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So this is Fringemas…

In 24 hours time, I will have just finished my first Edinburgh Fringe show of 2019.

Ticket sales are currently ever so slightly down on this time last year. With last year’s theme being the 90s and this year’s being Britain, it suggests that people prefer that decade to this country. This is perfectly understandable, especially with all the mad things happening at the moment.

I’m also looking forward to seeing how the show works in a late-night setting. Ticket sales are much lower than for the midday show, but the later time slot does give much more time for flyering and for people to buy tickets throughout the day. I’m only doing the late-night shows for the first week and a bit, which shouldn’t cause any issues when my energy levels are likely flagging in the final week.

My main goal of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe is to just enjoy it. Although I greatly enjoyed my midday shows last year, the early evening show was often a struggle that I wasn’t having much fun with. Last year, I was trying to do too much and ended up being ill for most of the month.

Another thing that’s different this year is that for the first time since 2011, I won’t have a full-time job to return to afterwards.

I left my job of seven years and nearly nine months at the end of last week. I was with the company for seven years longer than I originally planned.

It worked out pretty well with previous Fringes, with me either working remotely in some years, or taking the whole time off as paid holiday in more recent Augusts. I could have quite easily stayed put, but I felt it was time for a new challenge.

At the moment, it hasn’t really sunk in that I’ve actually left. I’m half-expecting to go back to work after the Fringe. If I did, I’d probably get some strange looks and would find someone else sitting at my desk.

The main thing I will miss is having that salary at the end of month. I have to wait for my Fringe pay day until October. I’m going to be doing bits and pieces of freelance writing while I’m up here, so there should at least be some new funds coming into my bank account before then.

What I’ve done for the past three Fringes is finish work on the Wednesday, then drive up afterwards to stay a night in either Cumbria or Lockerbie, before heading up to Edinburgh the next day and nicely splitting up a 4.5 hour drive.

This year, I drove up on the Tuesday and arrived in Edinburgh a day earlier than usual. This has given me an extra day to relax in the calm before the Fringe storm.

Another thing that’s different is that I can go and see some of the rest of Scotland, which I never normally have time to do. Once my run finishes, I am heading up to the Highlands for a few nights and doing a show in Inverness.

I’ve always wanted to visit Loch Ness since I was a small boy who was obsessed with dinosaurs, so will be finally crossing that off my to-do list after 30+ years.

Throughout the Fringe, I will be writing significantly more entries on here than I do in every other month. This site is the best place to keep up with my physical and emotional wellbeing for the month of August. Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.

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