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Edinburgh Fringe Reviews, with five days left of the Fringe




You could probably argue that the first rule of writing reviews of live performances would probably be to write said review on opening night, or quickly after.

Evidently I didn't read the rule book (or didn't care enough to check).

I make a point of visiting the Edinburgh Fringe every year, but I never tend to make it a priority. And this year I only made it along on Sunday, just one whole week before the whole thing closes its doors for another year. So if you're Fringed out, this is probably a little late - but if you live in or around Edinburgh and have a few hours to kill this week, here are mini-reviews of everything I went to see (which I'm writing in chronological order, but this list also happens to end with my favourite).

Pricks
When I first seen this show's title, I thought "yes, a show that slags off penises". It was - somewhat unfortunately - not about that, but instead a personal memoir about living with Type 1 Diabetes. It's a solo show performed by Jade Byrne, but incorporates sound recordings from Jade's family and other diabetics who she interviewed for the performance.

Out of all the shows I seen, this one made me feel the most emotion. It made me laugh when she responded to silly questions ("can I catch it?"). Educated me when she explained how treatment has moved on over time. Gave me a sore throat as her mum's voice echoed round the room, worrying about who was going to look after Jade when her mum couldn't. Made me uncomfortable as she asked us to put on our blurry glasses as she attempted to illustrate what it felt like to go into hypo. Clenched my fist when she recounted a story when a barmaid refused to serve her Redbull during a hypo, believing her to be a regular drunk.

How to Drink Wine Like a Wanker
I've always liked wine but have never been able to describe what flavours I like beyond "pinot grigio". Since most wine tours and articles come across as full on upperclass twaddle, so I've never really looked into it.

So a Fringe show that educates me on wine, but simultaneously acknowledges the wanker attitude of most wine journalists and copywriters? Sign me up.

Hosted by Anna Thomas, a native to South Australia who decided to pack up her corporate career and become a wine tour guide, talks us through six of her favourite wines and shares titbits of her life (content warning: she talks about her miscarriage; and financial warning: it costs extra to taste the wine). She confirms (what I've always known, to be honest) that most wine labels are marketing guff, and there's not a single wine that can honestly claim to have undertones of seven different berries. But out of everything she mentioned, my favorite was this: "the best wine in the world isn't the one that some wanky wine journalist tells you should like, it's the one that matches your palette and helps you unwind after a long week".

Plus it turns out Roussanne is the wine I never knew I needed in my life (it's savoury and nutty).

Sidewalk Smut
While exploring Edinburgh and the various Fringe hubs during my five hour break between shows, me and my friend came across a stall adventuring personalised erotica. As a sexology nerd I could not say no to whatever the hell this was.

Turns out, the women was a friendly, funny and feminist-friendly sex therapist and former sex phoneline operator named Cameryn Moore. Aside from her Fringe Show that rips apart society's shitty attitude to sex and re-builds it, she also offers a service called Sidewalk Smut where she interviews curious pedestrians about their sexual preferences, sends them away for about 15 minutes so she can crank out a personalised one-page piece of erotica on her typewriter.

And you can bet your ass I ordered one. While I'm not exactly going to scan and share it on the internet for everyone to see, from a short interview Cameryn managed to pin point exactly what I like in bed and I absolutely adore my short story. I'm keeping it forever.

Politics for Bitches
Potentially one of the most talked about shows at the Fringe, I'm not sure Politics for Bitches needs an introduction or even a review - but here is one anyway:

Fucking awesome.

Especially if you're a frustrated millennial. If you're a 60 year old Tory, you'll probably walk out.

So what do you recommend?
Sidewalk Smut and Politics for Bitches are my top choices - but the other two are definitely solid options (but probably appeal to a more niche audience).

Since the Fringe has already been on for three weeks, I suppose a good closing question is to ask what have your favourite shows been? 
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My favourite Glasgow restaurants for vegan and omni friends


(This is Nippon Kitchen)

One of the most common questions I get asked is: where in Glasgow can meat-eaters and vegan friends dine together?

Once upon a time this was a difficult question to answer, and I even struggled to pick places for my own group of friends. These days Glasgow offers a generous selection of vegan menus within its eclectic dining scene - and I have a pre-prepared list for lunch and dinner dates.

This list is by no means exhaustive (vegan menus are so common in Glasgow now that I can't even keep up) and I've decided to limit it to my five favourite restaurants - in no particular order.

Nippon Kitchen





If you were to ask me to choose a favourite restaurant from Glasgow's generous dining scene, it would be Nippon Kitchen. I first discovered Nippon Kitchen back in 2015 and have returned on many occasions since, singing it's praises every time. It's a Japanese place that has always been accommodating for vegans but about a year ago they launched a standalone vegan menu. It's not the cheapest of options, so I usually reserve it for when my parents are down or I'm looking for a nice date venue - but I couldn't rate it higher if I tried.

Pizza Punks



I'm yet to meet anyone who doesn't love Pizza Punks. For £10 you can build your own pizza from dozens of toppings (including veggie haggis, mac and cheese, and Irn Bru Pulled Pork), or you can order one of their pre-made options. There's also a vegan chocolate brownie freakshake.

Rose & Grants


If it's brunch you're looking for, then I recommend this place. Not only do they serve a tasty vegan breakfast - they also have lots of vegan goodies behind the counter (like cakes and Vegan Burd Chocolate bars). They even at one point sold limited addition Irn Bru ice-cream!

Tickled Trout




This is a very recent discovery of mine, which I recently reviewed for Vegan Connections. You'll find it on the outskirts of Milngavie - and it is well worth the car drive. The vegan menu is a very recent addition, but contains tasty and creative dishes such as tomato tart and panna cotta. They also have a generous drinks selection behind the bar (plus, it's next to a Dobbies Gardene Centre and that's never a bad thing).

Bread Meats Bread



With a word like meat in the title, you wouldn't think for a second that this place was vegetarian-friendly, let alone vegan. But words can deceive. Bread Meats Bread on St Vincent Street (where all the burger restaurants are) actually sells my all time favourite vegan burger. They also sell vegan poutine!


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