I had a phone call a couple of days ago from the bastard apartment agency in Edinburgh who gave us the wrong (77 steps up) apartment last year when we went to the Festival. Perhaps I was being stupid to think that it might be ok this time round: they did eventually, after some heated negotiation, offer compensation in the form of a reduction in price when we booked another apartment for this year. It was where I needed to be, in the centre of things so I could come and go with relative ease. They went one better this time round and, with two weeks to go, told us that some “corporate” people had decided they needed the apartment and we could have alternative accommodation somewhere at the other end of town, or almost out of it. We’ve taken our money back and, amazingly (through the Scottish Tourist Board), found somewhere else – nicer and half the price, without the sleazy “luxury” element that is supposed to be what we all want, in fact when we booked in January we couldn’t actually find anything that didn’t look as though it was hijacked from the set of Startrek, but with polished wooden floors. I used to like wooden floors, but I am beginning to associate them with “luxury” apartments. So all is well, except that we never did get our compensation from the agency, and they are carrying on their nasty business as usual because no-one has the time or energy to do anything about it.
Daughter of Signs is up there already with thirteen others, creating the space in which they are going to perform what I think will be an extraordinary show which she has written, is co-directing and performing in. I can’t wait to see it.
Son is in France on a small tour with a youth orchestra, playing cello. But he will be on the telly tomorrow in Last Choir Standing. His group is called Last Minute (he's the one accompanying the soloist on "If I ain't got you"), and they’ll be singing two songs. Son is the second soloist in “It’s My Life”. Can’t tell you if they got through or not because that would be telling. But I can reveal that spending a day in the BBC studio was – how can I describe it? After we had all (hundreds of us) been security checked, colour-coded with wristbands and herded into the foyer to wait, it felt like an airport lounge when the plane has been delayed. Then when we were finally got into the studio itself it felt like a kids party that went on and on but you weren’t allowed to go to the loo when you wanted and the only sustenance was a two-bar Kitkat and a small carton of orange juice. And there was some kind of all-purpose entertainer/comedian there to get us all in the mood for the hooting and clapping that we had to do. Not meaning to sound like a miserable git, but it was very hard work. On the other hand, it was lovely to see the boy do his stuff and lovely to see the singers who gave the whole thing their best shot. The studio looks very glitzy on the screen, but it’s all very sweetly makeshift and a bit wobbly.