Oh, I know, the old Christmas get up for the city centre had grown a little tired, like the one string of tinsel you keep finding at the bottom of the Christmas decoration box that has less glitter and more string every year, but because it was the first piece of tinsel your wee boy put on the tree when he was 18 months old, you can’t bring yourself to throw it away.
We do get attached to things.
But things have to change, I guess, so we have a new show in town, boasting a big wheel with sealed pods. To be honest, this is something of a plus, since dashing about doing the old festive shopping to the sound of teenage girls screaming was a bit nightmarish.
And we have the Star Flyer, which, for those of you yet unfamiliar with it, is, according to the blurb: “Nearly 60 metres high . . . Take your seat and view Edinburgh like you’ve never seen it before . . . at 360 degrees over the rooftops, and maybe with your eyes firmly shut! The ultimate ride.”
Now, a couple of things strike me here. One, at that height, there is a strong possibility you might just find yourself unexpectedly making the final approach to Edinburgh Airport on the nose of the incoming easyJet.
Two, why do you need to go whirling about the rooftops to get a 360 view of the city when you can climb Arthur’s Seat for free and just spin around really, really quickly?
And three, as they themselves make clear, the idea of being tied to a chair, hauled up a pole, and hurled above the city (for £7.50, mark you) might just make you want to close your eyes and suddenly find the true meaning of Christmas as you scream for the heavens to help you.
It’s probably the residual Calvin in my soul, but why would I part with hard cash just to let someone else scare the bejesus out of me when I can drive in this city and get that adrenalin rush for free?
I just hope the Glühwein is up to standard.
Comedians are the quiet ones
Working as a stand-up comedian means I get to meet all sorts of folks who just want to entertain you, such as musicians, actors, singers and people who do weird things with hula-hoops. Now, the thing is, people like us are often regarded as a bit eccentric and bohemian, and given to the consumption of strange substances.
Nothing could be further from the truth. See that Sarah Millican? Carrot cake fiend. Russell Brand? Spouts sense at Paxman and parliamentary select committees. I know at least two actors who can give you good, solid advice about pensions. But we do like our Bad Boy/Bad Girl image.
So imagine our chagrin to discover that whilst we’ve all been living like town hall clerks in 1950s Perth, the Methodist minister who ran the Co-op bank was permanently bombed on crystal meth and, worse, Nigella Lawson – yes, the Nigella Lawson, The Domestic Goddess – has allegedly been whacked out of her head for years.
A banker and a cook, for heaven’s sake.
Waltzer fun not for faint-hearted
Never really got the whole fairground attraction. It’s probably a hangover from a Clydeside holiday past when the dodgems and the big wheel were run by rum-looking chaps and dodgy dames who took your money with an attitude that veered somewhere between disdain and downright hostility.
My cousin, Jenny, was a serious looker in them far-off days of Brutus jeans and cheese cloth shirts. I was the adoring wee cousin who tagged along and probably drove her mad.
We went on the last run of the waltzers one hot summer night in Girvan and a slick-haired would-be Romeo of the ride clocked Jenny and immediately glided across to impress. His idea of impressing my cousin was to whirl the waltzer ever faster and, because it was the last run of the night, longer than usual.
Clearly, his previous gal pals were made of stronger stuff, as both Jenny and her wee cousin lurched away off the ride and just made it to the harbour wall where we both upchucked Irn-Bru and candy floss into the Clyde.