Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Yesterday! Yes. The plan:

1. Dinner
2. Go to Jamie’s concert since he’s in town, according to his schedule
3. Either go swing dancing or hang out with Jamie.

Easy, yes? Ha ha! I laugh.

I went and had dinner; that was fine. I finally went to the Royal Theatre pub, but they’ve had almost complete employee turnover there, so Graham was the only one I knew. I left there at ten of seven to walk to the Pleasance, or possibly the Edinburgh Folk Club, where Jamie’s schedule had said he would be. Fine!

Made it to the relevant street faster than expected and walked past the address and had to turn around to find it. It’s in a cobblestone courtyard off the street, and there were no major signs. I went into the first door (they weren’t marked, of course, with street numbers or anything silly like that), and they seemed to be showing some movie. I didn’t see any of Jamie’s posters, so I went to the place next door and asked at the bar. They gave me a seriously confused look.

The folk club, they asked? That’s tomorrow night. And Sunday.

Good! What?

I still didn’t see any of his posters and left, confused. His schedule definitely said today. I checked my phone to double-check that it was, indeed, the 18th (it was). So I guess I wasn’t going to catch him. Since he doesn’t have a cell phone and his computer is broken I didn’t have a way of contacting him – finding him at the gig was it. Blast.

It was over an hour until the swing dance, so I walked back to High st, where the dance was, found a pub, and nursed a beer and read my book until it was time to go.

I walked down the street, thinking it was a shame I couldn’t catch Jamie, but swing dancing is always good, and I’ll go back to the club tomorrow to see if he’s there and then suddenly I was at the end of the street, and I hadn’t seen the club.


I walked back up. Surely it’s on this street, right? Of course it is. It looks right. Isn’t it? I checked my map – neither Calton st. nor Holyrood st. looked right, and they were my other options.

So, having wandered too damn much today, I called Jacqi and asked her. It was Holyrood st. Bah. Made it to the club and went into the bathroom where I ran into Jacqi. I told her about trying to find Jamie, how he was supposed to play at the Pleasance/Edinburgh Folk Club and I didn’t see him. Oh yeah, she said, that’s just right up the road.

What? No it’s not. I walked way too much for it to be right up the road.

Another woman in the bathroom with us said that she’d just passed it – there had been people gathered outside.

Now. This means that I was in the wrong place and the concert’s over and if I don’t catch him then I really won’t see him.

So I ran. I ran up the road (with periodic bursts of walking quickly – I’m not totally insane) and up the hill and some stairs –

and found myself where I’d been not two hours earlier. I’d gotten the address right, and it’d been right around the corner from the dance place the whole time. Only this time I was sweating and panting. Lovely!

Just for fun I walked into the first place again, but it was no more promising. So I went into the bar – not the one I’d been in earlier, a different one – to see if they had any different ideas. I waited for the bartenders to stop talking to other people, thinking that Jamie could be anywhere, and if I don’t catch him before he leaves – you get the idea.

And I waited. And looked to my left, and recognized the person standing next to me as a drummer I met in Inverness when I was hanging out with Jamie and Hans.

What the hell.

If this was a novel I’d have less respect for the author’s ultra-convenient deus es machina.

I said hello and asked if he knew where Jamie was – oh yeah, he’s in town this week. But he’s been really hard to reach on his phone.

He has a phone here now?

Oh yeah, he just got a British SIM card for it.


So it turned out that the Folk Club was in the bar that I’d been in on my first trip here, and he didn’t know if/when Jamie was playing, but he was definitely around this week.

And then my head exploded. By which I mean I gave him my email address and asked him to let me know about music sessions and went back to the swing dance.

The dance was fun. And I got a ride home from Jacqi and went to bed. And since there’s a swing dance Sunday I think I’ll stay in town this week, though I’d been hoping to go out west.

And today? All the thrills and chills of going to the grocery store! Ooh, aah.

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