John Gibson: The Tratt’s still trumps in the trough

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Gloom but by no means doom on the Royal Mile. Not at Gordon’s Trattoria. Footfall’s down but padrone Gordon Scott somehow puts on a happy face.

“We’ve not escaped the squeeze. We’re ten to 15 per cent down on last year. Customers from abroad are significantly fewer, notably the Spanish, so we are cutting our cloth accordingly.”

The restaurant trade isn’t all bad. The Cramond Brig Hotel, refurbished by new owner Rod Spinks, has improved beyond recognition, and from next month will benefit from the arrival of an established Edinburgh city centre restaurateur to share the day-to-day management.

May holds key

Let’s hear it for Fingers. The piano bar in Frederick Street – you could say it’s been “digital” all these years – celebrated its 18th birthday on December 1, which merits a big hand.

Let’s hear it specifically for the owner, the woman at the helm, May Paton. A true grit personage. Fingers has functioned due largely to her graft and business head.

It’s the Weegie in her, I keep teasing, though she has lived mostly in Edinburgh. She stays loyal to her performers, having brought back pianist John Hides and vocal/guitar duo Bleeker. Closed at Christmas but it’s an open-all-hours thing 9pm to 5am for New Year.

See you on Fingers’ 20th, May!

Second class

You’re wondering why it took so long for that letter to drop through your letterbox, even with its penny black stamp. It was delivered by Jiroumon Kimura, Japan’s oldest postie at 115 years old. Older than Bruce Forsyth.

Kimura’s excuse – he was wrapping Christmas presents for his 13 great, great grandchildren.

Third man in history to reach 115, according to the Guinness gospel.