Edinburgh is a city full of character and, in August, full of characters. The mixing pot of locals, and international, and tourists all vying for a taste of the city’s history, promise and probably some whisky. It blows me away again and again how much I love this city.
Picture this: we’re at the end of the Festival and the end of another hot day. The street lights have come on but not yet the Tattoo fireworks. The heat of the day has subsided but you can still feel it in the air. The crowds (thankfully) have eased, congregated to a few hubs and on the street you only pass a few couples here and there, either on their way home from a busy fringe day, or still ploughing on to the next show or pop up bar. It’s these nights when I’m walking around Edinburgh, headphones on and I’m swept away in the romanticism of the city once again. I should be too tired, I should want to go home and sleep instead of heading to the next show, I should want all of the tourists to go away… And to an extent I do. But on the other hand I feel so lucky to live in a city so full of life, passion and art. You walk through the cobbled streets, historic, epic buildings line your view and you can almost always see the fairy lights of a temporary venue at all times. The buzz of the festival can be too much during the day, especially when you’re trying to get shit done, but at night I think there is the space to revel in the special time that August in Edinburgh is.
Then comes the day after the Festival ends. The air feels slightly cooler, the pavements are luxuriously spacious, now only populated by the locals getting back to work. The pop up bar pop down and there are trucks all over the city removing the traces of a stage from every random church hall and cave they’ve inhabited for the past month. This is Edinburgh in its hangover phase. Unless you have to for work, people hide and avoid the centre of town. Either in memory of how hectic its been or to avoid how desolate it is for now. Give it a week or two and life will be back to normal but in this fuzzy period its easy to compare what was to our now ghost town.
Although I’m an import from the north, I feel incredibly lucky that I can now call Edinburgh my home. I’m grateful for the Festival and all the madness of this time of year. But now it’s time for a nap and life to return to normal… until next year.