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10 years of self government

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Caught between the decadence of 1940’s burlesque and the comfort of your local watering hole, Guilty Lily welcomes you with subtle old fashioned class and seats you on some of the comfiest & squishiest sofas in Leith. Relaxed and pleasantly scruffy with an indulgent edge. Cafe by day, bar and venue by night. Come for breakfast, stay for lunch and relax into dinner.



Homemade grub, fresh ground coffee from Pat the coffee man, fresh baked cakes & love muffins, free wifi, live music, cocktails, fine beers and ales, lovely wines and a smile.


leither Published by: Editor: Artwork: Photography: Advertising: The Leither: Contacts: Cartoonist: Illustrator: Front cover:

Leither Publishing William Gould: 07891560338 Bagelfish Design: 0131 553 3773 email: Ryan McGoverne email: Jennifer Lawrie tel: 07908550118 35 Tower Street, Leith EH6 7BN tel: 0131 554 2728 email: web: Gordon Riach Bernie Reid Bonnie Reid

Š 2009 LEITHER PUBLICATIONS LTD. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without the written permission of the Publishers. The Leither does not accept responsibility for unsolicited material. If you have an interesting story we should know about, contact William Gould on tel: 07891560338. If you would like information on advertising or sponsorship opportunities with the Leither email:



NOTES FROM Skeleton Chairs For the second month in a row, your custodian managed to get blootered on sparkling wine, at the opening of the latest exhibition at Leith’s Corn Exchange Gallery, courtesy of Caroline Alexander. Before doing so, I was bewitched by one piece, which was essentially a chair sanded away to almost nothing. What you are left with is the skeleton of a chair. It is, in one word, haunting. Later I discovered it was, appositely, called Spirit Chair. I was reminded here of the story about Alberto Giacometti suffering from a compulsive disorder, sometime in the 40’s. He couldn’t stop working on his sculptures, so much so that when he turned up to exhibit in Switzerland, and the director asked him where the work for the exhibition was, he produced a match box, opened it and said “there.” Inside the matchbox were 10 perfectly formed figures in his immortal style. The man behind the Spirit Chair is Tobias Sternberg, his exhibition runs until early June. Twinning and spinning Time here too for some unfinished business, The Leither ran a series of articles looking to find the perfect twin town for our beloved Old Port. Contenders were: Piraeus in Greece, Lodz in Poland, Havana in Cuba, Vladivostok - a personal favourite - in Russia, Galway in Eire and, bizarrely, The Proclaimers. Those fine folks at The Leith Agency have given us a prod and suggested a vote to pick a winner, and have kindly offered to pay for the signage and, rather recklessly, the services of a Leith dignitary to - what would the word be, consecrate? - said sign. In my world, it would be the Unicorn Kid or Danny MacKaskill. We’ll probably get Peter Laing. Anyhoo, the Councils of our six choices will be quaking in their boots as they await the pronouncement of all you Leither readers, so get your voting boots on and e-mail: It would be ill advised Vladivostock of your editor to Vladivostock point you in any Vladivostock direction. The decision shall be entirely your own, we look forward to the keys to Vladivostock. Skippers at thirty You know you are looking through the wrong end of a telescope when a restaurant that was fairly new when you first arrived in Edinburgh suddenly reaches it’s thirtieth year. That’s a hundred and twenty in restaurant years. A friend, who worked in Skippers during it’s nascent years, reports that he could be cooking away quite happily until someone needed to get into the cellar, then he would, quite literally, have to do the splits while they opened the hatch and stepped down, under the arch of his crotch - what I think is called the gusset. As he bore a marked resemblance to Johnny Vegas, this was no mean feat. The present incumbents have no such problems, the building has exploded in various directions, and the kitchen is unrecognisably capacious. Brilliantly, they have chosen to celebrate the anniversary for the whole year, which means plenty of good deals for you and I. The thing about venerable institutions is we often only visit them once, which is the case with me and Skippers, I hereby resolve to visit it twice, then thrice. THELEITHER.BIZ

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tHe good tHe bad and tHe Ugly

on the 12th of May 1999, Winnie eWing uttered the folloWing Words: “i have the opportunity to Make a short speech and i Want to begin With the Words that i have alWays Wanted either to say or to hear soMeone else say: the scottish parliaMent, Which adjourned on 25 March 1707, is hereby reconvened.” and so it began. It’s hard to believe, but the Scottish Parliament really has been up and running for ten years. Like all ten year olds, the Parliament has been through various stages of growth. Its conception took, I suppose you could argue, 292 years. Since its birth, or rebirth, it’s had its fair share of wobbles, scrapes, and temper tantrums. But here it is, ten years old, looking like its over the worst of those worrying times which all toddlers induce in their parents, marching towards who knows what? Remember, it’s not an only child, it has a big brother in London who still won’t let it play with all the toys in the box and is still largely in control of the pocket money. Maybe the future is uncertain but let’s take a look at its life so far. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s start with ugly. When people see a new baby for the first time, they instantly become inveterate liars. “Oooh, he’s really lovely.” This phrase is uttered automatically even although the wee bundle in the pram looks like Winston Churchill licking piss off a nettle. However, when the new and grossly expensive Parliament building was unveiled for the first time, people almost unanimously declared it a monstrosity. The design did not find favour with a public who had already become enraged at the spiralling costs and delays which plagued the building’s construction. But, as Ray Stevens once sang, everything is beautiful in its own way, isn’t it? My advice to those of you who think it’s ugly is to get inside it, view the curves, the light, and the shade. Then make you’re mind up. Beauty’s only skin deep. Like all kids, the Parliament has, at times been bad. It has to be said, we

