I'm now back in Edinburgh after my 3 month tour of duty in Portsmouth.
The first thing I noticed on my return was that the big plant pots outside my front door had been moved around.
I considered that there were two possibilities as to why this had occurred.
Either a kindly stranger had observed that my Feng Shui was a bit screwed up and had deigned to correct this, or, more likely, an opportunist crook was looking to see if a key had been concealed somewhere.
From what I gather there have been a few prowler incidents in the 'hood.
It made me feel a bit of an arse for putting updates on Facebook to the effect that I was working away from home in Portsmouth.
This may have had nothing to do with the incident, but it made me ponder on the wisdom of talking shite on the internet in relation to your movements .
So anyway, hear this, you crooks and ne-er-do-wells...I am NEVER leaving Edinburgh again...
I've also been getting pissed off with all the flack Billy Connolly has been getting for the heckler incident.
Most reports neglect to mention that he'd already been on stage for approximately 2 hours, and had just ended the show abruptly, rather than doing a Roy "Chubby" Brown...ie being heckled then walking off at a gig in Glasgow when he'd only been onstage for about 5 minutes.
I've been enjoying the "Late'n'Live" show on BBC1, although at the same time it does slightly glorify the act of heckling.
I know that it tries to take a balanced view, and has comedians describing how idiotic heckling can ruin what could potentially have been a great show...but you just know that a certain number of twats will watch and take this show as a validation of their annoyingly crass behaviour at comedy clubs.
I totally sympathise with Connolly's exasperation.
I remember going to see Chris Rock at The Edinburgh Playhouse, and having to stand up every 2 minutes throughout the whole show to let people get past...either to go to the toilet or go to the bar.
It seems that no-one can just sit and watch a performance these days without drinking or taking pictures on their mobiles.
Anyway, was supposed to be writing some "good" and "bad" stuff for a podcast.
I'd thought of referencing an experience I had in Arrequipa in Peru with 3 of my friends.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and we decided just to go our separate ways for a couple of hours and meet up later.
When we met up, my 3 friends were sitting ashen-faced and obviously upset.
It turned out that they'd all been subjected to a "choke mugging" in three separate incidents.
This basically involved, a gang coming up behind them, and then being grabbed round the neck by one of the gang, and held in a head lock until they passed out due to lack of oxygen.
They were unconscious for less than a minute apparently, but this was enough time to rifle through their belongings and grab any cameras, cash etc that they were carrying.
Of course, I thought this was all a big wind-up at first...but their demeanour indicated otherwise.
I was just glad that they all seemed ok, and that what they had had stolen was not too disastrous.
Of course, I initially felt relieved that I had not been targeted as well.
However, I began to ponder why I was the only one who was not considered worthy of a "choke mugging".
Had my natural scruffiness and tramp-like holiday sartorial elegance come to my aid?
I couldn't understand it...especially as I alone had visited the dodgiest part of town.
I also had a tinge of regret, that my friends now had a killer after-dinner anecdote from the trip.
This is all a mixture of "good" and "bad" really...neither one or the other.
Anyway, we went ot the police and were surprised to find out that the police are generally not working on Sunday afternoons.
So it turns out that obvious tourists walking around Arrequipa on a Sunday afternoon are like hens being guest speakers at a foxes convention.
Thankfully, I was later involved in an terrifying extortion incident with the Colombian Military Police, and did get my anecdote in the end, but that's another story.