Fiona Duff: Preparing for all weather key to success

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IF there is one thing that visitors and performers at the Edinburgh Fringe invariably complain about it is the weather in the city during August. For us Edinburghers it’s a time to smile smugly and think that one of the benefits of living here is that we are always well prepared.

People wonder why I walk around with such a big handbag. I know it isn’t doing my shoulders any good, but I won’t step out of my home at this time of the year without an umbrella, sunglasses, cardigan and something to fan my face.

My first Fringe experience of this year was proof of the pudding. I was at the Assembly Rooms launch earlier this week. It was a fine smorgasbord of some of the shows taking place in that wonderful building over the next three weeks, hosted by comedian Fred MacAulay who everyone should go and see at some point this month.

On the way there, just after 8pm, the light showers of earlier in the day had turned into a downpour. I arrived, unlike many of the other guests, with bone-dry hair. My shoes might have been a bit squelchy, but I have to draw the line at carrying a pair of wellies with me at all times. I do have a friend who comes each year and those are her constant footwear; somehow she gets away with it but I think I would look like I had just crash-landed from a farm.

Anyway, halfway through the show, the room was getting a tad hot. So off came the cardi and from the depths of my bag was a flyer for a circus show that had been thrust into my paw at some point. As I waved that around my physog I could see others in the audience look at me with envy.

So when you see Fred remember to wear the correct clothing – all those sodden jumpers can raise quite a fug and you may have to end up watching him through a mist. A bit like the rest of Edinburgh when the haar rolls in.