are not blessed with a large number of politicians who combine rapier-like debating skills with that all important ingredient, charisma. We have a strange mix of politicians in Scotland – some are nothing more than jumped-up councillors who have gradually been punted up selection lists until they get elected – mainly Labour. Some work as party researchers who get to stand in elections they can’t win until they land a safe seat – a kind of political apprenticeship – Lib Dems and SNP. And some have nothing better to do, and only get elected because of our proportional representation electoral system – mainly Tories. The Parliament has also had its fair share of sleaze and downright stupidity. Stand up Tory David McLetchie who claimed over £10,000 in six years for taxi rides to the dentist and his other job as a lawyer. Lib Dem Keith Raffan who claimed over £41,000 for mileage expenses including a couple of trips when he was actually in another country. And John Home Robertson, Stewart Stevenson, Tavish Scott and Nicol Stephen for abusing the allowances system to make vast profits on second homes. And stupidity? Piegate – Frank McAveety telling the chamber that he had been unavoidably delayed at a meeting when in fact, he had been eating pie, beans and chips in the canteen. There has been good, and lots of it. It’s easy to forget what has been achieved, because legislation is dull and politicians are all useless. Really? Here’s a very small selection. What about the Abolition of Poindings and Warrant Sales Act? It’s no longer legal to enforce payment

of a debt by pricing and then selling someone’s possessions - something which used to happen in Scotland prior to 2001. We now have a children’s commissioner who campaigns on behalf of the rights of children and ensures that we stick to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Believe it or not, it’s only since 2003, by virtue of an act of the Parliament, that it’s been an offence to let your dog leave its ‘number twos’ in the street. We now have legislation in place which ensures that the rights and needs of vulnerable witnesses in courts are taken care of. Since 2005 it has been an offence to stop a mother from breastfeeding her baby in public. We have our own commission for human rights. We no longer pay tolls on the Forth or Tay bridges. University graduates no longer have to pay back their tuition fees. I could go on... And I will. Margo MacDonald, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, has recently received enough support from MSPs to introduce a bill which effectively means that people for whom life had become intolerable, through terminal illness, loss of function, or a progressive, degenerative condition, will be able to ask a doctor to help end their life. That support isn’t a sympathy vote for Margo, it’s a clear sign that the Parliament can, and often does, rise above petty party politics to do the right thing. Yours, with an eye on the future and an even bigger Aye to our wee parliament, Protempore.

davId barnes eXplains hoW you can get a Modest return on your Money Without lining sir fred goodWin’s pockets or Watching your shares pluMMet like an obese dodo With a concrete parachute. Warning: read the rules then re-read the rules. Bernie Madoff was able to squander $65 billion of other people’s money by persuading investors that he could get them a return of 10 percent per year, every year, for the rest of their live’s – regardless of the economic climate.Now he is going to spend the rest of his life in jail and the suckers he conned are going to spend the rest of their lives thinking about what else they could have done with the money he frittered away – like buy a yacht, or a pony, or a holiday house … or set up their own ‘hedge-fund’ betting on sport, instead of stocks and shares. The last few months have changed everything. We no longer blindly percieve fat-cat bankers and flash-harry financiers as the people best suited to look after our dosh. They have been using our hard-earned money to dance with disaster, but that bubble has burst and the myth has been exposed. There is no magical formula – they didn’t have a clue what was going on either. Pension funds are goosed, property values are toppling, share prices are in free fall. Cheer up though, you can still get a decent price on Australia to win the Ashes this summer. The economy is making life difficult for everybody at the moment, but in sport you always have winners – and although shock results are bound to upset the applecart from time to time, every fresh day brings new opportunities for the smart and the brave. That was my thought process when I decided to set-up my own ‘hedge-fund’ at the start of February. It was a simple plan: put £50 in an internet gambling account and bet cautiously on sure things, so as to make a modest five percent profit by the end of each month. At which point you inject another £50 into the fund and look to increase your pot by another five percent by the end of that month; carry on until rich. Some simple ground rules were obviously required: Don’t bet on Scotland – sentiment can’t be allowed to get in the way of hard headed business decisions. Don’t over-expose myself on one bet – there are going to a few slip ups along the way. Pick the bet before looking at the odds – chasing the big win is always going to end in disaster. Don’t treat the five percent profit per month target as an unbreakable rule – if the bets aren’t there don’t go chasing the money. Another rule, which should have been in from the start, has been added: Don’t bet on Friday night after a couple of pints at the pub. (I wasn’t drunk, but I was more impulsive than I should have been when I backed Wales to beat France in Paris during the Six Nations.) Ten quid down. I’m playing the long game, and I can report that so far things have gone pretty well. At the end of my third month, my pot stood at £197 - assuming my long-term bet on Manchester United winning the Premiership at 10/3 comes in - which is just ahead of where it should be. It has also been fairly stress free. PAGE 6 < IssUe 52

I wasn’t much of a gambler beforehand so I am spending a little more time looking at the odds than I did previously – but there have been no all-night sessions pouring over the form and agonising about whether or not to put my money where my mouth is. I must confess, I had misgivings about writing this article. Partly because I didn’t want to jinx myself and partly because I didn’t want to be held responsible for encouraging someone else to start gambling. How would I feel if they then went on to blow their life’s savings? - My rather excitable brother-inlaw has already followed my lead - apparently staying up all night on Saturday ‘gambling’ on women’s beach volleyball. But the main reason I don’t want too many people jumping on the bandwagon and ruining it for me,is the, admittedly remote, possibility they may bankrupt my bookmaker. Then I looked at it from another angle. I started this experiment because I believed that betting logically and rationally could be more effective than pumping money into the corrupt world of banking and finance. Well, the editor says he is going to pay me for this article, and I’m gambling that he is as good as his word. I think this is a fine example of a ‘good’ bet, after all I’m over 6ft 6ins tall, and I know where he lives.(I’ve since moved - Editor) So, why not join my get rich slow scheme. What’s the worst that can happen? You end up with a bit less money than you started with? Well, at least you’ll have had some fun along the way, and just as importantly, at least you’ll know how and why the cash disappeared.


