There has been quite a lot of discussion this year, particularly on Twitter, about how much the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is impacting on life for the people who actually live in this city. I blogged about it here and also tweeted the photo below
Years ago, during the festival, there were lovely free lunchtime concerts in Princes Street Gardens. I used to go to these whenever I could, they were really enjoyable, showcasing a range of bands from across the world. Nowadays though major bands play in the gardens, which are shut to the public and the knock on effect is that the pavements look like this. The buses are often gridlocked at this time of year, so people jump off the buses onto the pavements only to find the pavements are gridlocked too. People who may want to sit down, either because they have poor mobility or just because they want to relax during a busy day can't do so, it's almost impossible for wheelchairs or pushchairs to get past and at times pedestrians are almost literally pushed into the road, plus the legs on the barriers are real trip hazards. The pavements on the other side of the road are wider, but to get to the other side of the road you have to push your way through the crowds here to get to a safe crossing place.
There are many wonderful things happening during the festivals in Edinburgh, but this year it really does feel as though the festivals are too big, too disruptive to life for city residents and too disrespectful of the greenspaces and architecture of the city, which after all are as much a part of the Edinburgh experience (this is a World Heritage site after all) as the festivals are.
My photo above proved very popular on Twitter and was also picked up by the Edinburgh Evening News to use to illustrate this article (though originally they credited the photo to someone else and I had to contact them to correct them).
I'm delighted that I have a 50 word story up now on the 50 word story website. You can read it here (and if you like it, click on the like button too!).