Fiona Duff: Big spender dig deep to help less fortunate
I was recently talking to a property lawyer in Edinburgh. He was complaining about how busy he was; totally flat out and working late in the office virtually every evening. 'It's like no-one in Edinburgh noticed the Brexit result of the referendum' he said.
Several friends have recently put flats on the market which have sold in merely two-three weeks – and I ain’t talking about cheap pads here. Stuart Peters of Dunedin House Properties, a company which specialises in renovating offices into quality apartments has talked about how the market is crying out for more of these types of properties.
Anne Hunter, an interior designer based here, has also told me she can’t remember being so busy. Many of her clients are those who have bought a flat as an investment and just want her to furnish it. When you’ve got that much money you don’t want to waste time going to IKEA or browsing through Gumtree for a second-hand sofa.
And it isn’t just property that is flying off the shelves – there are new bars and restaurants opening all the time. Last week I was walking down Picardy Place and passed il Calice, a spanking new “enoteca” which looks like it has had a lot of money spent on the interiors and is obviously aiming for those who know and appreciate good wine. Close to where I live the people behind Social Bite (yes, those bods who brought George Clooney to Edinburgh) are opening their first restaurant with the help of Martin Wishart. It will be called Home in case you are interested. No doubt there are a heck of a lot more new openings that I haven’t even noticed.
At the end of next month Edinburgh will be hosting its first Fizz Festival. Yes, you read that correctly – a whole day dedicated to just sampling champagne and sparkling wine from all over the world, and held at Edinburgh Academy. I am sure that many of the ladies snapping up the tickets will be well acquainted with that establishment.
As I tootle about town in my beaten-up car – well, lump of metal with four wheels would be a more accurate description – I see so many brand new number plates clogging up the roads. And these are on the sort of motors that put a dent in one’s wallet bigger than the one on my passenger door. So much for the recession that we keep reading about. There are a lot of people making a lot of money in this city and boy do they enjoy spending it in every way possible. If only I could work out how they are managing to do this I too would be driving a new car and quaffing champagne.
Of course, there are many more who aren’t making obscene amounts of dosh. There are those for whom feeding the family each week is a struggle and buying clothes for their children nigh on impossible. The idea of eating out in one of these new restaurants is just a dream (apart from at Home where the homeless will be fed on Monday afternoons), buying a car out of their league as they can hardly find enough money for a bus fare and they only fizzy alcohol in the house is a couple of cans of supermarket-brand lager. Life for so many is really just not fair.
So it’s just as well that Edinburgh is a generous city. Nearly every week there is a charity ball or ladies’ lunch which will raise huge amounts of cash for local causes.
You may laugh at those in their finery trotting off to the Sheraton or Prestonfield House Hotel, but if it wasn’t for them digging deep into their pockets there are many residents who would be a lot worse off than they are now.
Feet don’t fail me now..
Ah, welcome back my old friend Cold Feet.
Like so many I switched on the television on Monday with a certain amount of trepidation.
Having seen the so-so remakes of Til Death Do Us Part and Are You Being Served, I was worried that it would be a let down to revisit the mates from Manchester.
Perhaps my memory had been playing tricks on how I recalled the series from 14 years ago. But it was marvellous; at times there were tears welling up in my eyes and at other times laughing.
David (Robert Bathurst) has a bidie-in who is quite appalling and no doubt lined up to be the arch villain of the new series. Once again it is essential television.