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IssUe 52 >PAGE 7

lIft yr skInny fIsts lIke antennas to Heaven

ryan mCgoverne, photographer in residence at the leither Magazine, recoMMends a night of glorious bands With bad naMes - ali robertson eXcluded - because that May Well be his real naMe. the leither. never knoWingly offends. At the recent Leither 50th birthday bash, six hours into the free bar, The Laird and Protempore were to be found rolling around the floor giggling like school girls, whilst Gordon the Cartoonist belted out folk songs and the Ex-Editor danced the jig of a freed man. In a quiet corner of the bar the new Leither supremo and I were stroking our bristled chins trying to recall the names of Godspeed You! Black Emperor albums. We are, you see, unashamed musos, and as such are a little excited about an upcoming event during the Leith Festival. A gig to satisfy the wants of fellow chinstrokers, but, in the spirit of the festival, also a chance for the community to come and witness something very out of the ordinary. To describe the nature of this event, I shall conjure up the spirit of Jack Vettriano. My summation of this grumpy Scot is that he is fairly good at colouring in, without going over the lines. But, fatally, the grizzled dauber believes his own PR and rankles at the modern art world’s refusal to acknowledge him. Art, true art, is organic, it needs artists to continually challenge what we accept as art, always to push forward, else it will die. Vettriano cynically traces imagery, soaks it in saccharine nostalgia, and punts it out en masse to the Athena poster industry. Without wanting to sound too hyperbolic, the misogynistic fraudster is anti-art incarnate. Look a little deeper into modern art, beneath this one dimensional sheen, and you will have your breath taken away. There is a point to this, beyond simple Vettriano bashing - fun though that is - it illustrates the parallels between art and PAGE 8 > IssUe 52

music. For every Coldplay (and for Coldplay, read Jack Vettriano) there is a powerful undercurrent of bands making exciting, innovative, breathtaking, new music. Unsung artists who ensure music’s survival by continued experimentation, testing the paradigms of what music can be. Within this musical subculture, there is a further metaculture. The Noise Scene. And it is coming to a festival, namely Leith, near you. Noise nights are a riot of unpredictability. Aggressively uncommercial, wilfully arty, and deliberately unpretentious. They are hosted at venues without lighting rigs, without dry ice - preferably without a stage – on a dance floor peopled with folk who have no intention of dancing. There is no attempt to prettify what is going on, or to distract from it, no pigeon-holing, no genres, no uniforms. It is purely about making noise. Extreme noise in some cases. The subtlest ethereal noise in others. Crucially, it is about making new noises. You are probably aware that this year, more than ever, Leith Festival needs your support, as do our young trailblazers. On June 9th at Queen Charlotte Rooms you are guaranteed a night of contemporary music, the likes of which this festival has never hosted before. You may hate it with a passion or you may fall head over heels in love with it, unlike Vettriano and Coldplay, you will not forget it. Giant Tank: Present- Muscletusk, Wounded Knee, Scrim, Dora Doll & Ali Robertson. Queen Charlotte Rooms, 8pm Tuesday 9th July. Entry £5. THEleItHer.BIZ

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Peter smItH 1951 - 2009

on tHUrsday 30tH aPrIl, tHere a was fUneral In leItH tHe lIkes of wHICH I Have never seen. HUndreds Came from far and wIde to say goodbye to a mUCH loved man of tHe PeoPle - Peter smItH. Funerals often help us to see the whole person. I had only known Peter since I got involved in Leith Festival, only a glimpse really, but as I listened to the story of Peter’s life unfold, nothing really surprised me. A picture of a man who gave, fixed, supported, and helped so many, in whatever he did, came bursting through. We listened to the milestones - that he left Leith Academy to become a civil engineer and then went into pub and hotel management, back to building and then, of course, became a Jannie. If you were one of those remembering his days as landlord of ‘Mister Smith’s’ on Lochend Road then it would have been no surprise at all to hear that later in Peter’s life he had brought his community big spiritedness to the Gala Day and St Mary’s Primary. Peter was one of those guys that live deep within the soul of a community. He did the jobs that make the world go round, but he did them as himself. You simply trusted him to get a job done and make everyone feel good about it in the process. He became involved with Leith Festival in 1992, becoming Gala Day Convenor in recent years, and featured regularly on Leith FM talking about his great passions – anything Leith and anything football. He had a big connection with Hibs Kids and helped raise money for a Pipe Band for Leith children. As Registered Celebrant, Tim Maguire, said at his funeral – “Peter was always doing something. If he had one weakness it was that he couldn’t say no. He wasn’t a saint but he moved in mysterious ways and did lots of stuff, without even talking about it.” One of the most mysterious was in fact his funeral. Just weeks before, he’d been at a friend’s funeral conducted in the Humanist tradition. He said then, “that’s the kind of funeral I want.” I could fill this magazine with quotes and messages left for Peter, but one sticks in my mind. As I left the Park View Hotel walking past the queue to write in the book of remembrance, I saw a wee girl crouched down writing, in that concentrated way kids have. This is what she wrote: “Dear Jannie - you were always kind and good to us and every one of us miss you.” For me, and I think many others, I will not be able to hear the word ‘Jannie’ again without thinking of Peter. I’ve always believed that the Heedie and the Jannie are the twin pillars of a good school - and Peter was the proof. The Alex Ferguson of Jannies. Peter Smith was born 20th April 1951 and died Saturday 18th April 2009. He is survived by his wife Averil, son Darren, grandson Dylan, both his parents and his brother Stuart. Young Dylan is also in the photo.

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saInt george Has HIs day vIkkI graves braves the slings and arroWs of outrageous fortune to report on a singular eXperiMent in cross border harMonisation.

