A MUSICIAN who set up camp on Portobello beach after being thrown out by his wife claims he has met “the woman of his dreams”.
Ben Treuhaft set up a tent – housing his piano – last week and says he has no plans to leave the site despite the council’s signal that he will have to move on.
The 66-year-old piano tuner said his new home had attracted a lot of attention – including his new love interest.
The father-of-two and Mirka Rdzak are understood to have been spending time together since she struck up a conversation with him on the beach.
Despite only having known each other for a week, he already has a pet name for her – “Meerkat”.
Mr Treuhaft said: “We are an item. I have met the woman of my dreams. Everything has been heavenly.”
Ms Rdzak is said to have been accompanying Mr Treuhaft on piano-tuning visits.
She has also been giving the green beard-sporting, US-born relation of the Mitford Sisters directions around the Capital.
Last night Ms Rdzak, 31, originally from Poland, confirmed she and Mr Treuhaft had grown close – but was a bit more circumspect when pushed on the depth of their relationship.
“I met him on the beach,” she said, “I was just curious. We hit it off. It’s early days.” The Edinburgh resident of eight years added: “I have been helping him with directions.
“I wouldn’t say we are an item yet. I think that’s a bit too much. But maybe he feels that way, I don’t know.”
Mr Treuhaft, who eats at the Old Portobello Parish Church and washes at the nearby swimming baths, has also been dining at Pierre Victoire on Edinburgh’s Eyre Street, sometimes joined by Ms Rdzak.
Despite being busy with his piano-tuning business, Mr Treuhaft has also started volunteering at the Bethany Shop at the foot of Leith Walk.
Mr Treuhaft said: “I’m still down on the beach, why would I move from that place?
“The council haven’t had the nerve to contact me personally. They have my mobile number, why would they not contact me if they want me to move? Edinburgh has changed its mind.”
But a spokeswoman said the council’s position remained the same. Officials say he is in breach of the council’s parks management rules, which prohibit camping on the beach.
The local authority has pledged to take action to help him relocate.
In the meantime, Mr Treuhaft says he will continue to operate an open-door policy at his tent. “Anyone can come in at any time. It’s as public as the beach.”
The tent-dwelling eccentric has claimed he was kicked out of the marital home for talking too much. His estranged wife – and mum of two young children – declined to comment.