Fiona Duff: Who wants to dine al-fresco in February?

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LIKE many people who live in this lovely city, I am often appalled at the ridiculous decisions made by Edinburgh City Council. Over and over again they do something which has most of us council taxpayers throwing our hands upwards in despair. I mean, when you are in charge of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, what on earth makes you hell-bent on trying to destroy it?

Since September last year George Street has resembled some sort of village fete after a hurricane has blown through.

In 2013 some bright spark came up with the idea of putting seating areas on the street outside restaurants. And that August the sun shone; there was no need for tarpaulin over these areas and it actually felt continental. In fact, it felt unusual, what with it being a prolonged spell with virtually no rain.

So the council thought, hurrah. I have no doubt that someone was being charged for these structures so they decided to roll it out for a whole year. It may well be that the councillors all naff off when it isn’t August, but it was obvious to the rest of the population that this was a preposterous idea.

How many people would choose to sit in a large draughty tent to have lunch in the middle of February? As I noticed when I walked past six months ago the answer to that question is precisely zero. In the meantime, trying to drive down that street was a nightmare, and I am sure that the benefits to the shops nearby amounted to the same figure.

However, I have to say that the Dobbies mini gardens – one of them is pictured above – this August did make me smile. And let’s face it, there’s not much in this world that puts a grin on my physog.

I felt even happier when I saw that they are now going to be won by a couple of readers of this newspaper. If I could persuade him outdoors to get rid of the kale plants I am sure they would look a treat on his allotment.