As I haven’t graced these pages for some time I might go on a bit today. Im sitting at work at 2:35 pm Saturday afternoon listening to epic rock and im fed up with filing and scribing commands to the great unwashed that they call a team of employees…my minions of inadequacy. So I thought of you lot and the great stories I have to tell.Ok now Ive built it up here we go:As many, or maybe some or at least Gaz will know Jane and I headed of to Edinburgh for Fringe, festival and tattoo. We were kindly given Tickets as a gift from Dave and Alex to tattoo and though we’d make a tour of it by visiting Edinburgh, our old short term haunting ground and engage fully in Festival and fringe activities. All was good in preparation, we had tickets we had accommodation and anticipation. As Jane described there wasn’t much use in the train tickets as the four hour trip was, for us, experienced from the doorways which over the duration of the journey became so packed with people, including the religious nutters! that legs were no longer needed to stay vertical as the crush propped us up nicely. Well it would have been nice and cosy bar the small business owner woman swearing like a trooper down the phone line to one of her staff regarding robbing Peter to pay Paul..Literally she was juggling the employees salaries in order to pay them their due and there names were Peter and Paul. But she was annoying and I bet she smelled bad too.So the trip up should have warned us about that day as after a brief lunch in the princess street gardens we trotted of for the hostel, finding the long way around dodgy town lined by kebab shops and thrift stores we arrived at the hostel. All seemed good until after the first barrage of shows and gigs we made our way to bed. Not long after we hopped into bed did our room mates arrive, a jovial Belgium man and his non speaking wife, (never trust a woman that doesn’t speak)…Well officially I am at war with Belgium as a result of that evening… As the bedroom consisted of two bunk bed sets Jane and I separated into top and bottom of one unit, whereas the roomies decided to both occupy the lower of the other bed, which I can tell you now as an experienced hostel visitor cannot lead to any good, With fear of midnight romping interrupting my precious sleep I started to drift away into slumber when I was hit by the most horrendous, disturbing and fear inducing sound I’ve ever come across. As it turns out, Jane was also experiencing the same terror and loathing I was from her lofty heights of the top bunk. Despite being a large man in a small bed with his woman the oafish Belgium lad had somehow instantly fallen asleep and, I can only guess as a result of still having to defend the cave from Dinosaurs, begun snoring so hideously loud and violently that a sabre tooth tiger wouldn’t enter. Which is a pity cause I was beginning to conjure thoughts of feeding him to any wild cat that would miraculously appear, well either him or me as the disturbance was that bad I lost the will to live. I tell thee no lie his snore was occurring on the inhale and the exhale, leading Jane to later recount that he was in fact chainsnoring, as she may have already mentioned. Of course the fact that she was able to recount any such tale and I am here now waxing lyrical is testament to our stern determination not to give in to any such offence from Belgium. A line was drawn in the air which coincided between the two bunk sets, any offence to cross the border would be retaliated with a stiff kicking of their bed to try and prevent the chain of events that at that stage was unknown to us but history will indicate did occur. However this defence only resulted in a brief murmur in the sleep patterns of the man and his, by now must be completely deaf with the chainsnoring only half a face away from her right ear, woman ( I use this woman term only as I believe due to his prehistoric reaction to sleep he must have hit her over the head and dragged her to a cave in Scotland…hey I’m sure even Neanderthals liked to travel) And this is where the trust thing comes in She remained silent through this ordeal as she had her entire life so as not to have complained or take action with a knife She shall remain in my mind as guilty As him for my first night in hell. As my first attempts at a defence against the barrage of anti silence slung across the notional border had failed all there was to do was dig in and wait for another opportunity to attack. This entailed of Ipod headphones being installed into ones ears…interestingly the rummage through the packing at 2:00 am did nothing to the Belgium terrors snorebeat. It is only after an hour of ever increasing Rock volume did We realise that not only could we hear it through ear splitting music but we could feel the snoring through our chests.This is unbearable, God I hope I don’t do this to Jane, I know I snore but she assures me a gentle poking or kicking relives her of my interruption. In frustration I shook their bed with some vigour…nothing, no change…So I left the room to visit the toilet next door to be further disturbed by the face that in the hall or the room next door the disturbance was still strong. I flushed as loudly as I could to no avail and grabbed Jane and we headed out on a 3:am walking tour of Edinburgh. Again our rummage through packing for clothes to wear fell literally on deaf ears as we rugged up and ventured out into the darkness…Had the Battle been fought and lost, had we been driven out?