Once upon a time, a man named George killed a dragon to rescue a damsel in distress. All the English people loved him and made him their patron saint. And they all lived happily ever after. Now I’m from England and that’s as much as I know. I can’t recall any St George celebrations in my youth. In fact, the day would have passed unnoticed yet again this year had it not been for The Leither. Flicking through last month’s edition, I was surprised to find an advert for a St George’s Day themed menu at The Roseleaf. Surely in Scotland they give even less of a monkey’s about it than I do? I confess the news made me feel a bit warm and fuzzy for a moment. Like I said, I’m from England and I live in Scotland, which I like very much. But sometimes I feel this is not enough to explain my presence. To THEleItHer.BIZ

make up for my posh voice, I say ‘British’ more than is necessary, and intersperse my received pronunciation with liberal spatterings of ‘ayes’ and ‘kens’ which, thankfully, most Scots are polite enough to ignore. I demonstrate my proficiency in the Scots velar fricative pronunciation of ‘loch’ and force myself to say ‘neeps’, or at the very least ‘turnip’, even though we all know it’s really ‘swede.’ I must point out that I’ve never really had any grief about being English. And it’s not that I’m ashamed of it – with my accent I couldn’t get away with being anything else. But I’m not actively proud of it either. I didn’t know that George is also the patron saint of lots of European countries and other far flung destinations such as Ethiopia and Lebanon. Not only that, but according to the St George Unofficial Bank Holiday website “he’s also patron saint of soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy and plague.” Busy man. On further investigation, there are many people south of the border calling for more to be done to mark George’s murder of the mythical fire-breathing beast. Some want a public holiday, cheeky blighters, others want the red and white flag flying, and the diehards are calling for an English parliament. And for the first time ever, in an attempt to summon up an increased sense of English national identity, the esteemed Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, treated the city to Morris dancing, a maypole and a Punch and Judy show, saying “St George’s Day has been ignored in London for far too long...I encourage everyone to join in the fun and celebrate England’s great patron saint.” Down south it looks like in a few years, the bold St George might even need an agent. But this feverish activity hasn’t quite reached Scotland yet, so instead I focussed my attentions on lunch. I thought about proper pie and mash, with mushy peas and liquor; a ploughman’s lunch in the pub with white bread, a doorstep hunk of cheddar cheese and tangy pickle; a massive Cornish pasty from a beachside bakery, straight out of the oven with a filling so hot it’ll strip the roof of your mouth off. I could get into celebrating St George’s Day. Gripped with a newfound appreciation of Englishness, I set off for The Roseleaf. Although I knew in my heart of hearts it was unlikely, I still didn’t quite give up hope of stepping through the doors to find a host of diners in Kiss-Me-Quick hats, and Chas and Dave blasting out ‘Dooown to Maargate’ in the corner. But, predictably some might say, there wasn’t a red and white flag or a cuddly toy dragon in sight. They did have Yorkshire puddings though, giant ones at that. How could I have forgotten about Yorkshire puddings? Crisp and light as a feather on top and soggy and gooey on the bottom, having sat in a pool of rich onion gravy. Thank you Roseleaf. Although the presence of beardy men in knee high socks with bells on, hitting bits of wood together on Leith Links is probably some way off, I realised that some lighthearted English-Scottish banter and a bit of a sense of national pride is no bad thing. Because you say turnip, I say swede, but we both say Yorkshire pudding.

IssUe 52 > PAGE 11

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LEITHAL IMAGES Step through the beautiful door, between the King’s Wark and the Pizza Express, which is the last remnant of the façade that occupied this space for centuries, and you arrive in the lower bowels of The Leith Agency. Four flights later, past the photo of the young Leith boxer and the one of the undertaker that you recognise from too many funerals, you will find yourself in the attic or, more properly, the Think Tank. At least today. Ed and Barbara, the Agency’s agents, as it were, have almost literally lassoed your gnarled editor on his way for, ahem, ‘a bracer’, and showered him with enthusiasm, ideas, and, heaven forfend, interest. Three things which your own correspondent requires an update on. A tear swells in my working eye, as they let loose of their admiration for our, unworthy, periodical. There is, of course, a history here. Read ’Notes From The Editor’ - I know you do! I know you do! - for the ‘Twinning with Leith’ story, and then come back here - because I know you don’t. These keen as mustard, no, keener than that, young shavers, have been involved with the Leither since, well, since… And now they have thrown caution to the wind and affiliated themselves with this humble rag yet again. Which is nice. They do however require something of YOu, it is their contention that everywhere you look in Leith, there is a photo opportunity. Be it using a ‘Jesus Christ Almighty’ serious camera or your humble mobile phone. They want you to send a photo that best sums up what Leith is all about. In return, if your picture is among the chosen ones, they will invite you to an, ahem, no expenses spared opening on board the Mary of Guise barge on the 10th of July. The exhibition, your exhibition, will then run for three days, bang in the middle of the Leith Festival. Exposure or what? Look no further than this page for inspiration. On second thoughts, look much further.


IssUe 52 > PAGE 13

JImmy mCIntosH i feel like iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve spent My entire life Wandering around With My eyes half-shut, and today, suddenly, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been prised Wide open. one thing is certain, nothing Will ever be the saMe again. i spent Most of today sitting doWn. as a busy person, holding doWn about ten jobs, this is unusual, even More so as i spent it as an able-bodied person in a Wheelchair. Why do such a thing voluntarily? there are Many Who disagree strongly With activities Which involve people Without disabilities atteMpting to eMulate the eXperience of disability, often through teMporary Modifications, in artificial environMents, led by individuals With little or no eXperience of disability. this is often referred to as disability aWareness training, and can be interpreted as patronising or deMeaning to people With disabilities. that Was not My aiM. by lesley fox

