I have returned he says from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in one piece.

It was certainly back to its vibrant post-Covid vibrant self. The streets were lined with food vendors selling chicken skin burgers and gourmet haggis, social media tycoons advertised their shows with a finger firmly on the Instagram and Twitter button. You were accosted on every street corner and alleyway by lively millennials (not exclusively of course) hurling flyers in your personal space. On day two of my arrival I was chased by a Maris Piper selling her one woman revue about – well, you guessed it – potatoes of every shape and variety.

Spoons, the show I appeared in and spoke of in my previous column, was a comedic take on marriage and was written by north London boy Jon Canter and directed by fellow north Londoner Paul Schlesinger. Press and marketing rules the roost at the festival and without reviews and a good PR and advertising campaign there was little point in being there.

Ham & High: Russell Bentley made a documentary about the characters and history behind the launderette in England's Lane. Picture: Russell BentleyRussell Bentley made a documentary about the characters and history behind the launderette in England's Lane. Picture: Russell Bentley (Image: Archant)

I think the producers of our show forgot the small print as we played to very small houses (well that’s Edinburgh we were told) and most nights in the wings I would turn to my co-star and say "they’re not laughing". She would retort with: "They’re not in the audience so how can they."

That’s not quite true but they might have booked a smaller venue as playing to a 200 seat venue in a show no one really knew about was a hard sell.

Last week we mourned the death of the Queen in the only way we know how in dear north London. With cake, with tea, a tear or two for the end of an era and a trip down nostalgia lane. We had Coronation chicken at the lido, posters of HRH on the brick wall, care of Della who pays meticulous attention to the small details, and we all asked each other: "Where were you in 1977 at the silver jubilee?" or "the royal wedding of 1981" or "the death of Diana in '97". Every event had a memory.

I can still recall the trauma of the Jubilee celebrations of 1977, when flares ruled and at our street party in Finchley I was mistaken for a girl by a neighbour as I was wearing a matching Marks and Spencer outfit with my sister.

In other news, yours truly is narrating an audio book written by former GQ editor Dylan Jones, Faster Than a Cannonball, released on October 13, about a seminal year, 1995, when British politics, art, fashion and music made their mark on the International stage and began to establish seismic changes in Britain. Check it out, it’s a fascinating read but not for the faint hearted, a little like the Edinburgh Fringe.

And in even more exciting news the sauna is to reopen in the Lido, which is a cheery prospect as for us Parliament Hill aficionados as the temperatures begin to drop but spirits rise as we face the autumn months huddled together in a confined space gossiping, laughing, freezing from the cold water and doing what we north Londoners do best... belong. Hurrah!

Russell Bentley is an actor and writer from Belsize Park.