The Pig Yard

Pig Yard @ Edinburgh Fringe Festival - August 2003

This was our second visit to the Fringe and we were fortunate to have a standing invitation from Clive, Steve's brother to stay in an apartment he was renting for the first 3 weeks of the month. The apartment was convenient for central Edinburgh making it was easy to walk to all the major venues of the fringe.

Steve produced a timetable before we arrived so we knew what we were going to see and when. Although we amended the plan it was very useful to give us a starting point and in the end we managed to fit in 4 events every day. Meeting up with John and Susie, our close friends from college, always means we revert to student behaviour but it's wonderful to become nineteen again.

The atmosphere in Edinburgh at this time is tremendous with all the visitors looking for cultural gratification. This can often be found in the discussions taking place outside venues and queuing for events as much as the actual events themselves.

BBC Radio 4 and Radio 2 have daily recordings of some of their more popular shows. This was Parsons and Naylor usually broadcast on Radio 2 on Saturday lunchtimes.

The best broadcast was probably 4 at the Fringe. It had Gary Lestrange as one of the acts and he was rated by all the critics as new up and coming comedian but he didn't press any of our buttons - perhaps we were too old for his style of humour.


Quote Unquote is not our favourite Radio 4 show but it was free. As it turned out it was far more fun in the studio than it is on the Radio. They record two programmes one after the other and it was interesting that the second was far flatter than the first because the audience were starting to lose interest in the characters on the panel.

We could definitely hear John & Susie whooping and laughing on the recording when it was broadcast a week later.


Nicholas Parsons a long standing chairman of "Just a Minute" was involved in a photo shoot at the Pleasance courtyard so we thought we would take some shots of our own. He was looking pretty bored at this stage. Unfortunately they were not recording the show until the following week when we would be back at work.

It's great to find off the beaten track restaurants and the Lost Sock was just such a place. It was next to a Launderette hence the name - we've all lost a sock in the wash from time to time. The evening air was just cooling off but we had had a very busy day walking the city so it was great to sit out, drinking wine and a eating a good quality, reasonably priced meal.


We sat outside the Pleasance Dome in the shade waiting to see Hideaway. We were all relaxed and happy. Jane's expression says it all.

We were approached whilst sitting here by several people trying to cajole us into attending their event but we already had a full afternoon ahead of us.


After seeing John Hegley we sat on a traffic island and ate our lunch - very studentish. During the John Hegley performance he asked us to draw a face on a piece of paper and John's was so good he was dragged out to participate in a little performance. John decided to wear his mask after lunch to add to the street theatre circling us.

The graveyard of Thomas Grey and his famous Greyfriars Bobby. We walked through on our way to yet another event as the sun was beginning to set with the centre of Edinburgh ahead of us.

These beautiful granite, grey buildings have a majesty and solidity that is hard to find in most other cities.


This pub looked the archetypal spit and sawdust bar that existed in the 1950s. We didn't dare venture in just in case there was some thick-set Scot in a kilt waving a pint of heavy around and threatening to take on every one who entered.

We did go into the bar on the opposite side of the road that was frequented by the tap dancers from the show Revolution.


Wherever you go in Edinburgh there is always something going on and it quickly draws a crowd. We were standing outside the Festival booking office when a street entertainer started setting out their stall.

In this case it was a juggler and she managed to maintain the crowd's interest for well over 30 minutes before the hat went round.