John McLellan: Try walking a mile in Andy's shoes
Most of us are quick to criticise the council when bins go unemptied or streets uncleaned, but too often individuals are more to blame than the local authority.
For example, just across from Meadowbank Stadium was this pile of rubbish on Wishaw Terrace, the result of someone being too lazy to put the black bag into the empty communal bins right in front and allowing local wildlife to do what wildlife does best.
I came across it last week, just as a pair of elderly ladies were picking their way through the cartons and used nappies, so I lifted what I could and did the fly-tippers’ job for them. The woman in the blinds shop on the corner said it was a regular occurrence.
Further up I bumped into Andy the street cleaner who promised to go round and clear it up, despite it being the end of his shift and with the full stretch of London Road and Kirkwood Place still to do. Andy quite rightly pointed out that although it was his job to clear up litter, that didn’t give people the right just to leave rubbish lying on the street to make more work for him.
The lack of personal responsibility displayed by some people, like the chap I saw throwing a banana skin out of his car onto the roundabout at Queen’s Drive the other day, is infuriating and maybe they might think twice if they spent even just half an hour with Andy.
Are you talkin’ to me, Fat Bob?
The successful campaign to save the mascot of Findlay’s the Portobello butcher, Fat Bob, from becoming an unintended consequence of the A-Board ban reminds me that Bob and his ilk might not be so benign as they seem.
When I was a junior reporter in Chester, Fat Bob’s distant maritime cousin used to stand guard outside a chip shop, wearing a jaunty sou’wester and proudly holding up his fibreglass catch.
One weekend a somewhat refreshed gentleman took umbrage and found himself in the magistrates’ court the following Monday charged with causing criminal damage. In mitigation, he explained “I thought he was laughing at me.”
A high old time in Gorgie
If the UK Government’s plan to legalise the medicinal use of cannabis comes off, it should be good news for Gorgie, where Mcfarlan Smith has been producing opium and cocaine-based painkillers for decades.
Legal production from illegal substances is obviously tightly controlled and despite a few glitches, the plant should be ideal from a security point of view at least.
With the whiff of malt from the North British Distillery next door the council could rename Wheatfield Road Gorgie High Street.