John Gibson: Mind your step leaving Waverley

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Hardly a pretty sight. You’re propelled, ponderously, up the Waverley Steps (the shops on your right do look smart) but once the elevator has reached Princes Street, the welcome to Edinburgh is dubious.

The vision is a mess. A city in turmoil and your first encounter with a resident probably will be with a beggar propped against the five-star Balmoral Hotel.

The defecating pigeons and gulls have quit roosting on the hotel-to-be opposite the Balmoral, scared off by the two robot falcons installed by Network Rail for £9000.

Give Network Rail their due, they’ve tried all manner of canny stunts to rid the station of its ‘‘defecation destination’’ reputation.

Gets my goat

Goat’s testicles. If, as they say, they were good enough for gluttonous Henry VIII, they should be good enough for me. However, I’m not all that keen. Yep, talking about goat’s wotsits as swung on TV the other night.

I’m all for a change of diet but, please, not goat’s appendae. Unless they are served with custard.

Henry drooled – but evidently didn’t droop – as he shovelled the things into that enormous belly. All a matter of taste, even in his day.

Afterwords . .

. . . Her co-stars Alan Bates and Oliver Reed are long gone but Glenda Jackson is still around, when she emerged fom some dungeon to thump Thatcher. Maybe as well that Batesey and roisterer Reed haven’t survived to see gloating Glenda as she is today. Yes, age shall wither them.