PAGE 14 < IssUe 52


I am writing the biography of a remarkable man, Jimmy McIntosh. Jimmy has spent most of his life imprisoned, not by his cerebral palsy, but by the attitudes of society towards it. Confined to an institution for almost 40 years, he has nevertheless made it his life’s work to fight for what he believes in. Namely, helping others by ensuring their voices are heard. In Gogarburn Hospital, he campaigned for people in long stay hospitals to have the right to vote and, despite repeated setbacks, he eventually won that right. He chaired numerous committees and, in 2005, received an MBE for his voluntary work. All this despite the abuse and neglect he suffered in Gogarburn, and the intense victimisation he and his new wife experienced when they set up home together. Jimmy’s is the ultimate story of a multitude of negatives turned into bright, shining, positives. For me, there was no question his story had to be told. The question was, how could I write about his life, having never experienced anything close to it? Thus the wheelchair. Jimmy, graciously, gave my plan his blessing and, in an act of typical generosity, offered me the use of his own wheelchair. The first thing I noticed was the loss of independence and control I felt. From now on, what had been habitually automatic, would no longer be possible, my needs would be delivered by someone else. At the bus stop we were reminded how long everything takes in a wheelchair: three buses went by before we could get on one, the single wheelchair space available on each already occupied by buggies or a person with a physical disability. Once we reached central Edinburgh, the surrounding beauty and heritage paled into insignificance, as I realised what a difficult place it is for people with physical disabilities to get around in. Steps, of course, are impossible. Stunning and ancient architecture does not lend itself well to the wheelchair... So we went to Princes Mall. After four attempts - because the lift doors kept shutting too quickly – we finally got into the lift. Imagine, as Jimmy often does, that you had an important meeting and you couldn’t even get into the lift? Everything must be meticulously planned well in advance in order for him to honour his commitments. In one shop, someone said to the person supporting me, “Could you move her please?” After that comment, being bumped several times by a fellow customer’s suitcase did not seem to matter much! The blow was softened by the warmth of the check out staff. Little kindnesses...I must add that I was noticeably calmer and passive in these situations than I ever would have been in my role as Jimmy’s support worker. In that role, I feel strong emotions when a perceived injustice occurs. Whereas in my temporary role as Jimmy, I subconsciously reacted as he would - allowing such events to wash over him, in the deeper knowledge that there are more important causes to fight for. Our next stop was Waverley station, since Jimmy spends much of his time travelling to meetings by train. We booked tickets for Haymarket only to be told when we reached the departure platform that our destination station was not wheel chair accessible! The station manager arrived within minutes and radioed a taxi for us, a generous yet fair gesture, given that we had THEleItHer.BIZ

bought our tickets in good faith. Getting into said taxi proved difficult, two parallel ramps are used, and if they are not lined up precisely with the chair’s wheels, it becomes an impossible task. The way the driver referred to me during this operation did not improve matters, and my feelings of being objectified began to return. However the same taxi driver did regard as scandalous the difficulties Haymarket station presented to people with disabilities, and I wholeheartedly agreed. I have since been informed that refurbishments to the station are not scheduled before 2020, until which time this problem will remain an obstacle to travel in and out of Edinburgh for many disabled people.

JImmy’s is the ultiMate story of a Multitude of negatives turned into bright, shining, positives. What did I learn? How to prioritise information verbally. Activities like shopping, going to the toilet, or crossing the road, are fraught with potential obstacles, rather challenges, to be overcome in twice the allotted time. Being treated with respect and dignity? This ran the gamut from being stared at, ignored, and spoken to through the person supporting me, to acts of extraordinary kindness, which will stay with me forever...Greater still, a deep respect for Jimmy and his work, despite everything that stands in his path, and a renewed passion for writing about his life in order to share it with others. An enhanced understanding of the issues which may present difficulties to wheelchair users and how these may be overcome. Lastly, relationships with others are what matter most in life. Which is to say, the ability to be able to pass on information, through no matter what medium, is essential. Jimmy, through his life’s work for people who are institutionalised, has proved, time and again, that he is the best, most compassionate, communicator of all.

IssUe 52 >PAGE 15


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Book now for the Cock and Bull Story a new play directed by Liam Rudden, playing from Tuesday 9th June for 5 nights. Limited tickets - get yours now to avoid disappointment. Fully licensed with free WiFi Available for private hire (from baby shower to retirement party) 36 Bernard Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6PR tel: 0131 553 7046 web: email: PAGE 18 < IssUe 52


The Alan Breck Lounge

carolyn Mckerracher tells us that spring has sprung and that a certain little festival is just around the corner. that Would be...leith festival 2009! Spring is in the air, the blossom is blooming and another giant Leith-love-in is just around the corner... Yes, the Festival is here again. It’s over a hundred years since the first ‘Leith Pageant’ parade took place in 1907, to raise money for a new Hospital. The Hospital may now be gone, but the Festival has grown and now boasts over 150 events in more than 40 venues – all within a mile of the foot of Leith Walk. This year is going to be even bigger and better. All the old favourites will be there – the concert Under Junction Bridge, the Tattoo, and, of course, the Gala Day and Pageant. Leith Festival has long prided itself on being open to friends both old and new, from Leith and far beyond. This year the Festival, as ever, will be a celebration of multi-cultural diversity. Leith is an ancient port which has always welcomed seafarers, but nowadays we welcome people from all walks of life, and all parts of the globe, particularly those who choose to make their home here. This microcosm of world culture will be brought to us by a range of international and local talent, Who will celebrate everything from music, art, photography and dance, to food and drink. Local councillor Gordon Munro, who is the Chair of the Festival, told The Leither, “Leith Festival is a local Festival with a global outlook - and a unique ethos. It’s the most popular and affordable Festival in Edinburgh, particularly with Leithers and the people of Edinburgh. The Festival touches all aspects of community life and represents all of Leith.” John-Paul McGroarty, artistic director of Leith Festival continued, “We’re not a community Festival, we’re a Festival in the community. As Irvine Welsh put it, ‘It’s like the Fringe used to be. It’s got street cred’.” This year, there are over 100 bands, many of whom will be broadcast on Leith FM, 40 comedians, numerous theatre and dance productions and a strong literature and spoken word stream, which takes place in a picturesque setting upstairs at the Raj. Many of the events are free, making the Festival accessible to everyone. Look out for next month’s Leither, when we’ll select some highlights. Meantime, pick up a programme today and start browsing.

Elaine, Derek and the girls invite you to a family run pub in Leith... “...with a little help from our friends.”

Any angels out there willing to support t. 0131 555 4104 w.


