Fiery Festival Farewell
After the end of the Fringe, it's the turn of the highbrow Festival to say farewell to its orchestras, opera and dance companies from across the world. The Festival's final act is an evening fireworks concert on Sunday, with the Castle providing the launch pad and backdrop for the fireworks, and music coming from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra live in the gardens below. This year it's a Russian and Eastern European programme of Glinka, Borodin, Sibelius, Nielsen and Tchaikovsky.
All across the city preparations are underway. The road closure signs have gone up. The great British traffic cone is sprouting along key routes where people might be tempted to park and watch the show. It's very much an 'on foot' event. My children will be watching from the vantage point of a hill to the south of the city centre, which will mean a bracing climb. On Sunday evening the streets and footpaths will have a steady movement of people walking into the centre of town. I love this pedestrian, in the literal sense, aspect of the evening.
While the concert is sponsored by big money - Virgin Money this year, it is part of the 'feel' of the city, and enters into everyday life. As in the sign outside the Artisan Roast coffee shop on Broughton Street. As a local, you know what to look for that tells you how the preparations are doing. So looking up at the Castle from Princes Street yesterday, I noticed something different about the battlements. The usual tourist figures were there.
But look more closely and you'll see that what you might have taken for white-clad tourists (rash in this weather, but possible) are actually firework preparation thingies. I don't have a clue what they are, but they're definitely part of the big build-up.
My firework photography skills are hopeless, so I'm not promising any photos this year. However, my children might oblige, and I'm going on a photo course in the autumn which might improve my skills.