Fiona Duff: Forget your troubles come on, get happy

Parliamentary launch of 'Clean For The Queen' anti-litter campaign to celebrate HMQ's 90th Birthday  Borish Johnson MP
Parliamentary launch of 'Clean For The Queen' anti-litter campaign to celebrate HMQ's 90th Birthday Borish Johnson MP
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When schoolchildren of the future study history that covers this year, what on earth will they make of it all?

irst of all, we have to hope that there is still civilisation because the way 2016 is going it looks a bit dodgy for humankind. There’s IS behaving like medieval torturers. We see images of Syria that bring tears to the eye and there are probably other parts of Africa and the Middle East that are just as bad, but no-one bothers to report on them.

Worbey and Farrell Fringe musical act. Picture; contributed

Worbey and Farrell Fringe musical act. Picture; contributed

Countries are being torn apart with dissent and revolt, and United Kingdom is hardly the expression to describe Britain.

Even politicians supposedly on the same side are at each other’s throats; whilst it can be quite amusing to observe, it cannot make running the country very easy.

They say that if there is one thing we can learn from history it is that we never learn from history.

To be honest, even though I studied the subject I am not sure I can remember much of anything, but I do know that extremism in any form does not make for a happy population. So I am thinking of starting the Party Party. Everyone has to get on with each other, no backstabbing allowed. The leader will be the person with most friends and the best jokes. Anyone can join as long as they get along with folk. The more time that happy people spend together, the better the world would be. It’s not a new idea – 2500 years ago Socrates said the same sort of thing, believing that happiness is something that humans could learn.

Our meetings would be fuelled by a few glasses of wine and tasty nibbles. You can’t get too angry with a smoked salmon canapé in your mouth and it’s definitely harder to punch someone with a glass in your right hand.

Of course, you must all think that I am just being daft. But maybe all just need a lot more silliness – look at Boris Johnson.

As far as I can see, his popularity seemed to be based on the fact that he was always up for looking like a right idiot, even though it is obvious that he is anything but stupid. Then again I am rather relieved that he isn’t running the country.

So if any politicians or tyrannical despots are reading this, take note. We are all sick of you all. Stop causing trouble and get on with what you are elected (or not) to do, which is try and make this world a better place. In the meantime I am going to lie down with a good book and hope that the rest of this year is slightly less miserable than the first 7 months have been.

A twofer will do for anyone who wants to see plenty of Fringe shows without breaking the bank this summer

Talking of parties, it is not long until Edinburgh pulls on its dancing pants and we all spend half our days sitting in overheated, windowless rooms watching sweaty comedians, university drama groups and acrobatic Australians strut their stuff.

The rule in this house is that we have to try and book as many tickets as possible for the first Monday and Tuesday.

Are you wondering why? Because they are all half price (or twofers, as they are talked about in the business that is show) and here are our top tips.

My younger daughter is going to see Nina Conti as well as another couple of comedians. The older is making a trip from down south andhas booked in to see Mr Swallow in Houdini, based on the fact that his show of two years ago had us in absolute stitches with laughter.

Husband and I will be open mouthed at the nimble fingers of Edinburgh based piano-playing duo Worbey & Farrell (pictured)with their new show, Rhapsody. On another day a friend is coming to Edinburgh and we are going to see her cousin’s daughter, Bella Younger, who is now a stand-up comedian. I shall be wearing flat shoes on those days and definitely won’t available for leisurely cups of coffee. It is a serious business seeing so many shows.