I've just been on my annual pilgrimage to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It’s an immersive experience and always makes me think what it would be like to live another life somewhere else.

In E14 if you ask what someone does, nine times out of 10 they’ll be an employee of a law, an accountancy, or a finance firm.

Up here I’m living with a thriller writer, a professional musician, a classical singer, a teacher and a diocese warden.

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Though there are rumours that a friend of a friend is an actuary and has, to type, prepared a spreadsheet of all their festival plans.

You can take some people out of Canary Wharf, but you can’t take Canary Wharf out of some people.

Place influences how we live. The sharp, shiny, wind-whipped corporate towers of E14 propel people faster around (sometimes literally, depending on the downdraft). In turn, we are all pointed, polished and pacy.

Up in Edinburgh, with its steeped stone streets and castle, the temporary injection of two million art lovers and performers, full hope and dreamers, and a lot of terrible stand-up, creates a very different vibe.

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People meander, get distracted, go off in different directions. They get lost. They laugh. They shout. They drink. A lot. It’s far less focused than Canary Wharf. And we could do with a bit of this attitude back home.

In our rat race ruts it’s too easy to think that this is our one life, that this is all we can or all we will ever be. But reality is much more chaotic. You could be a classical singer.

OK, maybe not that. But there are definitely options. Walk a different way back to your office after lunch – never forget there are other paths.

Follow Angela on Twitter @TheAngelaClarke .

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