The Edinburgh Diaries 2011 – Day 3 – Wednesday 17 August


We woke at the crack of noon. I could have slept longer after our late night but we had to get over to the Edinburgh waterfront by 2pm for our annual visit to The Kitchin, the wonderful Michelin-starred restaurant run by chef, Tom Kitchin. Their slogan is “From nature to plate”. Which is a bit classier than my suggestion: “This is the Kitchin / Our food is bitchin!”

It is though.

We still managed to be late and had to run several feet to catch the bus, an unexpected moment of exercise that must have burnt off several courses worth of calories. On the way through Leith, a rather intimidating bloke got up and started shouting about the Dole office. Luckily he got off at the next stop before he could go all “Begbie” on us. This was the nearest we got to Trainspotting. I had looked up locations for the film on our way into Edinburgh – there was only one. The rest had been filmed in Glasgow. The only bit we could re-enact would be if we ran down a road and got run over by a car. I didn’t fancy that much.

We got to the Kitchin and it was as gorgeously decadent as I remembered. I won’t say too much about the lunch because it really was embarrassingly indulgent. An Edinburgh blog should be all “I woke on the floor of my hostel with a massive hangover then stumbled off to do fifteen open spots and my own hour-long show about the decline of hamburger relish which was reviewed by ten journalists, secured me 23 agents and landed me my own Radio 4 sitcom.”

I went to a nice restaurant and had the duck in orange sauce. It was lovely, though. Kerry ordered grouse – the most costly thing on the menu. She had, quite literally, expensive tastes. We could see Tom Kitchin bustling about in his namesake. The following day Kerry tweeted Tom to say how lovely the grouse was, and he tweeted back to say it was his favourite too!

After a sumptuous lunch, we got back to the comedy. We had booked to see Josie Long in the Queen Dome at the Pleasance. She was awesome! As we entered, she was chatting to the audience and playing music from her Iphone. Andy Allen was sat in the first row and had a couple of spare seats so we moved in.

The show itself balanced her charming joyful optimism with her deep hatred of the Tories and her activities in protest marches. There was also a sketch about the Brontes to keep up the whimsy quotient but the moral of the show was that, as easy as it is to be cynical, we can make the world better and “The future is another place”.

She gave out photocopied booklets with cartoons, recommendations and reading lists. It really was an excellent show and we have quite often found ourselves saying “who was it who did that bit about…” only to remember it was her.


Afterwards, wandering about and wondering what to do next, I used my Fringe App to see what was on. The fringe app is a great tool. It allows me to search for events nearby, find them on a map and book tickets, completely replacing my fringe guide. In the future they’ll no doubt be an app with a live 3D hologram of any gig you choose and then you’ll never have to leave your flat. Or travel to Edinburgh. Or interact with people at all. The perfect live experience!

I found that Hannibal Montannibal was on soon so I booked the tickets and we walked over to the Pleasance Courtyard. We got a drink in one of the tented bars at the rear and bumped into Amanda Severn and Mari Polonon who had just joined the Edinburgh party. Then, as we queued for Hannibal, I got a brief glimpse of TV’s Seann Walsh’s hair. The owner of the hair was hidden behind the person he was talking to. But seconds later, the hair ran off, and I could see that Seann Walsh was, indeed, attached to it. That was a relief.


Hannibal had been recommended to us by Sean McLoughlin and we figured it was the sort of thing we would only see at the festival. He was great. His surname wasn’t “Montannibal” but, as I have since found out, “Buress”. This has made things quite confusing when I tried to recommend him to others: “There was this great bloke called Hannibal… um. Well, I can’t remember his surname but it’s NOT Montannibal. Does that help?”

Hannibal Buress is a black American comic. He had a very different style to a lot of the British acts. He was slow, relaxed, wandering around the stage and taking his time to develop topics and bits rather than gags. There was no theme to the show. As he put it “the only theme is it’s me saying all this stuff”. I like that. Having a theme can make a show like an essay about someone’s experience with hamburgers or astrology or whatever the fuck. It can take away some of the magical illusion that it’s one person saying whatever is on their mind.

Afterward we saw him standing outside and Kerry said thanks. We found Mari and Amanda again. They had been joined by Kathryn and Shannon and her friend. Shannon wanted to have a photo taken with me as she said her sons had really enjoyed seeing me at Comic Boom at the Komedia. I obliged and pulled a silly face.

Ego further boosted.

We stayed and chatted for a while but were tired and the smell of burgers from the nearby stall was making me hungry. We decided to go home, have chicken salad and then go out to the Library Bar. We managed the first bit. But after a day of eating we found it difficult to move once we had sat down and decided to call it a night. We couldn’t even manage another episode of The Wire.

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