John Gibson: Porty in US, but does his maw ken?

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I HAVE one question above all and it’s one I’ll never forget – from the foot of Leith Walk.

That 64-dollar question is for Michael Portillo.

He has embarked on a new series, again linked to the railways. But this time in America.

The question is: Does your mother ken yer oot? Think of him at large in the States, a lost soul in the Big Country. A wee laddie all by himself, near enough, this time as his pocket companion Appleton’s Guide. As opposed to his trusty Bradshaw’s Guide, which fitted snuggly into his jacket pocket.

You’d think that he’d be lost without it but, thanks to his parliamentary training, he relied on his Appleton’s handy reference.

A nice little number for Michael, I have to suspect. He started off in the States in New York, his ultimate goal being the Falls at Niagara.

What persistently annoyed me were the creases in his flimsy jackets. The good thing about Niagara was that the spray, despite the raincoat, took these creases out. For once, it did look as though his mother had spick and spanned him for the job.

By the way. Doesn’t Michael have a peculiar walk?

I’d dare to put him in the same bag as John Cleese.

Ready to erupt

A sharp intake of breath on Saturday when the telly showed the spectacular volcanoes in Japan. They’ve got exploding volcanoes by the barrow-load while we in Edinburgh have one. And it’s sleeping.

Not forever, I keep thinking. Some day Arthur’s Seat will wake up and blow us to smithereens.

Not in your lifetime you’re thinking, nor in mine, I hope.