The Alan Breck Lounge 159 Constitution Street, Leith. Tel. 0131 467 2581 IssUe 51 > PAGE 19 IssUe 52 > PAGE 19

food review



taPas: - sMall dishes served With a drink.

if you are invited out for tapas Whilst in spain it Will generally Mean going froM bar to bar enjoying a drink With friends and, usually, one sMall tapas in each place. venturing out to eXperience spanish tapas here in scotland tends to involve finding one good tapas restaurant, and staying put until you are satisfyingly full. the dileMMa is there are quite a feW in edinburgh, and Whilst soMe are definite hits, offering up the real spain, there are a couple of Misses. PAGE 20 < IssUe 52


taPa barra y restaUrante Wishart’s Warehouse 19 shore place t. 0131 476 6776

bIll for two: £40.70 food: £29.75 (siX tapas) wIne: £10.95 (house White) sCore: 18/20 (based on great value for Money, lovely décor, great aMbience, WelcoMing staff, and soMe nice Wee touches - the basket of bread is free, coMpliMentary liqueurs, and the vases full of red roses in the ladies loo!) THEleItHer.BIZ

Tapa Barra y Restaurante, located on Shore Place in Leith, has recently opened. The editor crashed the opening night, and raved about the Flamenco dancing chef as well as the flowing wine and tapas. Owner Robert Scobie was actually involved in two of the city’s better-known tapas restaurants, Tapas Tree and Tapas Ole, before heading down-under to Western Australia with his wife Kate and young family. They then worked their way back to Edinburgh via Spain, to top up their knowledge of what constitutes the best tapas. So, my friend Sarah and I were hopeful it would be a hit, rather than a miss Things got off to a very good start when we walked through the door. Robert, we assumed, gave us a big smile from behind the bar, as did the other waiting staff as we were shown to our table. The décor was warm and inviting, two large canvases adorned the wall on either side of a very grand fireplace. The small bar area had an impressive array of bottles, as well as a shelf of large glass sweetie jars, full to the brim with colourful lollipops and other such kiddie delights. As in Spain, families are very welcome. The menu was not as complicated or verbose as some tapas restaurants tend to be – with a manageable number of dishes placed under the various headings of, meat, fish, vegetable, and world fusion tapas. We recognised a few of the staples you would expect to see, ‘patatas bravas’ and ‘Spanish tortilla’ but there were also a few more interesting sounding dishes so we agreed to pick a mixture of both. We chose three tapas each to remember, as it can be tricky trying to relay it back to the waiter, and chose another for good measure. The waitress actually recommended that we just take the six for now. How very honest of her, we thought, and she was absolutely right. Six ended up being plenty.

We had the following tapas: Croquetas de Jamon y Queso – ham and cheese croquettes served with garlic mayo (£4.00). A generous portion of plump crunchy pillows, full of gooey hot cheese and smokey flavoured ham, was deemed a success by both of us. Alongside, we kept picking up slices of Embutidos del Casa – a selection of Spanish cured meats served with manchego cheese (£7.50) – It was all presented on a wooden chopping board along with marinated olives, and was great value. The meats included, as you’d expect, thick slices of spicy chorizo, and melt in the mouth serrano ham. The manchego cheese was wonderfully creamy and complemented the other stronger flavours. The Gambas Pil Pil – prawns in spicy olive oil (£5.50), was our least favourite dish, which surprised both of us, as this was the one we’d been most looking forward to. We had expected larger prawns, but we couldn’t really moan about the portion size. We were served with a sizzling plate full of succulent little morsels, in a delicious sauce. The negative comment being that we felt the prawns were a little too fishy - for our palates anyway. The vegetable options included the Esparragos y Pimientos a la Plancha con Queso - basically asparagus and Spanish peppers grilled with cheese (£4.85). This was a scrummy dish, the bitterness of the asparagus offset by the sweetness of the peppers and the savoury cheese. The star of the veggie dishes had to be the Berengenas Sofia – which, in Spanish, doesn’t give too much away...It’s actually baked aubergine with a tomato and herb compote, served with cheese (£4.25). The portion, again, was very generous, and this was a dish we could easily have eaten a lot more of. The Ensaladilla Rusa was the simplest thing we sampled. It was more of a side dish than a stand-alone tapas - a traditional Spanish-Russian salad (£4.25), of finely chopped potatoes, carrots and peas, in a light mayonnaise. All of this was washed down with a perfectly chilled bottle of house white (£10.95). Desserts were offered, and they all sounded very tempting, from traditional Spanish Crème Caramel to Dark Chocolate Torte, but we were simply too full. Instead we enjoyed complimentary liqueurs – we chose the one that is used in the Crème Caramel – it tasted a little like Bailey’s Irish Cream. It finished off the meal perfectly. Despite the non-appearance of the Flamenco dancing chef, I think we can safely say that our Spanish experience was most definitely a hit.

IssUe 52 > PAGE 21

eat: leith carine seitz shares her interest in food using produce found in and around leith. this Month, a coMMon cold has her self-Medicating With the best in seasonal produce. There seems to be a law set in stone by the Powers That Be which dictates thus: as soon as the sun maketh an appearance in the sky, Carine must be struck down with an annoying cold. Every year. Perhaps it can be attributed to the change in temperature (not exactly tropical) or rather an increase in time spent sitting shivering outside bars. Either way – my throat is killing me and I can’t stop coughing. The point is, while everyone else is flinging themselves half naked onto the nearest patch of grass I’m still wearing a woolly scarf. Last week I wore two coats. At the same time. I’m a firm believer that the food you choose to put into you has a direct impact on the well being of your body and mind. If I’m feeling run down I’m more likely to head for the larder than reach for the medicine cabinet, and so it was that I found myself concerned with soup making the other day. One of my favourite things about this time of year is the availability of wild garlic. Wild garlic leaves - or ramsons - are long and glossy and look similar to that of Lily of the Valley, though eating the poisonous latter isn’t to be recommended as this can apparently lead to death. Lovely. It’s fair to say I’m a massive fan of garlic at any time of year but the wild variety in particular has a lovely mild flavour that lends itself well to being used raw as well as in cooking. Last year I celebrated it’s all-to-short season by consuming pretty much my body weight in the stuff, and the memory of a wild garlic pesto which rendered me very happy indeed has lasted ever since. It’s well documented that garlic has a myriad of health benefits, not least for your heart. Allicin - the compound which gives it it’s pungent flavour - has an ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and offers protection against strokes. Research has also shown that garlic can help prevent and lessen the severity of a common cold, and what’s more, if you have already fallen prey, eating garlic means you’re more likely to make a speedy recovery. In my book, this is almost worth catching a cold for in the first place. Also in season right now is parsley: rich in antioxidants, packed with vitamin C, full of flavour and really delicious paired with garlic. Can you see where this is going? Parsley and wild garlic soup may sound somewhat pungent, but the cooking softens the flavours and an aromatic bowl of delicate green soup is the result. The wild garlic pesto served with it gives it a fragrant kick. Trust me, if you like garlic, you’ll love this. I dragged my disease-ridden body to Valvona and Crolla where the wild garlic is supplied by Phantassie Farm in East Lothian, and emptied the shelf (I know, I can’t help myself), then headed down to Tattie Shaws. This little shop is brilliant and inexpensive - as is Fruit Heaven on Great Junction Street - both better stocked than any supermarket and worth your support as independent Leith traders. PAGE 22 < IssUe 52


