Gerry Farrell

Gerry Farrell: America’s great but be grateful for the NHS

There’s a lot wrong with the United States of ­America but there’s a lot right with it too.

Opinion 2
ME sufferer Emma Shorter

Gerry Farrell: Why are you ignoring ME, Ms Robison?

The Edinburgh girl I’m ­interviewing today doesn’t want you to feel sorry for her. She wants you to feel angry. Emma Shorter, 23, is one of Scotland’s 21,000 ME sufferers. ME stands for “myalgic encephalomilitis” and is a systemic neuro-immune disease. The lazy name it’s been given is chronic fatigue syndrome. In the 80s, it was mockingly called ­yuppie flu in the media and sufferers were dubbed skivers.

Opinion 6
Chocolate heaven at Dark Sugars in London

Gerry Farrell: I went nuts for the cocoa in my chocker Mocha

Do you like chocolate – or is that a stupid question? We were down in London last week, not a place I ever want to stay too long. But our hangout was Brick Lane, next to the Old Truman Brewery. On the corner was a café-cum-shop called Dark Sugars.

Opinion 1
Learning new skills are all part of the service. Picture: John Sinclair

Gerry Farrell: Give them the tools and they’ll do the job at this unique library

‘What exactly is a Tool Library?” I asked Chris Hellawell, founder of the Edinburgh Tool Library in Leith.

The swan's nest with litter floating close by in the Water of Leith

Gerry Farrell: Come on Nicola, put a deposit on tidiness

In case you associate Leith with seagulls, seagulls and more seagulls, I want to put you straight. No fewer than 37 different types of bird have been spotted along The Shore, many of them living and feeding on the water.

Opinion 2
It's possible to oppose Theresa May's policies while still expressing relief that she was safe during the attack on Westminster. Picture: Getty

Gerry Farrell: Indyref was votes, not hate

I was driving home from ­Peebles last Wednesday evening. I switched on the radio and was instantly plunged into the ­sickening events on Westminster Bridge.

Opinion 3
A fisherman nets a legal salmon - unlike Gerry when he tried his hand at poaching. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Gerry Farrell: Obviously I’m just no good at taking the fish

I probably got the bug for taking fish out of rivers when I was nine and learned how to guddle trout in the Braid Burn Park.

What could be more romantic than a gondola ride in Venice? Picture: Robert Perry

Gerry Farrell: Venice is awash with my happy memories

I’m sitting in a wee café with my laptop up at the window watching the world go by, sipping a very strong Americano. The pastries are so good that every so often a pigeon waddles in off the street to peck up the crumbs.

Marine Esplanade is a magnet for fly-tippers

Gerry Farrell: 20mph is fine, but asking for a clean city is a different matter

I nearly choked when I read the headline in yesterday’s Evening News: ‘Watchdog gives Capital streets clean bill Of health’

Opinion 20
Irene Clennell has been deported to Singapore. Picture: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

Gerry Farrell: Kick out Theresa May, not Irene Clennell

I’m very grateful to those of you who read this column regularly. But today I’d like you to go one step further. After you’ve read this one, I’d like you to do something. Let me explain.

Opinion 1
Gerry spent some of his �50 wages at age 17 on going to watch Hibs in action

Gerry Farrell: I’m living a life less ordinary at sweet 60

When I was ten years old, I thought my primary teacher Mrs Fraser was an old woman. Turns out she was 21

Opinion 2
Is it all just crass commercialism, or do we secretly love Valentine's Day? Picture: Getty

Gerry Farrell: Turkish Delight will do the trick . . but it might be from gran

As I write, it’s the day before Valentine’s Day and already my wife and I have had a minor disagreement.

The city councils speed limit superhero, The Reducer, gets the 20mph message across. Picture: Scott Louden

Gerry Farrell: What’s better – 20mph or a dead kid?

When my little ­sister was 13 she was knocked down by a car. I saw the whole thing. In fact, it was partly my fault. I was waiting for the school bus and Kate was late. I looked down the road and I was sure it was our bus on the way. I ran into the house and yelled “Kate! The bus is coming!” I crossed the road and waited at the stop. Kate sprinted out of the house, all arms and legs like a cartoon schoolgirl, straight into the middle of the road. She didn’t look right. She didn’t look left. She was walloped in the legs by a small van.

Opinion 10
Kenny Anderson - aka King Creosote 

Picture: Calum Gordon

Gerry Farrell: Squeezy does it on a night to remember

it’s a fine journey over the Forth these days with three breathtaking bridges to gawp at.

One in four of us will have mental health difficulties at some point in our lives. Picture: PA

Gerry Farrell: Loo paper’s roll in taking on mental health taboos

Back in October, me and a Glasgow PR company called Wire entered a competition called The Creative Shootout. Anybody could have a go. To get into the final we had to produce 60 seconds of film or audio about mental health.

Gerry will be walking a tightrope as he gives the Toast to the Lassies at his Burns Supper. Picture: James Clare

Gerry Farrell: I could end up toast at this Burns Supper

I’ve had plenty of haggis suppers but never a Burns Supper, until this year. I mean, I have a good idea what goes on. There’s haggis, obviously, and whisky, loads of it. I expect there to be bagpipes and plenty of kilts. And I know there will be poetry. Poetry by Robert Burns. And songs by Robert Burns. I know about the songs because in Primary 3 one day, we were all marched into our classroom, walking under the “Fear God” sign that was painted above the door in gold letters. Possibly because that was the room in which our silver-haired spinster teacher, Miss Campbell, put the fear of God into us with her posh Morningside tongue and her leather belt, which had three tongues.

Once you get in the gym and start exercising it can be fun  most of the time. Picture: Getty

Gerry Farrell: Birthday burdened by weight of expectation

Does my bum look big in this? Yes. And this? Yes. And this? Yes. Is there anything worse than going to the wardrobe and finding out that all the clothes you love have shrunk? (Well, obviously war, famine, poverty and man-flu are worse, I’m dramatising to make a point.)

Opinion 1
Szechenyi Thermal Spa 
Budapest, Hungary

Gerry Farrell: Hogmanay hangover cure that got me into hot water

There seem to be as many hangover cures as there are ways to get drunk. From rubbing a lemon into your armpit while you’re drinking (a bit impractical), to swallowing a raw egg yolk (which might just as easily tip you over the edge).

Aishoplan dreams of being an eagle hunter like her father

Gerry Farrell: Tale of lives lived on a wing and a prayer

Some of you probably have a wee budgie in a cage at home. You’ll be able to coax it into taking a few seeds from your hand. You might even let it fly round your living room. Now imagine if it had an eight foot wingspan and claws that could tear through your belly and rip out your guts. That should give you some idea of what it might be like to own a golden eagle.

Nobody is quite sure how often Hollywood icon Zsa Zsa Gabor was married. Picture: PA

Gerry Farrell: We’re going to miss you, dahlink Zsa Zsa

The death of Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, aged 99, has robbed us of yet another Hollywood icon. I’m married to a beautiful Hungarian woman called Zsuzsa but there the similarity ends. Zsuzsa’s only been married once (so far). Zsa Zsa was married nine times if you ask the press, eight times if you asked her and ten times if you asked her widow, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, the last man standing.

Opinion 1
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