John Gibson: Bringing a tear to these eyes

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This can reduce me to tears so forgive me while I mop them up. I’ll be with you a couple of sheikhs.

I’ve loitered in Edinburgh’s hotels all my working life bat one stands abune them a’. One that means more to me than any other. Lofty, up there on North Bridge. Part of the skyline.

I spent a lifetime within the precincts as a journalist and I hate to see it in trouble. Big trouble. The Scotsman Hotel Group, including properties in Leeds and Paris, has seen the administrators called in and an Arab sheikh become embroiled in the rescue.

Messy. But for old times sake I’m hoping it will be resolved. From the day this edifice opened as a five-star hotel in April 2001 it was imbued with the kiss of death.

Where did it go wrong? Picture the restaurant for a start, still seen by many as the front door, with reception tucked round the corner. You walked in off the street straight into a tangle of steel enough to add another span on to the Forth Bridge.

The architect responsible obviously lacked any sense of what this pile is all about, I’d venture. So yes, the more this sorry business crosses my mind, the more a little bitty tear appears.

It’s a trambles

Conundrum. How do you, in the appalling shambles brought about by the tram works, get from one side of Shandwick Place to the other? You don’t. You just don’t.

All wired up. Did they bring it over from Guantanamo? Pedestrians can get stuffed while the hard hats go about their business, oblivious to the gross inconvenience .

I say again . . . shambolic in the extreme. Brace yourselves now for the final bill. Over budget, And not on time. Hapless Edinburghers have been there before.