One does sometimes see some curious sights in the hideous heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, but this might just take the biscuit.
This morning as I pried up my cellar door and stepped outside to dispose of last night's gardy-loos, I was startled by a large, rainbow-coloured beach ball landing with a soft "poomp" right next to me upon the cobbles, as though having fallen from some height. Well, I thought, that's a funny time for a stag party to be out and about, but not unprecedented I suppose ...
Then, a split-second later, it was followed by another, slightly smaller. And another. And another ... and then a few dozen more!
Was the world ending? On a Thursday morning?
Thankfully, the reality soon became clear. Our infamously picturesque Victoria Street and West Bow have been chosen (once again) for a film-shoot. The film in question is Tum Bin 2, the long-awaited sequel to the 2001 Bollywood sleeper smash Tum Bin [Without You]: Love Will Find the Way. While details of the plot are still under wraps, we have been informed that the deluge of coloured balls, thrown by a small army of production assistants and enthusiastic passersby over the edge of Victoria Terrace into the street below to rain down around the actors, are part of a dream sequence in the story.
(The last time I had a dream like this, the Mad Monk wasn't very hungry and I'd eaten half of his cheese pizza as well as my own before bed. I strongly recommend against this level of nocturnal cheese consumption.)
We also understand that the film is being shot entirely in Scotland; another coup for the burgeoning success the country has been enjoying as a film and television location in recent years. Victoria Street with its elegant classical architecture and distinctive surmounting Terrace has been a very popular location for many years, seeing at least one major shoot per year. Recent notable examples have been the big-budget films One Day (2011) and Cloud Atlas (2012), and the BBC crime drama Case Histories.
It certainly gives us the chance to see some unforgettable scenes when we open up the crypt (and the shop) of a morning.