ed wIt lIC soUP serv r a g d Il w d n Parsley a 4) esto (serves P IC l r a g d Il w For the soup: knob of butter 2 medium sized onions, chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped 1 litre vegetable stock (I like Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon) 50g - 60g parsley, roughly chopped 50g - 60g wild garlic, roughly chopped For the pesto: 50g – 60g wild garlic leaves, washed, dried, stems cut off pine nuts parmesan olive oil


In a pot, melt the butter over a medium heat and gently sweat the onions and garlic with the lid on, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes or until softened. Do not allow to colour. Add the potato and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for around 40 minutes. Meanwhile, using a pestle and mortar (or food processor if you’re feeling lazy), pound the wild garlic leaves for the pesto until your olfactory senses are given a right old treat. Add pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil, tasting as you go along until you are happy with the consistency and flavour. If you do decide to make this – and I really hope you do – this is the point at which you swoon and thank me because you’ve made enough for leftovers. Add the parsley and wild garlic to the soup pot, cook for a further minute or two until wilted. Remove from heat and blend. Season to taste and serve with the pesto drizzled over the top.

asParagUs Something else with all-to-short a season is British asparagus. The first spears make an appearance at the end of April, but with the season lasting only eight weeks you need to make the most of it while you can. If you’re used to eating imported asparagus out of season you’re in for a treat. Blanched, griddled, used in risottos and soups, paired with goat’s cheese or even as a change from toast soldiers with soft boiled eggs, you’ll be blown away by the sweet full flavour of the home-grown variety.

dId yoU know? Scientists still aren’t 100% clear as to why, after eating asparagus, our urine takes on it’s odour. Nice!

loUIse storIe finally goes through that rite of passage Which is...dancing on the bar in the port o’ leith

i danced on the bar in the


Yep. It’s true, though ‘Coyote Ugly’ it was not. Only ten minutes into the place, and I was being lifted up on to the bar to join my dancing partner, a very gracious young man who was more than happy to show me the ropes. He was obviously a pro. This was clear from his dance moves and the total lack of embarrassment he showed in dancing with a giddy 40 year old, who’d had one margarita too many. It had to be done though. A right of passage for newcomers to Leith you could say, or at least that was my excuse when Norman mentioned it to my folks around the dinner table on Easter Sunday! The respectable, older daughter who only ever has one or two glasses of wine when she visits, dancing on bar tops, surely not? The Port O’ Leith, as many of you will know, is a bar with a huge personality. Well known on the Leith drinking circuit, for its eclectic mix of clientele, its quirky, nautical décor and its very relaxed approached to bar dancing (as long as it’s at the right end of the bar, as I soon discovered). I first learned of this very peculiar Leith ritual when a friend of mine arrived in Carriers Quarters one evening with her arm in a stookie, having slipped and fallen whilst attempting to dance on the bar. The evident dangers involved did enter my mind, as I twirled under the young man’s arm for the third time, sensing Norman down below, taking pics with his i-phone - no doubt blackmail material for later. Slipping down from the bar top - none to gracefully, once the song was over- I turned into a garrulous ‘mine host’. Yakking away to all and sundry. A few others ended up dancing after my feeble attempt. I’d like to think that I made the average punter realise they too could be a bar dancer for the night. I eventually rejoined Norman and Niall, still strangely pleased with myself for acting on impulse. Mind you, I wasn’t feeling quite so pleased with myself when I woke up the following day, funny how that always seems to happen…Oh and I deleted the evidence from Norman’s phone - being an early riser does have its advantages. Still, at least I can say I’ve done it. I’ve danced on the bar in the Port O’ Leith. Not sure how I top that, break dancing at Ocean Terminal? Maybe not...I think I’ll keep my feet firmly on the ground for the time being. IssUe 52 > PAGE 23

laIrd’s larder sUmmer salad

Hello Ma Wee Muckers, It’s getting tae the salad days, which reminds me, ma wee pal Luke Deakin goat his self a wee joab in the supermarket stockin up the shelves. Yin day a wifey says tae him like this, “ah want a half lettuce.” Luke says “we dinnae dae half lettuces.” So the auld girl asked tae see the manager. Luke, polite is ye like, fir he’s well kent fir his politeness, says “I’ll ging and try and find him madam” When he goat the manager Luke chipped in wi, “there’s a silly auld battleaxe oot there wantin half a lettuce.” Whit he didnae ken wis the wifey wis right behind him. Quick is a flash Luke says, “and this lovely lady wid like the ither half!” So here’s a nice wee salad tae hae before yir main scran. Wit yi’ll need is: A nice cos lettuce 4 slices o’ smoked streaky bacon - cooked till crisp A haundfi o’ pine nuts - toasted fir twa minutes Toss the loat wi olive oil and lemon juice Top wi a few shavings ay the auld parmagiano And away yis go! By the by, whit aboot yon Jamie Oliver cryin his new bairn Petal Blossom? I’ve been crying Adele, mah florist - who has Petals On The Shore - my little Petal Blossom fir years. Jamie, if yir listenin, yir bang oot ay order fir nickin mah patter. Whit a pukkar… All the best ind Ching Ching! The Laird PS. Am awae tae Barcelona so expect something continental fae The Laird next month!

