John Gibson: Leave it to the crocus to cheer you

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This noble city, this regal seat. Aye, Edinburgh – or Edenburgh, as it was plastered on council vehicles – attractive, but at this time of year particularly so.

I’m watching it warts and all and, as many of my readers will concur, our sedentary city council seems oblivious to its unsightlier aspects.

Do our city fathers and mothers ever get out and about? Or do you only see them when they’re knocking on your door, badgering you for your vote at election time?

So, again talking particularly, I am pleased to welcome the annual host of golden crocae. You’re confused with the host of golden daffodils, John? No, but I’m flummoxed over the plural of crocus. Crocae? Croci? Croquettes, for God’s sake?

Anyway, these flowers are a cheering sight to behold in Princes Street Gardens hillsides. See them and, to quote Maggie Thatcher, go home and rejoice.

Be prepared

Pants, pants! It’s no joke, I well know. But it ain’t easy not to conceal the glimmer of a smile reading that residents in the flood-ravaged south-west were advised by Public Health England to pack a ‘‘flood kit’’ of medicines, insurance documents, bank cards, clothes and, oh yes, a toothbrush.

But not, for crying out loud, a change of underwear. My dear old mum always advised me to pack a spare pair of pants ‘‘in case you’re run over by a bus”. Or a tram, was it?

Afterwords . .

. . . from jovial Jack Vettriano: “I’ve used about 20 models for the women in my painting. They are usually brunette because I prefer dark women – and blonde hair is so effing difficult to paint.’’