John Gibson: Say ‘Hi’ to strangers .. they love it!

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Street seen. It’s good to talk. Tell you this, I do more for Edinburgh’s image than any dozen of our city councillors you care to name. Either their noses are in the air or they’re plain boot-faced.

Chances are they don’t travel by bus. Or they use their subsidised cars.

Me, I’ll talk the hind legs off a panda. I pass the time of day with total strangers – not necessarily foreigners , including Glaswegians – with a random good morning, good afternoon or good evening and nine times out of ten they’ll respond with an instinctive smile. Their image of this city can be changed in an instant with that welcome invasive greeting.

You’ll be surprised. Try it. Civility costs nothing and, yep, it sure is good to talk. Even Mystic Meg said hello back at me, even though she had no idea who I am.

Oh, and here’s a reassuring word . . . some of my best friends are Weegies. Relatives even.


There used to be a hit song called We’re All Going to the Zoo Tomorrow. Julie Felix sang it (that’s the Julie Felix who was linked with David Frost at one time).

No we’re not. A survey by one of our biggest supermarket chains, Sainsbury’s, finds children between five and 11 would rather play in the park or paddle in the pool than go to pricey zoos. We’ve got one.

The park and the pool rank above the zoos in children’s summer pursuits. A leading psychologist says the survey proves kids prefer simple pleasures to organised trips. They’d rather go fly a kite than go to the zoo.

Good news for dad as he fingers his wallet. Where does this leave the pandas? Sainsbury’s don’t do bamboo.