I had been looking forward to my day off. I had a plan and all sorts of ideas of what to do with it. In the morning I was going to climb Arthur's Seat, then have a relaxed lunch in a cafe somewhere, before heading off to watch a couple of shows that I normally can't see because we share the same time slot. In the evening, I was going to cook a nice, big meal, watch a movie and chill out. I thought might even be able to squeeze in a walk in the meadows if I felt a little sluggish after lunch.
However, it was clear, considering the state of things this morning, that I would have to re-plan my day off. Suddenly, instead of feasting on pizza and beer at lunch (the only day I can) I saw myself munching steamed vegetables and sipping lemon tea. Instead of hiking up to Arthur's Seat to witness the spectacular views of Edinburgh I've been promised the hike rewards, I'll be popping out to the grocery shop next door to stock up on greens, fruit and paracetamol.
As I lay there in bed feeling sorry for myself, my eye fell upon a flyer for a show I'd planned to see today. I had been looking forward to seeing it since the beginning of the festival. Today was my only chance. I thought about it for a few moments and decided I was going to see it anyway, no matter how groggy I felt. I got up, got dressed and headed out onto the rainy streets towards the Pleasance Dome.
On my arrival there, I walked over to the show's venue which, coincidentally, is next door to ours. Outside our venue's door sat some of the resident techies. You should have seen the look they gave me as I approached. A look of, "Look at this idiot, showing up, forgetting it's his day off". I played along a little, but was feeling too tired and lethargic to give it much effort. They noticed I wasn't myself and I told them about the throat and the headache. They sympathised, saying that they've been experiencing similar symptoms. In fact, one of them has been feeling like that for over a week now. "There's the usual bout of fringe flu going around," he explained. The others nodded sagely.
Interesting. Fringe flu? Really? Let's think about this for a second. We're in Edinburgh, at the fringe, where every day is a party. Every day we go out, we drink more than Ollie Reed ever did, we eat more rubbish than Elvis and we sleep no more than a couple of hours a night. We are now in week four of the festival. Twenty three days of living off coffee, beer, microwave meals, more beer, pizza and chips. If you ask me, it sounds like after weeks of nutritional starvation and lack of rest, our bodies are beginning to waver a little. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there's just a bout of the usual fringe flu going round. I wish it would have waited till after my day off to strike though.