Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Chocolate Ocelot’s 2013 Fringe, Day Zero

Greetings from the edge of England, specifically Ashbourne House B&B in Carlisle, where we have just rocked up after a solid six-hour drive north from the County of Opportunity, making only one slight detour to Brum to drop off an attractive green sculpture of a lady badger with some nice people who make metal things. This is in accordance with one of the Ocelot’s other identities, as a purveyor of fine 28mmm steampunk aminal people. Like the crime fighter Moon Knight, I wear many diverse masks though none, sadly, are of a dashing millionaire, hard as nails mercenary or colourful New York cabbie.

Not the Chocolate Ocelot. Or is it?

But I digress. You join us on Day One Minus One of our 2013 Edinburgh Fringe adventure, resumed after 2012’s exciting tour of the highlands in a crime solving motorhome (no crimes solved). Whilst last year’s roving Scottish hols were both picturesque and um, glenny, we did feel the lack of a week spent tramping the streets of the Athens of the North, being pestered by drama groups brandishing flyers and cramming thirty plus comedy, dance, theatre and musical shows into a single mental week. So Edinburgh, we shall be in you tomorrow.

A brief word on our residence this evening. A very pleasant guest house or B&B (I have no idea what the difference is), Ashbourne House sits on the southern edge of Carlisle, wherein we shall venture in search of food in less than sixty minutes. Our room features a rather comfy bed on which to rest my twingey back (hilariously strained whilst bending down just prior to helping the Ocelot’s father pull down some unwanted tress in the parental woodland. For some reason, my back decided to go before the tree-pulling rather than during. I suspect my body may be manifesting injuries in reverse order, against the natural flow of time, and am expecting further such phenomena in the coming week, like some kind of doomed coffin-dodger from a Final Destination sequel.

(Herself interrupts this narrative to adjust my writing position on the bed to a more back-friendly posture. I am now typing lying down and resting on my elbows, chin barely above the mouse pad. Whilst back strain has indeed lessened, finger-key accuracy has just dropped by 75%. I wonder if this is enough to get me a regular themed writing gig for a Sunday magazine – Slightly Hurty Back Blog – and conclude that no, it really isn't.)

Other features of note in our room: a disturbing buff suede lampshade that looks like it was made by Ed Gein and a swanky slate floor in the en-suite. I note that, upon stepping out of the shower, I do leave a very fetching wet footprint or two upon the dark slate. The sort of well-defined heel-other bit-toes arrangement that, were I to be stranded Crusoe style upon a desert island, I would be proud to leave in the damp sand as I wandered the lonely beach collecting firewood and pondering which eight pieces of music I would have liked to be inexplicably washed up beside me.

Basically like this, but with a shower and small loo.

In other news, the Ocelot has been offered a grown-up job, thus bringing to a close over a year of creatively productive but negatively remunerative activity. Six weeks and counting before I have to start getting up early and getting dressed before lunchtime. It’s like school hols all over again.

Tomorrow: Carlisle to Edinburgh, possibly via Glasgow, depending on how the universe steers. Then a quick establishment of base camp in the shadow of the castle and off to the first show. Let the madness begin.

Note to self: do not, repeat not, fall into the trap of writing up massively long diary entries for every single one of the next seven (eight? I have no idea) days, with painstakingly obsessive accounts of every bloody show we see, what I thought of them, what famous people I saw on the street, and how much pizza/tablet/shortbread I consumed. Try to keep it down to a page of A4 at the most.

Another note to self: this first day’s entry is already over one page long. I am fail.

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