Oh, poor Sir Fred. Oops, sorry, no, just Fred now, since the “sir” bit has been repossessed.
Never met the man, so I’m guessing here, but Mr Goodwin struck me as the sort of swaggering, ambitious, empire-building Scot who greatly enjoyed his title, particularly across the Atlantic.
The Founding Fathers, by the way, specifically vetoed the use of titles, which hasn’t stopped their descendants slavering over every sir, lady, earl, princess and red-headed royal embarrassment who has come their way ever since.
That sir was part of Goodwin’s identity. Like Postman Pat and Fireman Sam, there was Sir Fred. Of course, even Postman Pat and Fireman Sam are having to adjust to a new world, since they are both facing redundancy as a result of public sector cutbacks caused by the banking crisis, which means they’re just Pat and Sam now.
To be honest, I was expecting a bit more of a to-do when they took the honour back. As I understand it, you just get a letter saying “Right, stop that, you’re not a sir now and you’ll have to get the name changed on your credit card.”
Come on, we can do better than this. We do big pomp and ceremony well.
Just imagine it, midnight on the Castle Esplanade, braziers blazing, ranks upon ranks of soldiers drawn up on either side, ominous music thundering over the battlements, and Jackie Bird wrapped up warm to do the commentary.
Then enter the Queen – don’t tell me that dear old Liz wouldn’t pass up the chance to play a baddie after all these years of tapping people on the shoulder with a sword and going along lines of cheering punters, avoiding shaking hands with the ones who look vaguely infectious and asking glaikit-looking individuals how long they’ve been 5ft 1in.
Don’t you dare tell me that she wouldn’t, just for once, relish the possibility of sweeping down from the ramparts dressed like the Emperor from Star Wars hissing “You have failed us, Fred” and striking him down with a lightsaber. Or at least get Big Eck to do it, on account of the fact that he’s a big bloke and would probably look good dressed as Darth Vader – and he does have a slight tendency to wheeze a bit.
The worldwide TV rights alone would pay for the light sabre.
Icy blast from Waverley wind did wonders for wrinkles
Now I realise that improving the Waverley Steps is a great boon to the city. Many a time I’ve watched the larger variety of tourist struggle up towards Princes Street wondering if I should either offer to help or take a careful note of the name and address on the luggage in case I had to send the body back to Wisconsin.
As an interfering busybody, I usually went for the first option, as I did with young mums with buggies, and folk with disabilities, even if they didn’t want help.
So I am glad that more people can get up and down in greater speed and comfort. But I will miss that howling gale that would come keening down as you battled your way up. As a hangover clearer it was second to none, and as I age, let me tell you, one battle up the stairs with an icy blast in your face did wonders for the complexion and I swear it smoothed the wrinkles for a wee while at least.
Meaty drama on number 22 could be way to solve bus funding crisis
Number 22 bus, a young lady larded with the entire annual cosmetic output of Boots is shrieking into her phone. “Ah says, ur you committed to this relationship? And he sez, ‘Ah’ve left ma steak pie fur ma tea, haven’t ah?’ And he sez he jist slept wi they three lassies by accident.”
Funding crisis, is it, Lothian Buses? With the amount of drama you overhear on the 22 alone you should be approaching Creative Scotland for a grant.
I’ll be lurking with monsters in lobby
Oh, much excitement, I’ve been invited to the Scottish Parly for a reception. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I will get food. Well, at least I think I will. They usually lay on vol-au-vents then stare at me when I try to eat one. They normally detonate in my hands like a supernova. You don’t eat vol-au-vents. You tame them.
It’s in The Garden Lobby. You know, that bit where Brian Taylor stands, with the stairs behind him and MSPs trying to get into shot.
Lobbies have come up in the world clearly. When I was growing up, the lobby, or to give it the full West Coast title “The Loabby”, was the cold, windswept hallway, sporting random chairs and coat hooks, and every child knew monsters lurked there. Mind you, there are some fairly scary-looking MSPs, so the word may suit after all.