John Gibson: No wonder Mary’s sick and tired

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They keep chipping away at St Mary and she must be sick and tired of it. Since Moses and the basket, since Pastor Glass was ranting on St Giles’ doorstep, the same part of the Pride of Palmerston Place has been shrouded in scaffolding. They just slung another lot up.

Talking about the cathedral, of course. Is the iconic pile now prone to falling down? What we – even we sinners – want to hear is the God’s honest truth.

Mind you, if I’m perfectly frank, there can be no slummier patch of holy ground in all Edinburgh. Its ridiculously overgrown surrounds would be a challenge for flame-throwers, let alone lawnmowers.

Stop for a minute or ten in passing and scan the endless list of names on the battered board at the neighbouring St Mary’s Workshop financed, long time ago, by Edinburgh’s monied great and good. To name a few . . . Ernst & Young, Chivas Bros, Price Waterhouse, Boots, Marks & Spencer, Royal Bank, Bank of Scotland.

Marching orders

Taken to task, hopefully by a reader who flashed his ribbons on Remembrance Sunday, for putting a salvo over the 3rd Battalion the Rifles marching down the Royal Mile a week past Saturday. Just back to their Redford base from Afghanistan.

The lads would have been more effective in their house slippers, they made scant impact on the Mile’s cobbles and Tarmac in their desert boots. And at ten in the morning (when I saluted them in passing). Little wonder their parade in this respect was something of a flop.

Who organised this show? Some local high-ranker or the rankers at the MoD?