John Gibson: A book to keep for the rainy nights

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Who do I know in Georgia, apart from Randy Crawford? Together we spent many a rainy night there.

Otherwise, nobody until a formidable book arrived in the post, all June Renwick’s stylish work.

Always ahead of her time with her big passions, painting and design. The design aspect stems from her stint as a window dresser at Patrick Thompson’s, the large department store on North Bridge, now a hotel.

June and husband Bert emigrated from home town Edinburgh to the States in 1983. Life for them thereafter was somewhat complicated. They had five children and their new life in the US was interrupted by a return spell in London designing sports wear and a £60,000 grant from the British Overseas Trade Board.

Anyway . . . they are anchored in Dacula, Georgia. When they lived in Leith, Bert worked night shift in Millers Foundry on London Road. Bert recalls: “During your tea breaks a student working his way through to college took pictures and sketched us, Sandy Moffat by name, and he became principal of Glasgow School of Art.”

Something to remember on those rainy nights.

It’s panto time

You won’t go the ball, Leitherella. But you will be going to the hall. Leith Community Theatre is staging its panto in South Leith Parish Church Hall and asked if I could give it my support. I’ve been wearing it for years.

My dear old mum would drag me to South Leith kirk and I’ve never got it out of my system, or wanted to. Their Leitherella is Hannah McKenzie, a 13-year-old at Leith Academy.

You’re bored reading about Leith and my old school, I know. Frankly I doze off writing about it on occasion. Anyway, best wishes to their panto.

Runs from December 17 to 22, tickets £9 or £5 concession at the hall in Henderson Street. No show on the 19th and the 21st. Oh, and matinees at 2.30 on the 21st and the 22nd.

Now, do you want me to set the stage?

Cinders, don’t dare let my old school down.