So, second leg of the Big Road Trip is done and look - I'm in Edinburgh. On purpose!
Not, however, on time. In a complete reversal from last night, I left in time, but traffic made for some funtimes, leading to arriving 90 minutes later than planned. At least the landlord was only waiting 30 of them...
It's a pretty straight line from Cambridge up to Edinburgh, however you do it. You can either get on the A1 and never leave it, or cut up through the middle of the country via Jedburgh and A68 after the A1.
This latter is a route that's becoming familiar to me. I have my favourite bits of driving, which include some very loopy uppy-downies through border country, and the bosky roads approaching Jedburgh, as well as the wild actual border country itself. There's some boring country roads that are mostly straight lines across moorland, but we're ignoring that, except to mention all the outrageously cautious drivers I got stuck behind.
OCDs (hahaha) don't like gradients or corners, and are wishy-washy about the straight moorland bits. Theyonly go fast just before they slam on the brakes at a bend or just before a village. They just don't enjoy the ride, I feel. Which is a shame, but at least no-one died through overconfidence. I managed to overtake a JCB on a single carriageway, and that's not something I tend to do - my own driving cautiousness include just chilling out rather than overtaking. It pisses the people behind me off, so I reckoned more Zen would be accomplished (wrong use of the term, I know, but fuck it - I'm a poet...) cumulatively if I overtook. Behold the overtaking. Well done me.
An hour or so later and I was alternately drumming my fingers in Edinburgh traffic jams (they appear to have, with stunning timing, decided to rip up as many central streets as they can, and block off others with fairground shizzle) and gazing at the buildings and famous landmarks and people, people, people. It is now about twice as difficult to park in central Edinburgh (legally) as before, but I found a nearby loading bay and used it to unload my stuff. Then followed the landlord's advice and found paid parking nearby.
Dan Simpson arrived about the same time as me, so we explored the flat together (and he helped me drag all the shit I'm keeping in the flat up the stairs.)
I want to say a word about Dan here. He, along with other such notables as Tina Sederholm, Dave Pickering (and his merry Stand Up Tragedy crew), and Dom Berry (all for slightly different reasons, but hey) has helped to keep me sane in the run-up to Edinburgh. He pitched into making administrative things happen, totally made the London fundraiser fly, offered advice where it was asked for, and kept telling me I was doing a good job. I'm chuffed to be sharing a flat (and several stages) with him and getting to know him better. :) I'll also, oddly enough, be sharing with Tina and Dom as well...
All these people have shows at Edinburgh Fringe this year which you should go and see. I'll go back and put the hyperlinks in later, when I've more brain but, for now, Google 'em.
Where was I? Oh yeah - flat.
HOLY CRAP! Last year we paid at least 50% more each (and I paid a great deal more, covering various costs that I should have shared out) than we are for this one, and got a tiny basement dwelling I shall be discrete about in terms of location but fucking hell. We shared it with the landlords and their grim pets and hygiene issues, and it was TINY. And smelled bad. And the one (mouldy, noisy) bathroom we shared with them broke for a week and we had to use the scary one upstairs.
This one is HUGE - 6 bedrooms spread out over three floors, clean, airy, bright, and IT'S ALL OURS. There are three (count 'em) bathrooms, a massive kitchen, communal living room, nice dining/ hall thing, and more storage space than you can shake a big pile of flyers and costumes at (and I intend to). The landlord has provided clean towels, toilet paper, and nice kitchen goods. There are two fridges, so we can keep the vegan and vegetarians happy, and it's just. So. Nice.
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but maybe this is it - we found a nice place, and now we're staying in it. And maybe we needed the shit experiences of last year to be able to appreciate thia place properly.
OR we're going to get burgled...
Anyway, that's it - I'm safe, sound, settled, and starving. Time to investigate food.