01342 713068

Modern choirs for people who love to sing

Memories of Edinburgh - part 2

On to our second guest post, and our final blog dedicated to Edinburgh...

"If life is a series of ups and downs, then an inChoir Holiday in Edinburgh is a good example of life.  From the moment Sally marches us from the airport terminal to the coach, hauling our luggage in one hand and clasping our inChoir folder (name on the inside, nothing on the outside) in the other, to the route march back from the coach to the terminal and onto the plane, we don't stop; we're up and down and up and down again.  We haul ourselves up the Royal Mile (and it is a climb!) to sing in the pouring rain, we run back down to make sure we have time to get dry before supper and we know we've lost a pound in weight since we got up this morning.  Supper is served at 6 and it's rather good; there's also a bar so the French bread, with soup of the day, charcuterie, goats cheese tart, roast pork, new potatoes, black forest gateau and a glass of wine results in 3lbs on.  Oh well, we're on holiday.  Sort of.

Next it's up the Royal Mile again but this time twice as far - to the Castle Esplanade for the Royal Military Tattoo.  Phew, we're here and, with all that pushing and shoving through the unbelievably thick throng of thousands, carrying rugs, coats, scarves, hats, hot water bottles and hip flasks, perhaps we've lost a pound.  But actually we're not here yet, as Sally has thoughtfully selected tickets in the furthest section of the arena (she says they're cheaper but we're not sure we believe her!) and, with hired cushion in hand, off we trudge again, pausing only to admire the surroundings.  Here we are she says, pointing to a steep staircase, and with forced smiles and gritted teeth, we climb the steps to our seats.  Up and up and then up some more.  Sally says you get a better view from up here but we're looking for the oxygen masks!  Vertigo sufferers go in backwards and definitely don't look down.  That's got to be another pound off!  We're winning; we're back to par.  The show is amazing, the spectacle breathtaking and it's cold, so we clap along to Scotland the Brave and Mairi's Wedding, tap our feet with the Pipes and Drums and join hands for Auld Lang Syne - another pound lost with all that activity? Probably not.

Out into the night, and a leisurely stroll back down the hill; even Sally has to go slowly here as there's too many people around.  But it's back into the bar for a nightcap and we reckon we're in bed one pound heavier.  The parties outside go on till four or five in the morning but we're not sure if lack of sleep means we gain or lose weight?

Breakfast next morning is good - we'll have a sausage, black pudding, baked beans, a croissant, toast - with marmalade of course - but also the fruit and yogurt in case anyone is watching!  They are but it's still a pound added to the tally.  And yes, we're off again.  Back up the hill that is the Royal Mile.  This time in white shirts to St Giles' Cathedral, the High Kirk of Edinburgh.  We're going to sing inside! That's so exciting that we must have lost half a pound just talking about it.  The concert is fantastic, the Cathedral is full and they've all come to hear us.  The adrenaline is really pumping now (that's the other half pound gone) and Mark is accompanying us on a Steinway grand piano - no backing tracks allowed in here!  The applause rebounds through the building; they loved us!  And we all loved singing in such a special place.

We are now told we have some free time.  That's exciting and we could go and have a sit down somewhere.  But no!  The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is on - there's so much to see that we don't know where to start!  Shall we do comedy, shall we do music, shall we do theatre?  If we're quick, we can do all three.  We can watch one, run to the next and then race to the third - not all the venues are at the top of a hill, tho most are.  Oh my, we grab lunch (fast food - 2lbs) but with all that running we've only gained a pound.  This is going well.

Sally says we're walking to our dinner venue on Saturday evening.  Another pound off?  Well no, because Mark's leading the way and we walk at a leisurely pace, while Sally runs up and down the line to make sure we're all there and nobody gets knocked down at any of the road junctions.  Wait for the green man please!  Dinner is in a private room in the Old Waverley Hotel and we love it.  Food is three courses, excellent and there are loads of clean plates.  We sadly think that might be another three pounds to account for, especially if you chose the haggis. Oops! We do walk back to the hotel but this is quite slow too - is that all the extra weight we're carrying! 

Another nightcap and another breakfast and - oh dear - another two pounds.  What are we going to do this morning to work that off!  We know the answer - Sally's route marching us once again, all the way up the hill that is the Royal Mile, to Edinburgh Castle.  It's even further - and more of a climb - than to our seats for the Tattoo, but we join a tour, fight the crowds (and don't say to Sally that there's a lot of people in the room with the Crown Jewels cos she'll just tell you to leave if you don't like it!).  Visit the Chapel, the Great Hall, the Scottish War Memorial and the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI - because we're all with the Scots today - and admire the Stone of Destiny. 

Now, if we go without lunch, we reckon we're heading back to where we started weight-wise but, on the other hand, we can't really sing on an empty stomach and we've our final performance this afternoon.  So we put on another pound and rush to another Fringe show which only results in losing half a pound.  But there's still the climb back up the hill to our stage, where we give one of our best performances to the Edinburgh crowds.  They dance, they join in the singing, they cheer and they clap and they thoroughly enjoy it.  So do we.  Everyone does, well everyone except the drunk in the middle of the audience who can't even stand up, never mind join in.  The fantastic Edinburgh police are called to remove him, thank goodness, or he might have been trampled to death by all those foot-tapping, music-loving, hollering and cheering Festival-goers.

And that's it.  Our time in Edinburgh is coming to a close.  It's back down the hill to pick up our cases and it's off to the airport.  Our legs have taken us up and down hills, steps and stairs and our weight has gone up and down along with the exercise.  We've all had the time of our life, with all its ups and downs and, if we have eaten a little too much, we've also walked a lot more than usual!  It's all good

When's the next roller-coaster?"


Twitter: @inchoir
Instagram: inchoiruk