…ashamedly we had, with our tail between our legs we knocked on the doors of brightly lit quiet sounding hotels, with the most common retort to our pleas for a room being, “ not on Fringe weekend sir” all was looking lost, we were cold, tired and basically seeking asylum from the Belgium invasion, remember we were there first by some 15 minutes. Jane and I were displaced, we were refugees in Edinburgh. After some 2 hours of walking and an aborted attempt to inhabit a bench seat we set back to the hostel of horror. Then a surprising thing happened..no it hadn’t burnt down… in my tired stupor I went into the wrong room, the kitchen in fact, and discovered two couches. Within minutes we had entered our old room and stripped the beds of the required accessories and made camp in the off kitchen lounge only recently discovered. We got an average but life saving 2 hours sleep before the first breakfasters came to dine. At which point we had to make our way back to hell to finish the sleep. Needles to say the room was still there as it hadn’t crumbled under the onslaught of the terrible nasal vibrations of chainsnoring man. It wasn’t long before we left, showered and went on our way for the day, two shells of human existence barely cognisant of our surroundings having fought a terrible battle whos opposition would, to this day be barely aware occurred. The war was won, the Aussies fared badly but survived, feelings were hurt and plans for retribution, retaliation, Revenge are afoot. I will have my day, oh yes they wont see me coming but by god they will hear me, their children’s children will fear the Australians Revenge.
Ok got that out of my system we fared a lot better throughout the day than we though we might, the fringe events and stuff were fantastic, well mostly there were a few average stand-up comics but this was balanced by some brilliant street performers.Our second night in hell wasn’t really that bad for me, but it was Jane’s hell and I was there so we were both in hell…During the 1990’s the Jim Rose circus had made a name for themselves as a quality freak show, with performers/novelties such as the enigma a blue jigsaw puzzle tattooed individual. His return show was less freak show more perversion fest. I don’t mind the odd bit of perverse comedy or display of perversion, but most of what we saw that night was borderline unnecessary and a poor excuse for entertainment. Luckily we only paid half price as we did for all shows, but unfortunately waited in the cold and alternating light dark of the neighbouring beer garden until 12:45 am.Jim rose as all circus ring masters stood addressing the crowd, claiming to be Satan, and he surely swallowed razor blades like only Beelzebub could, but the premise behind the show was the house band wanted access to hell and Old nick required them to prove their worth by performing acts of oddity while engaging with El Diablos pet bunnies whom spent most of the show naked. Acts of brav…er stupidity involved receiving darts in the back, trapping ones genitalia in a badger trap, the irony lost on most, eating glass and other similarly inane stunts.All the while Jane sat steely eyed and unflinching on the outside. Even during the painting episode. I missed how she reacted to the Irish boys appearance, acting as security, a large shaved bald goateeyed and heavily muscled lad enters from stage left rips his shirt off to expose more tattoos and muscles on muscles then sits on a close by chair to further remove the last of his clothing, to expose what could only be described as lady bits, Ah my first live hermaphrodite! Crazy stuff, wasn’t expecting that I must say. The show ended with an invitation to enter hell but a warning to expect all sorts of creepy crawlies and other fear inducing critters as the lights dropped and the performers launched water via water cannons into the audience, again Jane having faced down the real Prince of darkness remained still and undisturbed whereas the woman to my left had a splash of water land nearby and damn near went into cardiac arrest with the fear of goblins and all sorts becoming entangled with her soul. HAHAHAHAAll of which explains to me how, when we managed to find ourselves at Warwick castle more recently, and part of our ticket included a tour through the haunted tower.(Yes it was haunted…by bad actors jumping out from dark crevices in order to scare the bejeesus out of the small crowd allowed in at a time) Her resolute sturdiness must have infuriated the minimum wage ghouls as she did not react to their intimidation on numerous occasions, One tough cookie my Jane is.Anyhow I digress, the rest of our Edinburgh was fantastic, it remains as one of our favourite places and despite my initial apprehensions the tattoo was great fun, not as staid as the TV suggests with humour and warmth coming from the performers and crowd alike.Anyway, more to come must get back to work