Lordy, lordy, much a- twittering in the female bosom of this city. Why, anyone would have thought a regiment of light dragoons had arrived to whirl the ladies round the Assembly Rooms, cutting a dash in the candlelight, epaulettes a-gleaming and red jackets a-glowing.
Why, ladies! Mr Darcy, the most brooding hero of Miss Austen’s novels is in Bo’ness!
Yes, the man who is forever filed in the female hive brain under “Really, really nice. And sexy”, Colin Firth, is on the Forth. He’s filming something meaningful at the railway station there.
He does seem like a nice sort of bloke, actually. The sort of chap who winds up comforting soggy women crying on his shoulder at the office Christmas party. Or he did, until the moment Mr Really Really Nice Colin Firth strode across our screens in the telly version of Pride and Prejudice clad in a soaking white shirt and breeches, the wet cloth clinging to his manly chest and those tight breeches . . . sorry, drifted off there. Dang, my Maltesers have melted again.
As I recall, he had plunged into a sort of large pond arrangement which had apparently been carelessly left about in the grounds of his palatial country pile. Heavens, Mr Darcy, easily done. I’ve been known to cool myself on my way home from an energetic night out by having a quick douse in the water feature in the garden. Oh all right, then, I fell out of the taxi and into that puddle we always get when it rains heavily.
Ah Mr Darcy. For God’s sake don’t emulate the big dive using Bo’ness harbour. You’ll never emerge from the silt.
Train fan or not you’re sure of a chuffing good time
This is great news for the Bo’ness and Kinniel Railway. If you have any of the following – an afternoon, wet or dry, a child anywhere between the ages of 0 and 85, a visitor from another country, heck, another planet, an interest in steam trains or no interest in steam trains, get along to Bo’ness.
Quite apart from the trains, which are fabulous, the whole thing is run by my very favourite sort of people – deranged enthusiasts who just don’t know that something can’t be done.
When we turned our backs on the great thundering steam trains and the humming blue diesels, they did not. They kept the faith and built a railway for their loves, the big shiny engines and the carriages with doors that clunk shut behind you.
The joy of the people who built a railway is in every line of a rescued train and in every crumb of a warm scone (the tearoom is worth the trip alone).
Go on, treat yourself, take yourself out to Bo’ness and stand next to a steam train snorting and puffing, ready for the off. I defy you not to smile.
Laying bare the cheeky nickname of world-famous fighting force
Actually the most famous light dragoons were the Light Brigade, y’know, as in “Into the Valley of Death” fame, and they didn’t wear red jackets, but very, very tight red breeches, hence the affectionate nickname “Cherry Bums” (note todd: I can use “bum” can’t I? I mean, it’s educational in this context).
Lack of rage enough to drive you mad
Whatever happened to road rage? Remember that? Couldn’t move for it on the telly, once.
Dalry Road in the middle of the morning rush hour. In this city traffic is funnelled, kettled, corralled and contained by road works, tram works, utility works and for all I know, people fleeing an alien invasion of Corstorphine. The cars are driven by people who are tired, grumpy, baffled, confused and in at least one case (mine) crying.
So. Dalry Road, rush hour. Cars and buses are suddenly engaged in a series of delicate manoeuvres as exquisite as any 18th century gavotte. A taxi coming along the green lane is blocked. He’s indicating, and I, wiping away the snot and tears of traffic-generated frustration, gesture generously with my hand to invite him to move out. This causes an unspeakable mess on the inside of the windscreen, but I forbear. Behind me, the two buses, full of people heading to work, must also be gently eased out.
We glance in mirrors, we catch each others eyes and we smile, shrugging wearily. What fresh tram/council/utility hell has been visited on us now?
We joggle, toggle, indicate, gesture and ease our way past the white van, parked in the green lane at rush hour. On the side is the name of a window-cleaning company.
Inside, oblivious to the external chaos, sit two Orcs, ingesting bacon rolls and reading the newspaper.
That’s not a traffic offence. In a city where the roads have apparently been infected by some sort of Tarmac-eating bug and are being consumed under our very feet, that’s just plain rude. I think we may need a little road rage back in this city.