Steve Cardownie: That was the weekend that was in the Capital

Mick and Keef provided satisfaction at Murrayfield. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Mick and Keef provided satisfaction at Murrayfield. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Another weekend over – and what a weekend it was if you were in Edinburgh!

First of all we had visitors flock to the city in their thousands to see the greatest rock and roll band in the world, visiting city centre bars dressed in their Rolling Stones T-shirts and ­regaling each other with tales of past exploits at previous tours.

Safyaan Sharif wheels away in celebration after Scotland's sensational victory over England at the Grange. Picture: SNS

Safyaan Sharif wheels away in celebration after Scotland's sensational victory over England at the Grange. Picture: SNS

The bars contributed by ensuring that the music fitted the occasion as hit after hit was played on the sound system.

Then on to Saturday itself, with the excitement building ahead of the ­concert and bars filling up with visitors from within these shores and without. Stones fans from the Continent boosted sales and contributed to the singalongs that were spontaneously breaking out.

Travel to the gig was a breeze and entry into Murrayfield Stadium was effected efficiently and with the minimum of fuss, with the only long faces belonging to the touts still trying to offload tickets as the support act was drawing to a close

The Stones were every bit as good as I remembered them on their last visit here and the place was rocking from the get-go. The stands were full and from my vantage point on the pitch it was obvious everyone was having a great time. After the concert concluded with an encore the audience departed, many of them to the city centre to continue the revelries there.

Also on Saturday we had the Leith Festival, with thousands gathering on the Links to celebrate Leith Gala Day. The crowd was entertained by live music on the main stage and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Then on to the Sunday when thousands of women (and some men) marched through the city to mark 100 years since women got the vote. Resplendent in their costumes of green, white and purple the streets were full of marchers and onlookers all wishing to celebrate that historic moment.

The city provided the perfect backdrop as the marchers proceeded to their rally to hear the speakers of the day with Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, commenting on the atmosphere of solidarity and sisterhood at the event. The huge turnout bore testimony to the strength of feeling and the recognition of the courage of the suffragette movement.

Then there was also the not so insignificant matter of a wee cricket match down at Stockbridge, where Scotland was hosting England in a one day international. As the world’s No 1 (one day) cricket team England were expected to dispatch the Scots with little difficulty.

As a sellout crowd squeezed into The Grange the mood was one more of hope than expectation as Scotland batted first – and how they batted! At the end of the 50 overs Scotland had recorded its best ever total against England, at 371 for five.

Word got back to us in the pub about Scotland’s exploits and the TV was immediately turned over to see if they could bowl England out. The six of us at the table were discussing how much we were anticipating the onset of the World Cup and as nothing else was on TV we might as well watch the cricket. Having said that, we would probably tune in to a Bake Off final if it involved Scotland and England.

So there we were, four Jambos and and Hibbies, glued to the match as Scotland started the first over. We made our respective excuses for staying longer than was first intended and the inevitable inquisition was deferred. I must be the oldest student in Edinburgh, every time I go home I get a lecture!

At the end we were almost as elated as we would have been for a football match between both countries. Scotland’s first ever cricket victory over The Auld Enemy, and by six runs! Celebration time!

Aye, just another boring weekend in Edinburgh!

Traffic holdup may leave city folk snarling

The news that two roads are to close to celebrate Clean Air Day on Thursday, 21 June has not met with universal approval. Many residents and commuters have been taking to social media to express their displeasure.

This is intended to form the Edinburgh Summer Summit, which hopes to convince citizens of the health benefits of reducing pollution and improving our air quality. All well and good, and there is a mountain of material available for research which does just that, but many correspondents are asking if this practical demonstration is necessary. Is the population so illiterate that it needs to be shown what the benefits of less pollution are?

With traffic flow disruption already the order of the day because of the closure of Leith Street, the closure of The Mound will further complicate matters for those wishing to travel between the north and south of the city.

Commentators are questioning the choice of a week day rather than a Sunday. Organisers will tell us that a week day has more impact but there is a risk that any inconvenience to commuters may provoke an unintended response, with the environmental message being linked to a practical exercise that may cause delays and tailbacks throughout the city centre.

This crow is absolute murder

I wrote some time ago about a crow at Arthur’s Seat that threw a stone at me when I was passing under a tree, narrowly missing my napper. A malevolent act borne out of malice and one which I will not forget in a hurry.

Well, this particular murder of crows are at it again, only this time they have changed tactics. As I was walking around the hill with the dog minding my own business (that’s a first, I hear you say) we were suddenly set upon by approximately six or seven dive-bombing crows, intent on creating mayhem.

Plummeting from the sky like erratic Stuka bombers, they demonstrated all too clearly that we had outstayed our welcome and just to make matters worse I recognised the ringleader as the same crow that lobbed that stone at me a few weeks ago.

If reincarnation exists, that particular crow must have been a despicable character in a previous life. Either that or I owed them money.