I don't think I've ever felt fitter at the end of a Fringe. I haven't even had the beginnings of a sore throat and though there have been some energy dips along the way I finished feeling full of beans (and even managed to jog back from the Stand after my final show). I had to get up early to finish my Metro column. I have two more to do by Wednesday to cover my holiday. But then it's a fortnight of rest and fun!
It was great to leave the podcast on a high, with my guest Jason Manford who I like very much and who is affable, sharp and witty. And it was also cool to have a stand-up spot from Wayne Mazadaza, a young comic who works behind the bar at the Stand. It felt apt to be ending the podcast with a spot from a potential future star and it turned out that Jason had also got his first break in comedy when he had been working collecting glasses in a pub. Thanks to everyone at the Stand for making my month here so enjoyable and relatively painless. Sometimes in Edinburgh it can feel like your crew are doing the minimum possible for you (and you can't always blame them - they work long hours for no money), but at the Stand the staff are both efficient, committed and always ready to help. I've had a blast and I will miss doing the podcasts in the future, but I think it's right to go out now, before it starts to become a chore. This series has been consistently good, I think and I am proud to have been a part of it. But after 75, not always entirely audible episodes it's time to bow out. RHLSTP will continue though. Once a week is manageable. Seven a week is probably a little bit too much even for the most committed fan.
I gave away my remaining groceries and Scotch money in the competition at the end. The woman who won does not live in Edinburgh, so I don't know what she will do with 3kg of raw potatoes, but she seemed happy to be victorious. Which reminds me, I didn't visit the Tempting Tattie this year, for what is probably the first time since 1992 (when I've been up here). Maybe that means I have grown up.
Here's the last podcast. Hope you enjoy it.
Then a jog back to the flat to pack all the stuff into the car and make a break for it. I was hoping the podcast would be loaded up in the time it took us to load up the car and luckily it was. It was a little sad to leave the flat and Ben Moor behind and more than ever before it felt like the Fringe had hardly begun and now it was over.
There was a massive moth inside my car. God knows how it got in there (I've not driven at all since the day we got here) or how it has survived. It didn't seem to want to leave and was flying up in my face as I got ready to drive off. But luckily it flew out of the window as I left the garage.
But we got three hours down the road to Lancaster, arriving at our hotel just in time for dinner (the restaurant stopped taking orders at 9.15pm and we'd got there by 9). Neither my wife or I could remember where we had stayed on the journey home last year (it turned out to be a Premier Inn on the M6 - though even once we'd established that we couldn't recall anything about it), but tonight we had a bottle of champagne and an enjoyable meal, so hopefully this was more memorable. We're still four hours from home, but it's good to have got almost half the journey done. And we watched the latest episode of Breaking Bad in bed, which made up for missing Pointless (if that was even on on bank holiday Monday).
We're both looking forward to getting home and seeing the cats. And then shooting almost straight off again on holiday. So even if Lion-o and Smithers remember us and are happy to see us, we're going to piss them off by abandonning them again. But really looking forward to having a break now. Goodbye Edinburgh. Thanks for swallowing my dreams once again. It's been quite good.