathy; even while I was laughing at her behaviour, it was with a slight sense of compassionate guilt. Now a character without a dramatic family history, without any sad sympathy vote, the character who is usually a side example of uselessness to show how well our heroine/hero is doing, tell me about them; show me a witty, exasperated, no-schmaltz story about that guy, make me root for them. There’s plenty of loneliness and isolation that just is.

Then from Ms Oliphant to Jack Parlabane, Chris Brookmyre’s crime reporter. I finally got round to reading Black Widow; its been sitting in my bookcase since I bought it at The Caves back in 2016, yes, I had him sign it for me! Mr Brookmyre is very entertaining to listen to, if you like his books then I would heartily recommend catching him at a book event if you can. It was a good read but I did find myself working out his twists (I have read plenty of his books). Mind, he is pretty good at putting in red herrings and side stories to muddy the waters. I was sure from before halfway I knew the “who” and partially “what” with a very slight “it may possibly be her instead”, then he takes another turning and makes the slight into “oo it’s her, the bitch!” Wrong! My first instinct was correct and how. Reckon I’d make a great side-kick to Parlabane! Rugged reporter and his crime-solving moose 😊

Toodle pip!