Lynne McCrossan: Read between the lines for a cheeky insight

Alex Quincy Zhang, 18, Pollock Halls. Edinburgh is clearly my favourite city in the world, but New York runs a close second. So, when I spotted Alex in her painted denim jacket I had to ask where she got it. It was picked up in Manchester in a thrift store. The bag and leggings are from Topshop and her leopard print trainers are limited edition Adidas.

Alex Quincy Zhang, 18, Pollock Halls. Edinburgh is clearly my favourite city in the world, but New York runs a close second. So, when I spotted Alex in her painted denim jacket I had to ask where she got it. It was picked up in Manchester in a thrift store. The bag and leggings are from Topshop and her leopard print trainers are limited edition Adidas.

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COMMUNAL gardens can have great comedic value. These grassy oases in the middle of concrete tenements give you a secret snapshot into the lives of the people inside.

Last week, Wardlaw’s resident drunk was out in the garden beside ours, effing and blinding through his boozy haze. He’s much more Rab C than raving loony and doesn’t last very long as the fresh air knocks him for six.

He was shouting at a fella I’ve affectionately dubbed Sweep, who potters around his patch of grass two doors up from us. I’ve never seen his face as the hedges are too high, but the noise from his heavy-handed brooming explains the nickname.

It’s rare to see a face, but the washing line acts as a timeline to the homeowners.

As the years roll by, the changes in their personal lives are evident in the clothes clinging to the line.

You know when someone has just come back from holiday as their colourful clobber brightens up an otherwise dreary day.

Gym gear drying in the breeze lets you know someone’s on a health kick, and the arrival of a baby is evident for all as baby grows clutter up the garden.

You may not know the person’s name upstairs, but a wander out the back can leave you face to gusset with their underwear. So the next time you’re passing a neighbour in the stair, spare a thought for what they’ve spied on that washing line.

Fashion Insider

Debenhams Princes Street is setting up a personal shopper competition. The lucky winner will get the full personal shopper experience and a cheeky wee spend of £500, which should cover the next season’s worth of clothes and then some! Head in store to find out more.