You are busy people, readers of the Evening News, so it is entirely possible that you have missed the latest interweb YouTube sensation, which is a bloke in a teeshirt and a kilt of indeterminate tartan giving vent to some energetic boogie moves along a very rainy Princes Street.
There is music, but it’s not by Jimmy Shand, so it’s of no concern to us.
Well, anything that adds to the lustre of Scotland’s Capital is a good thing, I suppose, and it’s a good idea to see the Scots being a bit more active . . . except the chap in question is a dancing kilt-wearing German, a combination I found surprising, but then I have been influenced by many years of reading the Victor and Warlord comics and, later, a sneaky admiration for Angela Merkel.
This has given me the no doubt stereotypical notion that Germans are a bit on the uptight side, but let’s be honest, who here can imagine Angela in a white frock and a plaid sash tearing the dance floor up during a vigorous Strip The Willow, which as we all know, is not dancing at all, but a sort of tartan-clad contact sport?
The young chap is having a ball, but take a look at the people – in the main, I’m guessing really Scottish people – who are passing our little ray of Teutonic sunshine.
In any other city in the world, the sight of a kilt-clad lad dancing in the rain would elucidate some reaction. On the pavements of Rio, an appreciative crowd. In New York, whistling and cheering. Even in Glasgow, there would be vocal criticism of his dance moves, at least.
But this is Edinburgh, the city that plays host to armies of Korean gymnasts, two-headed Chinese dragons, silver-painted robot men and American students in lighthearted musical theatre productions of Catcher In The Rye every year. And every dancing/singing/miming visitor thinks an impromptu performance at the crossing while waiting for the green man is a groovy thing to do to entertain the harassed pedestrians (hint: It isn’t).
The people surge past with barely a glance.
Please don’t be offended, my young German friend. If there is a city that can be truly said to have seen it all, it’s this one.
Not pushing the boat out
MOTHER Nature seems to have thrown a bit of a hissy fit. The Old Dame decided that scientists going to check on an ice shelf in Antarctica could do with a helping hand and took the ice for the party to them.
Oh, the news was full of anxiety about icebound Akademik Shokalskiy. Could they be rescued? Would they be smashed free from their icy prison by the fabulously-named Chinese ice breaker, Snow Dragon?
Would the plucky Aussies give the go-ahead to their ship, Aurora Australis, to leave the safety of open water to crush the ice floes beneath her hull to rescue the stranded scientists?
Would they be snatched from the White Hell? Did they know they had missed Christmas? Did they know it was Christmastime at all? Could they be saved?
Errr… yes. Guys, this is not the Franklin Expedition. No-one on Shokalskiy was about to suggest drawing lots to see who was going to provide Christmas dinner in a very literal sense, or suggest going for a short walk and may be some time.
The two ice breakers were called off, and the helicopters were called in, and everyone got home. Except the crew of the Shokalskiy, who will have to sit there for a bit longer.
Thumbs up for the yellow peril
EXCELLENT news that Scottish kids are to get free school dinners, but only if they can access Scottish school dinner custard.
Now, there’s provision fit for Arctic exploration. Why, I can recall skins on school dinner custard strong enough to support an entire regiment of kilt-sporting Germans doing an Eightsome Reel.
With food like that inside you, afternoon arithmetic was a walk in the park, which you could also do at custard-aided record-breaking speed.
School dinner custard, thinking fuel for kids.
Love it or hate it, my daily Marmite fix could be a real icebreaker . .
SPEAKING of food, I received a tremendous Christmas present from my lovely neighbours.
Aware as they are of my adoration of the wonder food Marmite – a day without Marmite is like a day without YouTube footage of dancing Germans – they gave me a bar of Marmite-flavoured chocolate. Yes, I know! What genius put this combo together? And yet people back away from me with looks of utter horror. Why, there are folks who have physically paled in my presence at the mere sight of the packaging, like old-school vampires and garlic. Wuzzes.
I tell you what, with a bar of Marmite-flavoured chocolate inside me, I could have battered my way to the Shokalskiy and freed her from her icy prison with one blow.