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Fringe Benefits: why an anorak is more important than vodka in Edinburgh

We get lots of great things from America. Breaking Bad, The West Wing and Krispy Crème donuts.

However, this week we also got the aftermath of Hurricane Bertha, which hit Edinburgh hard this week. I spent much of the week inside watching the rain lashing against the windows but after a while I had to venture out. I lost two umbrellas. I'm always very impressed at how strong winds can flip umbrellas inside out. I can barely get them up but the wind seems to grab hold of them and twist them into a martini glass with great ease.

I binned them and decided to wear my anorak. I'm not a huge anorak wearer but my promoter gives all the acts a present at the start of the Edinburgh Festival. It is a bottle of vodka and a branded anorak with "Bound and Gagged" written on it.

I do the same thing every year. I vow not to use both and invariably do. At the time of writing, the vodka remains untouched but the anorak - well I cracked and put that on. I even went as far as pulling the hood up. Practicality will always win over fashion when there is a hurricane around. My husband however, was drenched. We went to see the excellent Noise Next Door at The Pleasance. While the show is excellent, the queue lines up outside the venue so we had to stand in the rain waiting for the previous show to finish. My husband didn't bring a coat to Edinburgh on the understanding that he "needs to buy a new one and this will force him to do so". Not that it did of course. Rather than go shopping for a coat, we squeezed in another show and he ended up soaked to the skin at 11pm in The Pleasance Courtyard.

We have seen a lot this week. The always amazing Daniel Sloss, Iain Stirling, Lucy Porter and Sarah Kendall. As the children have been in Edinburgh we have seen a few kids' shows too. We saw Malasombras at Summerhall, that was a little scary for my youngest but the neon games arcade under Summerhall was a huge hit. We loved Ready Steady Ceilidh at the Spiegletent. This is a great show for tiring out little ones. They learn to ceilidh dance for 45 minutes and are thoroughly tired out so they all sat quietly and watched Potted Sherlock at The Pleasance. They really enjoyed that. It is quite remarkable the vast array of shows on offer during the festival. My kids struggle to explain to their friends exactly what the Edinburgh Festival is like to their friends back home.

It is such a treat to go to a show at home but here, they go to something daily. They are keen to go to more stand-up but managing to choose shows for all three of them when the age range of my lot is 12 down to two isn't easy!

Yesterday, my two year-old spent the day with his grandma and we took the two eldest out for the day - obviously there is a gap of an hour and a half whilst I go off and do my show but we manage to cram stuff in. The Edinburgh Festival cranks up that mother-guilt thing. I have to work every day but it is their summer holiday so there is often dissent in the ranks as they complain about not having a "proper holiday". We managed to score tickets for a phenomenon called Miranda Sings. I jumped in a cab from my show at The Gilded Balloon and straight over to the EICC. The audience was mainly teenagers and mums and I wasn't sure what to expect. I know the kids watch her singing (badly) on YouTube so I wasn't sure how we were going to manage a full hour of it.

I was very pleasantly surprised. Miranda (real name Colleen) is a gifted singer who posts videos on YouTube. The character is a girl who thinks she is amazing and is slightly off the mark - but only slightly. She covers; bullying, boys and self isteam (sic). It's really very entertaining and the message she's sending out to young girls is an excellent one so I am most definitely a convert. I was very impressed. Her fan base seem to be big fans of the scream of appreciation so I also got some insight as to what it may be like to attend a One Direction concert.

Yesterday was a very different day at the Fringe.

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