A bagpiper, a criminal and a dwarf get on a train….

Visiting Edinburgh during the Festival, you have to expect to come across some pretty unusual characters. Our train journey from King’s Cross had all the makings of an Edinburgh Fringe show production. 


The only thing I had been thinking prior to the journey was “I pray he sleeps”. I have been on trains with wailing babies before. And hated it, of course. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t bothered about Marley’s crying upsetting other people on the journey. I honestly didn’t care. But I had just played football for the first time in six months the night before, my legs were in pieces, I hadn’t got to bed until 2:00am and I wanted to try and get some rest for myself. 

Selfish? Yes. Bothered? About as much as any new dad coping on four hours sleep a night, I imagine. 

Anyway, the train was packed. Incredibly, Marley slept the ENTIRE way there (well, unless you count that one trip to the bathroom where he had his nappy changed, and proceeded to piss everywhere; all over the wet wipes, the changing mat, the walls, the floor, the ceiling, his own face…..thankfully my wife took that one on) 

As far as first train rides with a newborn go, this couldn’t have been smoother. 

Having said that, our fellow passengers on the seats around us made for a very entertaining journey. Over the four and a half hour journey, we were entertained by:
– three guys from a London brewery start-up called Forest Road who were promoting their beers in Edinburgh
– a bagpiper who was travelling up for the World Championships
– a female criminal who had just been released from jail that morning
– a magical dwarf

The most vocal of the bunch was, of course, the criminal. She “never thought she would end up in jail” and painted a picture of a placid woman who had just flipped when she’d caught her husband of many years sleeping with her best friend. It turned out she had a slightly more questionable background than she first made out, and with a brother also in jail (murder) and countless other stories up her sleeve, it didn’t sound like she’d be enjoying her new-found freedom for too long.



Still, she regaled the carriage with tales of what goes on inside, utterly convinced that prison provides the best possible opportunities for business. The train was a slightly duller place after she got off. But the bagpiper stepped up with his own brand of entertainment to keep things going. After one of the brewery guys tried (and failed) to get any notes out of the instrument, I took Marley out when the piper began blasting out some tunes. 
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It was at this moment I encountered the dwarf. Standing in the vestibule, bouncing Marley along to the tune of Scotland the Brave, he seemed to appear magically out of nowhere. We spoke for a few minutes, but I don’t think I really heard anything he said. I was too busy thinking about how I could make this all in to a show at next year’s Fringe. 


Hanging with the little man

Oh my god, my head…

My Saturday has consisted of lying on the sofa watching Harry Potter movies, drinking about fifty glasses of water, eating a pack of Jaffa cakes and scoffing down a cold, leftover McChicken Sandwich. This was basically my opportunity to discover how I manage with both a baby AND a hangover.

And the answer is, pretty woefully – just ask my wife. (As I wrote this, she just asked me why there is chocolate on a spoon in the sink. I shamefully had to admit it was from eating Nutella straight from the jar).

It was a fantastic work Summer Party (and after party…) but the consequences have been severe. I wasn’t allowed to even touch my wife or my child until after I’d had a shower (“you smell like a homeless man”). And I couldn’t muster the energy for that until past noon. Wobbly legs, a persistent headache and complete lethargy have plagued me all day. And the only glimmer of sunlight I’ve had was when I was told to put my sleeping bag out on the washing line to make sure it didn’t stink out our flat.

That’s right. I slept in a sleeping bag last night. In my own home. Like a homeless man.

I’m really REALY hoping that Marley behaves himself tonight and allows us to get some sleep. In the meantime, i’ll look forward to spending more nights IN and hope that by the time the Christmas Party comes around, I might remember this harsh lesson. Past experience tells me that I probably won’t….

First night out

Tonight is my work’s Summer Party. 

It will be my first proper night out since Marley was born and i’ve been given the sofa to sleep on. I’m very excited about being allowed out (although the last work party I went to ended with a sit-in Chinese dinner at 4:00am, falling asleep on a bus and waking up even further away from my house than I had been when I got on…)

It’s a beautiful day, the party is at a boat club on the Thames and I’m already looking forward to drinks on the waterfront terrace. 



I just really hope my next post doesn’t begin with “Oh my god my head…..I wish I hadn’t gone to the Summer Party….”