Susan Morrison: Pooling watery visions together

It was whilst in discussions with my head gardener that the idea of a water feature was first raised. I imagine he’s been chatting about it with the head cook, and the head of the technology division, since they are all one and the same.
If you were rich enough you could make Nessie your water feature. Picture: Phil WilkinsonIf you were rich enough you could make Nessie your water feature. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
If you were rich enough you could make Nessie your water feature. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

They employed staff at Downton. I had to marry mine.

Anyway, the chief cook, gardener and bottle washer suddenly came over all aquacultural and suggested we get a pond.

Of course, it soon became clear that we had wildly differing views over the water. He saw a nice, decorative little feature.

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I started ripping pages from magazines. Oh! The swimming pool from the Godfather. That’s the one in the film producer’s garden. The chap who wound up with a horse’s head in his bed and started screaming the place down. Well, I’d be the same. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get blood out of satin sheets? Anyway, he had a swimming pool. It was marble and it had a statue of something. I think it was a nymph in a sort of nymphy pose. You know what I mean, sort of bashful, like she’s just realised her bikini has fallen off. Dobbies has got them in. Probably where he got his.

Then I found the water feature some Hong Kong billionaire installed above the city at the top of his megabillion-dollar penthouse. It’s glass and you can see right through it and it has a wave machine, and it changes colours and he is so rich he’s probably got Nessie in there.

Not to forget the possibility of a Bond villain-style pool with a metal bridge over it that can swing open and offending people could just drop down into a mass of piranhas and sharks, although I immediately saw two problems there.

The sharks would eat the piranhas. And I’m not sure I could con Nigel Farage, pictured, into walking across a suspiciously familiar bridge. I’m even less sure a shark would bite him, never mind eat him.

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Good Homes That You Can’t Afford suggested a tumbling, trailing feature that reminded them, they said, of a Highland glen. I imagine they got that notion from the three Range Rovers parked to the right of the photo, oh, and the stuffed stag standing over it. Seriously, people, how long do you think a free-standing, 7ft high stuffed stag would last in a Leith garden?

We bought a pool liner online. It’s very nice. It’s got lights in it.

No pumpkins, just history

IT’S that time of the year when the tinsel appears and children clamour for ghoulish masks from the shops.

And it’s also the time of the year when the programme for this year’s history festival appears. Yep, this is a plug.

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Previously… Scotland’s History Festival is back. You’ll see the programmes out and about, and if you look on the old interweb, at, you’ll find enough history-based treats to tuck into to keep you happy until spring.

Nakedly puffed ethics claims from Co-op are a bit ironic

THE Co-op Bank is running an advert right now where a rather handsome young chap with a faintly Nordic accent tells us – in a most sincere manner – that his bank is rootin tootin ethical and doesn’t go around splashing its money on rogues and planet-­killing bad guys. To prove his point, he removes his shirt.

No complaints from me so far. He gets a tattoo about ethics and values on his splendidly muscular back. Yes, that is correct, I am ogling unashamedly.

Well, I’d like to thank the Co-op for that little ­15-second treat with the terribly intense shirtless young man, but it does strike me as a bit baffling that a bank that recently got into a spot of bother over the young men employed by its chief executive, Rev Flowers, for late-night partying and other activities that need not concern us here, should feature a semi-naked chap in its ad talking about ethics and values.

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Although, it must be said that the Rev never failed to pay up promptly, so that’s pretty ethical.

Bus stop shock’s gnome mystery

NO gnomes, though. This is a gnome-free zone. When we bought the house, we were slightly startled by the discovery of a team of gnomish creatures in the undergrowth. They tended to stare at us quite a lot. We couldn’t bring ourselves to dispose of them. It felt like removing what the Romans called the Lares, the little gods of the household.

Finally the night came when I had had enough. Gin, that is. Fortified by mother’s ruin I seized the grinning garden gods and ran into the rain.

I couldn’t just dump them in the bin, so I left them at the bus stop on Great Junction Street. It was five years ago now. I hope that’s cleared up a mystery for someone.