Secret Edinburgh: Jessica Fostekew heads to a very British beach
Andrew Mickel17 August 2012
If the weather's bad in Edinburgh you might as well find a beach to match the mood, says Jessica Fostekew...
I grew up in Swanage, a grey, dated and desolate seaside town in Dorset. The sort where the sulky beach was usually quiet but for a few ancient souls, lounging their way ever closer to death in their deckchairs, with hankies on their heads.
The sort of place where tourists get frowned at and whispered about, a permanent source of twitching, fear and suspicion, despite providing the town’s only real income.
The sort of place that you wouldn’t call ‘pretty’ but it stank of nostalgia. The penny arcades, the tacky tat and the simplicity of it bleak, almost sinister yet somehow charming.
The sort of place you can bound in and sea-swim all year round, the colder the better, to really truly remind yourself you’re alive…then shudder back out, frozen happy and deserve the incredible freshly-caught fish with freshly-caught chips you get with a mug of tea and bread and butter in a shorefront gingham-coated café.
So Portobello – just outside Edinburgh city centre is my favourite place to escape from the festival. It is identical to my first home. It won’t be to everyone’s liking, it’s a freaky wee beach basically, and for me it’s like crawling back into the womb.
Jessica Fostekew: Brave New Word is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot, 17-26 August, 18:30. More info at the Ed Fringe site here.
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