As the American chap just at the top of the Waverly station said: “This city is just so darned pretty.”
He also said “whoops, excuse me” as an angry, middle-aged woman barrelled into him because he had stopped to admire the view just as she was running for the train. I think we can all guess who that was.
It is darned pretty. People come from all over the world to stop and say the same thing. Well, they haven’t come here for the weather. They come to see something faintly magical.
Of course, this isn’t Disneyland, although there are an alarming amount of short grumpy, angry and dozy people on the Number 22 bus at any given time.
This is a working city, like any other. It’s only natural that she occasionally looks a little tired now and then.
It’s a mess getting the St James Centre flattened. Let’s be honest, we didn’t really like it that much. It glared down Leith Walk like a sort of Castle Greyskull, boasting commanding views of the city and Clinique Bonus Time offers. It’s a right old state just now. I spend a lot of my time fighting the desire to apologise to visitors like a housewife caught with an unhoovered carpet.
But that aside, the castle, the gardens. What a view to take in as you arrive. Yet someone seems to have crash-landed an outdoor Irish theme pub on the roof of the Princes Mall. It looks like it’s been built by me following instructions on self-assembly furniture. It’s a shambolic mess with all the aesthetic appeal of me in a bikini. Sorry. That’s an image you probably don’t need.
They do outdoor singing. I know this because just prior to careening off a spellbound American, my ears were assaulted by a young man with a guitar doing unspeakable things to a song by Oasis. Or it could have been a hit made popular by Acker Bilk and his Jazzmen. The song in question was unidentifiable.
A stag party was drinking and roaring at each other like, well, stags, really. Even the traffic couldn’t compete with 12 lads from Darlington who have come to Dave’s stag do and are determined not to remember a second of it.
I can’t imagine it’s been done with official permission. What council in their right mind would allow what looks like a shanty town with plastic pint glasses and fake grass slap bang in the middle of that spectacular view?
Stone me! The Duke of Atholl is on the march
The Fair City of Perth is locked in a desperate battle with Paisley to become the UK City of Culture in 2021.
As part of their bid, the good folk of Perth wants the Stone of Destiny. They believe they could make it a tourist attraction. I bet they could, even if it’s not (ahem) the original one. So, they’ve written a nice wee note to Edinburgh Castle to ask for it back. They were telling me this last week.
I suspect we only have one shot at complying politely. It was pointed out to me, in a very Perth manner, that the Duke of Atholl has the only legal private army in Scotland, nay, Europe.
I believe this to be a veiled threat. Don’t be surprised if we wake up one morning under siege with the Duke of Atholl bellowing at us like a demented stag: “Give us our stone back or we flatten the joint.”
Mind you, we can defend ourselves. We’ve got Dave of Darlington and his boozy army.
Busking it as venues close doors
Perhaps I am being unfair to the young singer. It can’t have been easy to entertain Dave’s Do from Darlington, especially when Jade’s ten-strong hen party wobbled in on seven-inch heels.
Busking outdoors seems to be the best way to get any practice for young folk in this city. Funky little music venues are being shut down right, left and centre.
Even good old Studio 24 has bitten the dust. They used to have a teen disco on a Saturday afternoon. They had an interesting policy if they caught any of their young clubbers under the influence. They’d make them safe, then call the youngster’s mum. Now, calling the police might have given some kudos to a teen bladdered on Mad Dog 20/20, but your mum turning up? Nope, no cools there.
Soon there won’t be any music gigs in the city at all, which is presumably why Dave and his crew were getting right royally wrecked at 2.30 in the afternoon, because the nightlife in this city is about as exciting as Aunt Sally’s sewing circle.
Mad woman in the attic?
Is the election over yet? It’s just that I am getting a bit alarmed. There have been some strange noises coming from my loft, and I am worried Theresa May is hiding up there. Well, have you seen her lately? Exactly. I rest my case