By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Monday, 11 August 2014

The lost romance of coaching...

Reader, I am back from 11 days performing at the Edinburgh Festival. What an experience! Getting in before 2am of a night was impressively puritanical, finding food that wasn’t beige and deep fried became a fun new game, as did booking shows that started ten minutes after another ended, but that were 20 minutes away. I slept on a mattress topper in a room with 3 other girls, and felt lucky that I had so much space to stretch out. I saw shows that made me laugh, shows that made me cry and shows that made me question if maybe the creator’s parents hadn’t been a bit too kind about their efforts. I used Skype for the first time and sent postcards to someone important who was still in London, when my parents visited I begged them to take me somewhere, anywhere where I could even look at a bit of lettuce. I drank shots from test tubes, did Jagerbombs, had a cocktail so strong my eyes hurt and a hangover so awful that we introduced a new method of flyering that involved laying on the floor. We almost sold out and then had a two person audience (who were bloody brilliant and apparently thought our show was the best thing they’d seen). My shoes fell apart in the rain, my clothes went through a wash yet somehow are STILL all stinky and have bits of booze and toothpaste on them and I overheard someone utter the eternally brilliant phrase ‘that man was just too Scottish’. Edinburgh, I shall miss you. On top of all of this was the beauty of the city, the meadows (which I fell in love with walking through alone with music playing in my ears first thing in the morning (by which I mean 11am) and last thing at night (4am), the laughter, the music, the magic.

And then. Then, dear, beloved reader, came the eight and a half coach journey home. Which I am still on as I write this. I am two and a half hours into it in fact. The heating by my feet is making my ankles sweat, the un-turn-off-able air condition above my head is giving me brain freeze and somehow, the whole bus already smells a bit of wee. Thankfully no one on here is drunk, and the inevitable two year old (who brings a two year old on a coach? Seriously?!) has yet to make a peep. However it is past midnight, and having already slept for an hour of the journey, my neck is in pain and my lower back is so squished I’m sure I’m going to be walking like Smeegol when I get off the damn thing. The reading light doesn’t work and really, shouldn’t all overnight coaches have plugs and beds by now? I thought it would be a little like the Knight Bus in Harry Potter but it’s actually just like a normal coach only full of hungover festival goers and with less lighting. I need to learn how to drive.

On this particular coach, we have the enormous family of 6 (with toddler) who don’t seem to understand where they’re going or what a coach is, a group of Chinese students who instantly annoyed the British contingent by not understanding queueing (cue instant tutting), some French performers who have already had a passionate row and complained to the driver, a large woman who won’t stop eating, a small man who keeps rushing to the loo (I don’t want to know), some really grumpy stand ups and a girl who has been quietly but audibly crying since we left the bus station. Or laughing very oddly. It’s sort of hard to tell.

Everyone else on the coach appears to be asleep or meditating in the dark, but after two weeks of only sleeping at 3am at the very earliest, I want to read my book or have a conversation. If I was still in Edinburgh I would probably be at a show right now. Or a bar. Or at the flat having a Skype date. But instead I am writing this blog entry. Which won’t go up till tomorrow, when I am face down in my bed. I cannot wait to be face down in my bed. I actually changed the sheets before I came out to Scotland in preparation.

Anyway, my laptop is running out of power and I reckon I might give sleeping another go-although being the only one on the coach awake makes me feel pleasingly like the badass kid in Battle Royale.

Have a fabulous day not on a coach Reader!


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