The second great siege of Leith is finally lifted after trams sneak into town – Susan Morrison
You turn your back for two minutes and trams start sneaking down the Walk. We'd been expecting them, but like a nervy bride, they sure kept us waiting.
Naturally, they did it when I was out of town, cruising the mean street of Inverary. You’ll recall the weather last week, which was dang near spring-like. Well, this week, we battled through a howler of a snowstorm and sat the next day watching the drifts outside the hotel reach a respectable height.
Worryingly thoughts swirled around my head about the Donner Party, a California-bound wagon train in 1846. They took a wrong turn, got snowed in and started to eat each other.
On the up-side, we were in a four-star hotel and spa with fabulous food and copious drink, so it would have taken a fair few weeks before we resorted to barbecuing the staff. Then the snow stopped, the sun came out, and Loch Fyne knocked it out of the park with a ludicrous amount of stunning scenery.
We were there to visit Ben Cruachan, the hydroelectric plant. It's part of the Yorkshire husband's current obsession with hydro power. Very impressive. It’s sometimes known as Drax. Sounds like a Bond villain. And like all good 007 baddies, it lurks in an underground lair, an entire Hollow Mountain. It’s a jaw-dropping example of Scottish engineering.
And, of course, you exit through the gift shop and cafe – a triumph of Scottish retail and soup making. And whilst we were gone, the trams did roll.
Now, this was only the test phase. Just four miles an hour, I'm told. Apt. That’s been the average traffic speed on the Walk for the past few years.
Pals posted pictures of folk dancing in the street as the fences were cleared, the Fit o' The Walk was unblocked and the tram trundled past. The second great siege of Leith had been lifted.
We should celebrate this new feat of Scottish engineering. Let's build a gift shop and bung in a cafe. This being Leith, I suggest we call it Trams and Drams. I'm trademarking that.