I’ve just returned from my 8th consecutive Edinburgh Festival.  My publisher suggested I should blog a piece “in your usual style”.  This implies I should do it as a murder mystery, which I don’t think is what she had in mind.  In any case Ian Rankin does it better – damn him.  Which brings me to my next point.


As I writer, you’d think I’d go to the Book Festival rather than (or in addition to) listening to Richard Herring telling jokes about dicks, but the truth is I don’t.  Why not?  Out of sheer unadulterated envy is the answer.  It might be easier if I scorned the people I envy, but most of them are sickeningly talented and, even more dismayingly, I suspect they are decent and modest as well.  Obviously these are vices that provide ample motive for murder and, even as I write, I am mentally sketching the plot for a (somewhat old-fashioned) murder story.  The trouble is Ian Rankin again.  The bugger has claimed the city as his own.


Speaking technically – I mean as to the execution of a murder – Edinburgh in August offers the unusual advantage that one can stroll in broad daylight along the Royal Mile in any state one chooses without attracting attention among the crowd of fire eaters and Plains Indians playing Andean pipe music.  So, for example (and speaking purely hypothetically you understand), I might slaughter…. oh I don’t know who… and traipse along the Lawnmarket with the bloody corpse slung over my shoulder, the axe still buried in the skull.  If I held out my cap for tips, I’d even be in a fair way to make money out of the business.


Note to self: (1) Study IR’s plans for next August.  (2) Buy (or possibly rent) axe.