Gerry Farrell

Gerry Farrell: I’d like to offer you a peace of my mind

You’ll fork out three quid for a cappuccino but how much would you pay for peace of mind? Honest, I’m not selling you ­insurance but I did notice that back in April, financial giant Standard Life started offering their staff free ‘mindfulness meditation’ classes. One in five American companies already do the same. Mindfulness isn’t just for Buddhist monks and happy-clappy hippies. Everybody’s doing it.

Studio 24 is to close after 22 years as a music venue

Gerry Farrell: End of an era...or end of an earache?

Another one bites the dust. Edinburgh’s live music venues seem to be melting away like Fab ­lollies in a heatwave. ­Studio 24 rocked Calton Road for 22 years; in three days, it’ll be gone forever. That’s how it is – as music changes, venues change.

Opinion 1
The Leith community comes out in force for the port's gala day parade at the weekend. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Gerry Farrell: Cast your vote in favour of saving Leith Decides Day

The election’s over. Britain’s leadership is in tatters. Nothing has been decided. It’s at times like this we should forget the “big picture” and look at the small picture. Because it’s the small things we decide to do for ourselves in our own communities that really matter. Right now I couldn’t care less what Westminster decides. I care what Leith decides.

Opinion 1
Fidget spinners have captivated kids on both sides of the Atlantic. Picture: John Devlin

Gerry Farrell: Kids today have got a finger on the pulse

I swear I won’t be writing anything about Theresa May’s entirely pointless election tomorrow. I’m sure you’re all as frazzled as I am with the hot air that’s been blown in our faces for the last couple of months. If so, I have a suggestion for you. Turn off the telly and all your distracting social feeds and buy yourself a fidget spinner. (Or a ‘spidget finner’, as my wife called it the other day.) If you don’t know what a fidget spinner is you must be living in a child-free zone or cowering in a lead-lined nuclear bunker waiting for the Apocalypse.

Even this massive burger would be no match for the Chompie variety encountered by Gerry in Arizona. Picture: Getty

Gerry Farrell: Supersize me.. and everyone else in the US

There were two mirrors in our Phoenix motel room. One presented us with a flattering, slimline profile, the other one told the truth. We had both put on at least half a stone during our two-week American adventure.

Americans have lots of reasons to be proud of their country. Picture: Getty

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.

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