I love Edinburgh at this time of year.
I know it isn’t everybody in the city that shares my unbridled enthusiasm for the Festival season. It isn’t even everyone in my own family! But there is a buzz in the air quite unlike anything I have experienced anywhere else. There is a wealth of world-class entertainment to choose from on our doorstep, with tonnes of it costing £15-a-head or less. Some of it is free.
This year’s promises to be just as exciting as ever. And a bigger moneyspinner than ever, not just for the hotels, bars and restaurants, but cabbies, bus drivers, local food suppliers, and so on.
I get the frustrations that some people feel about the crowds and how long it takes to get anywhere around the city centre by foot or on the roads.
And the sheer volume of visitors expected this year means that there will be inevitably a focus on how well the Capital copes with the influx. How well will the roads cope? What about the overflowing bins? It’s in everyone’s interests that we get these things right, both for the benefit of residents and the impression we make on visitors from around the world. The planning this year has been greater than ever. Let’s hope that in a month’s time we are looking back on a hugely successful - and sunny! - festival season.