Last year two of my high school friends got married, and I was chuffed to be the MC.
At that wedding I met some family friends of the bride and groom, who had travelled from Edinburgh for the wedding. They found out I did some stand-up comedy and insisted that I come to Edinburgh.
‘In a few years’ I replied, ‘I’m not quite ready yet.’
But they said all the comedians come to Edinburgh – even the very new ones, and I really should, and that I could stay with them.
I thought about it, and then thought ‘worth a shot’.
I applied for a grant from DCA to part fund the two months of performing, writing and seeing shows.
I cried when I got the envelope saying my application was successful. I knew before it started that this whole trip would mean a lot to me. Even just getting the grant gave me a huge boost because it meant that OTHER people thought I was worth betting on, not just my family or my friends…
I hadn’t spoken to the couple I’d met since the wedding and the phone number I had for them wasn’t connecting. Google came to the rescue and so I emailed the address that came up:
“This is Bonnie (Perth, Australia) who you met at Briony and Harry’s wedding late last year… I’m pretty sure this is the right Bill and Helen because I remembered you made knitwear and then when I googled your names and Edinburgh the shop came up in the search”
A day later and I got a reply.
“Hi Bonnie, I think this must be the right Bill & Helen because we remember you too, so we can’t all be going lala. How great that you go the grant, well done, I’m sure we can help with the accommodation if you let us know when your dates are.”
Bill and Helen let me stay with them for free for a month, when most people are renting out rooms at extortionate amounts during the Festival. They didn’t know me at all when they offered, but they managed to make a HUGE difference to my year – if they hadn’t insisted that Edinburgh was the place to be I certainly wouldn’t have gone this year. The whole time I was there they treated me like part of the family and I was sad to say goodbye.
There will be another post about Edinburgh, but this one is just about them, if you are ever in Edinburgh please check out their shop and say ‘Bonnie says thanks!’
Bill Baber – Knitwear (handmade in Scotland)
It’s in the Grassmarket – off Cowgate Street and the website is here.
This was the goodbye present I made for them when I left.