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House of Horror (or Habitat)


Good morning, dear reader.  Are you excited about your weekend?

Yesterday I promised you an anecdote about fearing the worst, so here it is.  I hope you find it funnier than I did at the time.

While I’m up at the Fringe I will be writing reviews for Three Weeks, which is very exciting and an interesting new challenge for me.  However, I arrived in Scotland a day or so after the reviewers’ briefing, so I had to go and visit one of the editors at home when I got here.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, and it boasts some of the most stunning buildings on our island (if not in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE), but there is the occasional grot spot, too.  The address I was sent to was a bit closer to the latter type of venue, with some very fetching graffiti on the door and a distinct whiff of “people get thoroughly murdered here” about it.  Bit of a house of horror.

Feeling apprehensive but trying to make light of things, I jokingly said “Well, this is obviously how I’m going to meet my maker!”, and at least one of the friends who’d come with me said “yeah, it probably is”.  Great.  Thanks for the moral support, guys.  Obviously we were just being silly, but when we wandered down a couple of doors down to get a drink I had another nasty surprise.  Sitting outside a pub and trying to relax with my friends, I noticed that the gate of the property next to us proudly proclaimed the building to be a school of surgery, which immediately sent me into a half-serious panic about bring chopped up into little pieces.  My younger sister lives and studies in Edinburgh, and as such is familiar with the uni buildings scattered around the city.  She calmly informed me that it was the old school of surgery, and that no one studied there anymore. 

This, of course, made me think “OH GOD not only am I going to get chopped up into tiny little pieces, it will be done by out-of-practice amateurs using outdated equipment in a sub-standard environment!!”

None of this happened, of course.  The flat behind the scary door turned out to be one of the most sumptuous and ridiculously beautiful places I’ve ever been to.  Many, many cushions – definitely more of a house of Habitat than one of horror.

The moral of the story is, don’t judge a book by its cover.  Also, don’t go somewhere scary with friends who find the prospect of your imminent death amusing.

Have a marvellous weekend.