Last month we were in Edinburgh for five wonderful days. My good friend Elizabeth asked me, at a meeting of the Civil Service Council earlier this month, what was my most memorable memory about my United Kingdom Adventure? I replied that it was the coolest weather in July and August that I had ever experienced.
The entire time that we were in Edinburgh I felt like I was experiencing mid to late autumn temperatures, and I throughly enjoyed the experience!
Scotland is a fascinating country and Edinburgh is a mysterious…beautiful…suspenseful city. We were there during the world renown Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Fringe is the world’s largest Arts Festival. “in 2015 it spanned 25 days and featured 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues,” according to wikipedia. The Fringe was established in 1947.
When you first arrive at the Fringe the enormity of it is overwhelming! There are so many eager young people emotionally and adroitly advertising their show and the value of attending it that you feel that you would like to take them all in.
We attended two or three shows per day while we were there and one of the most unique that we were privileged to witness was, “Jo Jo Bellini,” who sang Tom Jones songs for an hour while she cooked the audience lunch. The lunch was delicious!
We also were in attendance for a lovely magic show performed by Asian actors, entitled ‘Snap,’ that was not only beautiful but also compelling in the mystery of the magic.
The Play Small Hours…was one of the most thought provoking that I have seen. It was two women setting in arm chairs…discussing their lives over several sessions…until you discover…that one of them has been deceased for some time…and that her dramatic depiction is the memory of the living member of the friendship. This clever Play stayed with me long after I left the venue.
Once again being with our dear friends Jeff and Margo added so much to our European experience. They have lived in the United Kingdom and France for twelve years or so and to experience the joys of discovery of Europe with them increases our joy ten fold!
We saw the most delightful Improvisational Comics, Stu and Gary, who perform year round in Edinburgh. I marvel at the quickness of wit and agility of Improv performers…they are truly something to behold!
The first performance we attended was “Junkk” which consisted of the most talented young men who performed musical numbers on truly what was Junk! The musical numbers were tremendous and their comic energy and musical professionalism was inspiring!
Edinburgh captured my imagination and desire to return to this magical…mysterious…beautiful place.
It has done me much good and has benefited me beyond measure to travel to other lands and see with my own eyes that God has created a wonderfully diverse humanity that is neither better or worse than American dogma. It is just different and beautiful…and complex…and to be appreciated and admired as the wonderful gift of the inhabitants of our small blue ball called Earth.
I met a man who was in a wheel chair on the first evening that we were in Edinburgh. He asked me if I could lend him an arm as he rose to walk through the line of Mexican food ordering that we were in. His friendliness and genuine humanity touched me and set the tone for my entire visit to Edinburgh. He said that he wanted to visit the United States but that his partners’ Visa had been denied…although they would reapply. His warm open nature and his admonishment to me to enjoy all that I could see of the Fringe and Edinburgh…was one of the most significant connections that I have made in my now four visits to Europe.