John Gibson: A gab with Annie like old times

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Trying to recall where, how and when I first met Annie Crawford. Mrs Anne Crawford, first wife of Jay Crawford, former deejay at Radio Forth.

The capricious Mrs C and I then were circulating on the local music scene.

Or was it as guests at a wedding in Florida? Or at an Elton or Springsteen gig at the Playhouse? Or perhaps at one of her Old Town flats? Or a David Bowie concert at Murrayfield? Days, like they say, that will never come back.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen her after all these years until I heard that she was working as a volunteer at the Cancer UK shop in Leith’s Kirkgate. We exchanged for-old-times-sake pressies, to Annie, still gifted with the gab, a book (Ten Things I’ve Learned About Love), to me a 42G bra a customer had dragged in (handy should my luck ever change).

Annie, who celebrates a milestone birthday this year, worked in computers for Edinburgh University and in London for ten years. She tells me: “This is an ideal way to spend semi-retirement, due to ill health.

“I keep meeting Leith’s finest and I’m kept busy. Characters pop in, including River City’s Una McLean and former Port of Leith pub landlady colourful Mary Moriarty.

“Una’s late husband Russell Hunter opened this shop 25 years ago. She brings stuff into us now and again. Volunteering’s good for the soul.’’

One thing I’ve learned about Annie Crawford . . . life’s for living. I left her engrossed in the book.