It’s tea time and it is late October, I am looking through the pitted glass; it’s pitted with the salt spray that has gusted around on stormy wet winds, winds gusting at about 70 miles per hour today.  Memories of a fine pleasant Edinburgh in August this year, seem unreal on this rip roaring weather day;  it feels like it was a really long time ago.  The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The International Festival, (main stream theatre) and  the Edinburgh International Book Festival, all ‘colluded’ to start simultaneously this year. I thought it was fantastic. Virtually the whole of the city centre and many nearby suburbs buzzed with Festival. 

My shoulder and neck ached from carrying my camera,  so, there were some days as a festival-goer I gave ‘me’ a rest.  A couple of times I saw the most fascinating person, or, action, and I had nothing with which to physically record the moment. You never know what wonders there will be at Festival.  It sometimes works in your favour focussing your eyes 100% and chatting with people, like, when I climbed on a bus one afternoon and sitting facing me was the most stunningly made-up young man, who was on his way to perform in a cabaret act. Exquisite feathers of shiny and many coloured hues, for eyelashes, fluttered at me.  He had fine very pale pink lips and a white face.  All of this theatrical beauty was crowned with dressed fiery curly auburn hair. “You look wonderful“,  I found myself blurting out.  I know he was surprised, it showed. He was also pleased and he thanked me. I sat next to a woman in the seat in front of him and  there began a  friendly three-way conversation. The man rifled around in his capacious handbag, also part of the theatrical wardrobe, to find me a card for his fringe venue. Well, you can’t remember every little thing can you. No card I’m afraid, but, I did learn that the eyes transformation took about an hour and a more careful application (!!!) required about two and a half hours.

I wonder what this glorious ‘lady-in-waiting ‘ is loitering for.  Maracas perhaps?


 The Royal Mile, is about a mile to walk; the top end has the iconic Edinburgh Castle and at the lower end you arrive at Holyrood Palace, where the Queen stays when in Edinburgh.   The top end was closed off to through-traffic during Festival.  With the good weather most days, snapshot fringe performances took place.


There was all this activity  at the top end, near the castle.  Manipulating a puppet while playing a violin – what a brilliant act!

The cyclist in the picture above is a mime artist and is not moving.

Here below, onlookers filming and taking photos of the puppeteer and her fiddler



A puppet act with a difference




A quarter of the way down…. this group had a regular longer performance at an indoor venue. Here on The Mile they were providing a taster of their act.  They worked their audience well and a good crowd gathered.



And more….  the boards, like the one in this picture to the left of the stage, gives the  schedules of free Fringe acts throughout the day at the various similar stage venues here.  This is just a wee snapshot of one day at The Festival when I was wandering around exploring what was happening on The Royal Mile. There was a lot more to find in many different places.



I grimly grinned when I saw what was in the letter that I received from Portugal. I don’t have any regular communications with Portugal. That alone raised my curiosity and my suspicions. As it turned out, rightly so. The contents suggested I had won very many thousands of Euros on something equivalent to a postcode lottery, without my personal participation.

For confirming my identity details, much as you would with a bank,including at least one photo identity document, I could ask, via a second form headed with their agent’s details, to have lots of money transferred either to a bank account, if I supplied details, or, I could request one of two types of cheques to deposit the winnings myself. A London office address was given, it has been verified. The identification information however, was to be faxed to Madrid, Spain. So where does Portugal fit in?

This is an active SCAM doing the rounds headed International Lotto Commission.

I have reported this correspondence to Consumer Direct; there are regional numbers which can be obtained via the internet. The guy I spoke to, drew up a case number for future reference, did not instruct me, though he strongly advised I do more research on various web sites. We also discussed the possible, (I think undoubted) risk of taking up this offer of winnings. “Remember,” he said, “you were entered into this, you did not enter it yourself,” and for further emphasis, “they entered you…”

Fair enough.

This scam is being reported to the Consumer Affairs Office in London by Consumer Direct, for them to follow it up, if they can, at the official office address given in the letter.



Ten dollars entry payment to the U.S.A. is being proposed. The Travel Promotion Act, which is to form a new ‘promote the USA’ organization (an international tourism sales driver) is going through American legislature right now and is expected to be signed by the President, very soon. http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/02/26/travel.promotion.act/index.html?hpt=Mid.

It is, it seems to me, another travel tax to impose on visitors for the sole purpose of paying for an organisation that sells the USA; there is no evidence that suggests visitors will benefit directly or indirectly in any meaningful manner.

Some emerging economies have an entry levy of a nominal sum, money which has to assist caring for sights of international interest, not for paying for top heavy administration and blatant travel promotion exercises, and any other allegedly aligned interests. With enough visitor numbers, this proposed tourist entry levy is a money-spinner. It is not clear, however how this honey pot will be controlled and managed.

Perhaps we should all follow suit and extract additional monies for pet government/federal projects from people who visit our shores.


This is bugging me and I have to write it out of my system.

Those bloody uncontrollable animals, who set up laws and boundaries to hem women in because they cannot trust themselves and their own kind to control themselves, have done it again.  Having pounced on and sullied their victim with a gang rape, who gets punished, she, the victim is punished. As if she hasn’t suffered enough already. On appeal, while in prison, the victim’s barbaric sentence is increased.

A woman is not allowed to be within any male company (in this case on a bus) unless she is with a male member of her family.

We hear nothing of the males involved – they should be hung drawn and quartered in the society that they come from – it would be a kindness to shoot them.

The king of the kingdom in question, has intervened to prevent the woman’s sentence from being acted upon – he has given her a pardon. According to reports, conservative groups in that society, are complaining that the king has given in to international pressure against the clearly stated religious laws which, they say, have been contravened.