I live in Edinburgh, and I actually quite like it here. The problem with Edinburgh is it doesn’t really like itself, and so has decided to sell its soul to try and find some meaning to its existence. Once upon a time it was the proud home of the Scottish Enlightenment, a bastion of the intellect, now…
It’s pretty much a festival city all year around. In the summer, the Festivals arrive in town, the most notable being the Fringe and the International Festival. People who live outwith Edinburgh have told me that “you’re so lucky having the festival”, but many Edinburgh residents would disagree. As soon as the Festivals start up, Edinburgh is transformed into an honorary borough of London, along with the crush of people and the high prices. Most places are sectioned off for venues for unfunny Oxbridge student comedians to try and “make it”, and also overpriced beer stands. The beautiful architecture is adorned with posters for (mostly) sh*t “comedy”, and you can’t move without being shoved out of the way by someone.
Christmas & New Year
Then comes Christmas, and the Christmas market. This invades the beautiful Princes Street Gardens overlooking the castle, and after a November-December of selling overpriced Christmas beer and meat, then means that there’ll be a late winter to spring of the Gardens being sealed off as the council tries to disguise the yellow grass and mud the Market leaves in its wake.
After Christmas is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. Once a smaller event that had fireworks and was generally a good time, in subsequent years it became super-commercialised by various companies who decided to turn Edinburgh into a “party city”, to the extent that if you go out in your garden to watch the fireworks you can never be sure if some “helper” in a hi-viz jacket will ask to see your Firework Super Pass and if not charge you £50 for one.
This year (2020), we have been spared the gaudy festivals and it actually feels nice. Edinburgh has a chance to rest. But next year, well, it’s PARTY TIME AGAIN and I’ll just go hide in a bunker for all of August to enjoy September and October.