The heart of the matter

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Sometimes in London one wonders where the heart is, where it’s gone, what happened to it? After a particularly hectic big smoke day I headed out to the Natural History Museum to accompany my starry cousin as her plus one at the European Diversity Awards.

Wandering inside to join dinosaurs and all things crusty, I wondered if everyone else felt as I did – ready to slump in the first available chair.  Sort of, one’s arrived, now one can rest up, take a chill pill and just hang.

Of course it’s never like that at a black tie awards event.  Usually there are meets and greets required, handshakes and schmoozing, congratulatory kisses.  It’s impossible to relax.

But, tonight was different.  Really different.  Celebrating diversity in all its forms, Sandi Toksvig reminded us that on the very ceiling we craned our necks to check out were images of plants from all over the world – a diverse selection.  She also reminded us that the dinosaur we sat beside at white rose and hydrangea decorated tables was unidentifiable as a male or female.  Why?  Because apparently the genitalia disappear over time making it impossible to tell.

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Misty Whisky


The Edinburgh Fringe is actually not so much a test for comedians and the like, but rather of one’s ability to drink at any given hour, and adopt the position ‘When in Rome’..

The first night had my Scottish lady host and I craning our necks to see Harmonium at Usher Hall.  “Do you think the choir is singing live?” I asked J.  A gentleman beside me passed a wine glass to his friend in front of my nose: “Why don’t you stop asking questions and just enjoy it!” he commented.

The next afternoon, I followed J into the monkey bar.  “You’ll love it here” she told me, “They show movies a few times a week in the afternoon and I think it’s the cheapest Prosecco in town – £12 for a bottle, if I remember correctly.”

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Scudding soft blue skies and lots of them met me as I ambled into the elegant city centre of Edinburgh on day three of the Fringe.

Searching for the exact venue in this most packed and convoluted of festivals, I eventually found the Udderbelly – my number one entertainment destination for the day.


On entering the upside down cow, we were given a slip of paper.  It looked like a Penguin novel cover, but the title was blank, and herein lay the magic of this particular theatrical experience.  The audience were invited to write down a title suggestion for the ‘long lost’ Jane Austen novel and submit it to one of the cast who wandered about with a black bowler hat collecting them.

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