John Gibson: She seems a bit tricky in hindsight

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A dozen of us, predominantly businessmen, round Tom Ponton’s Christmas lunch table at Merchants, foot of Candlemaker Row, and Edinburgh’s Environment Convener Lesley Hinds’ ears must have been ringing.

Her name cropped up more than once in the conversation. No aid to the digestion. The overall conclusion – “a difficult woman to avoid but well worth the effort”

Most of us chose the lamb shank, while the host, bound for his Florida bolthole via a Belfast meet, is used to American-style fare and plumped for a formidable steak.

The reticent Steve Cardownie, reminding us of his Leith roots in Burlington Street, piped up: “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me, as long as it’s not true.”

City now soiled

Imagine their frustration. Edinburgh’s civic gardeners, who against all odds do a splendid job in the heart of the city, re-grassed Princes Street in the wake of the Festival, then saw it ruthlessly raped and pillaged for the festive “fun fair” as it is now.

You don’t need to slum it in Blackpool when you’re in the midst of it right here. The donkeys are on their way, towing the candy floss, to join in the hee-haw jungle.

Afterwords . .

Sandi Talksbig, has been recalling her honeymoon in Norway’s Lofoten Islands. Wish we’d been there.