Fiona Duff: Rowdy rugby types can stay out of my bar

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The good residents of Stockbridge are up in arms again. I tell you, it’s like a constant episode of Dad’s Army in that particular part of the city, with all that hurumphing and petition-signing.

I know it’s so pretty and virtually everyone would like to live there, but what a bunch of Nimbys.

Their latest gripe is that the bar at the new Edinburgh Academical rugby pavilion will have an alcohol licence until 1am – which is when most of the other bars in Stockbridge can stay open, as far as I am aware. And during the Festival it will be open until 3am – in fact, the same as virtually every other establishment of beveration in the city.

The thing is, personally I think it is a jolly good idea. We all know that rugby players like a pint or six together after they have attempted to knock each other’s brains out while rolling around in a muddy field. They don’t plan to go home for a cup of tea and the latest episode of Doctor Who, that’s for sure. So what I do not want when I am out on a Saturday night is 30 testosterone-fuelled, cabbage-eared blokes barging into wherever I am sipping my glass of wine. Talk about an ambience breaker.

What better way to protect an evening out with friends than to keep the rugby players cooped up together in a room very close to the aforementioned muddy field. They can drink themselves senseless, arm wrestle and sing bawdy songs until their mums come to take them home.

There wouldn’t be any more trouble than there already is on the streets of Stockaree after midnight, where the queues at the chip shop can sometimes turn nasty when rumours that the battered sausages have run out start to circulate.

The men who play rugby don’t particularly want to be in the same room as people that don’t play because they can only talk about one thing and that involves an oval-shaped ball.

They have no interest in coming into the nicer establishments apart from the beer that is on offer, which means that these places are left for the rest of us who have normal-shaped ears.

Holiday gift is unwelcome in cold light of day

MOST people come back from holiday with some memento or another. It might be a little hand-painted bowl for olives or the local liqueur which tasted so nice in the evening sun but is like paint-stripper in the Edinburgh drizzle.

But me? I came back with a cold and have spent the last two weeks snivelling, sneezing and coughing.

I suppose it has probably lasted longer than a carton of duty-free fags but I am hoping not as long as a bottle of ouzo.

Dentist blamed for killing Cecil can get stuffed

WHAT can I say about Walter Palmer, the dentist from Minnesota who allegedly paid $50,000 (£35,000) to shoot Cecil the lion? Well, apart from the fact that dentists in America have far too much spare change, I’d certainly pay to see him stuffed and hung as a trophy on a wall.

Take note – this is one Festival standby that plays to all tastes

SO the Fringe kicks off next week. I am already getting a bit fed up with e-mails asking me to recommend shows and restaurants from folk outside the Capital.

If there was some way I could make money from giving this sort of advice I would be able afford the tickets for all the shows that I want to see. One show I always recommend is Worbey & Farrell – two Edinburgh-based chappies whose fabulous piano playing is staged with so much wit and verve that everyone comes out from the show with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. It appeals to absolutely all ages from school kids still trying to get to grips with a recorder (oh, how I remember the agony) to their doting grannies who know their Arne from the Elgar.

For anyone who claims to know nothing about classical music, it’s definitely worth toddling along to the Assembly Rooms in George Street as you may be rather surprised by what you discover. I should know as I have yet to master Chopsticks on the old Joanna.