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Spring is the perfect time to start a fitness programme. The days are long, the weather mild, and people naturally feel like being more active. THEleItHer.BIZ

Want to be healthy? Don’t know where to start? This column will hopefully show you how, and how to do it on your doorstep. As a Personal Trainer living and working in Leith, I am delighted to share some of my favourite hints with Leither readers. This idea was born from a regular half-hour segment broadcast on Leith FM at 3pm on the first Monday of every month. Rocca Gutteridge and I chat about realistic ways of getting fit locally. So here is ‘Healthy Living in Leith’ - the text version! Spring is the perfect time to start a fitness programme. The days are long, the weather mild, and people naturally feel like being more active. To get started, all you need to do is get outside and move a little faster than usual. For example, if you wander up the Walk to get to work (or even down it), try walking a little faster. You need to get your heart rate to the point where you feel slightly puffed. Ideally you want to have your heart rate elevated to the ‘slightly puffed, but still able to talk’ level for at least 30 minutes continuously, at least three times per week. This means if your walking commute is only 20 minutes long, you may need to add a bit onto it, or take a detour, a few times a week. Leith Links is a fabulous space - the birthplace of golf (take that, St Andrews) - is also over one mile around it’s perimeters, 1.55 miles (2.5 km) to be precise. My suggestion to the budding runners amongst you, is to start at a fast walk to warm up, then jog/walk alternately between the street-light poles. In sports speak this is called interval training, where you push yourself, then let your heart rate recover between bouts of effort. You will be able to manage longer distances if you vary your speed (and therefore burn more calories). Pilrig Park is another good jogging park and a very manageable half a mile round. Do a few laps around and say hello to the friendly dog walkers. The more folk who use parks the safer they become. I like to stop at the top of the hill near Balfour House and use the ‘buckfast bench’ for press ups and tricep dips and even a bit of stretching. Running is not the only way to get fit. Pop on down to the recently refurbished Leith Victoria Swim Centre off Great Junction Street and enjoy a workout in the water. Leith Victoria is one of the friendliest pools around. I’ve taught aqua aerobics there and the class is always a great laugh and good workout. They also have ‘female only’ time on a Monday evening if you’re a little shy. Exercise in water is easy on the joints and highly recommended for pregnant ladies, elderly folk and those recovering from injuries. If you’ve got wee ones, take them for a treat to Waterworld - open weekends and school holidays – which is practically guaranteed to wear them out! See www. for info on both facilities. My personal favourite way of keeping in shape is commuting by bike. Cycling avoids the dreaded road works and is free - once you’ve got a bike. It is also carbon neutral and, as an added bonus, gives you a nice ass. Richard at Leith Cycle Co on the corner of Balfour Street, will hire you a bike, service your old one, or sell you a reasonably priced new one. A good, flat, and traffic free route, is along the cycle path from The Shore to Cramond. Buy a Spokes map, either from Leith Cycle Co, or online at and discover Edinburgh’s hidden paths. Above all enjoy! Tracy IssUe 52 > PAGE 25


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Competition Winner: Martyn Arnold PAGE 26 < IssUe 52


Italian Restaurant

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Take-away menu: any standard pizza or pasta £4.00 (telephone orders welcome) Lunch menu: Monday to Friday - 2 course £7.95 Kids menu | Group bookings | Daily catch fish menu | Live music - Mon & Tues Outside catering: Weddings | Corporate events | Buffets | BBQ’s

crossword no 27 Supplied by:

across 1 9 10 11 12 13 15 18 19 21 23 26 27 28

Lock changer (6,3,6) Bad spring ale causes return of ill health (9) Piece of land that car came back in road race (5) Why shy REM make poetry (6) Annual yoke with boar perhaps (8) You lose ring very softly that is to become an upwardly mobile young man (6) What happens to chair is an American saying (4,2,2) Smashed TET offensive in naked surroundings (8) Hymn I got for old coins (6) Became heated with article I won chess game with (8) Specific loch for trout (6) It belongs to Reith, rambling (5) Wild revel with mood swings on cycle track (9) Strangely mini-sub sees gent having the need for this (8,7)

Show left fish (7) Railway ends without everyone in race (5) Pix, Eve let out oath (9) Enthusiastic boy tops himself (4) Comic verse lodger e.g. out (8) Bury short season (5) Cafe solo, not! (3,3,3) Recaptured rank, tee off (7) Beauty loses right to be mean (9) Blade instrument in plant (5,4) Cheats month that is back with five points (8) Lucky dip that Bob ran tube through (4,3) The lettuce that sank the Titanic (7) Island sweater (5) Dressing for oil spill on main road (5) Primary shack lying under Manila found here (4)











down 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 14 16 17 18 20 22 24 25







17 19







25 27



Crossword prize: Dinner for two

answers: crossword 26 1

Last months winner Julie Sutherland Gilmerton. Send or email your answers to the The Leither 35 Tower Street Leith EH6 7BN


D E L E E R 9 I N T E L O 11 L I N E E 13 14 R A B B A 18 V O C A E K 21 R O L L T I 26 I N G L G H 28 O N T H




R I U M T R N E H S T I N E E T L 12 R S T A I K V 15 I T D E V 17 S C S 19 T I O N R S C 23 22 A W A Y U 25 R C A 27 E O B S T T L H E W A T E R




E M E N S T E X 10 P A S T A E E Y L E N D S T O 16 O T I O N A T 20 H A L O M I E 24 R C H A N H E D A C L E S L L E F R O N T

1 Commercial Street, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JA Tel. 0131 554 5272 THEleItHer.BIZ

IssUe 52 > PAGE 27

wHat’s on in leith Sofi’s Bar 65 Henderson Street t: 0131 555 7019 Mon: Film Night 8pm Last Mon of the month: Scottish - Swedish Society Knitting Nights: last Tues of the month 4th June: Catriona Cambell Exhibition.

entertainment Carrier’s Quarters 42 Bernard Street t: 0131 554 4122 Thurs: Live Music Sun: 6.30pm Jammie Devils. Espy 62/64 Bath Street, Portobello e: Mon: Poker night 8th May: East of Memphis 15th May: The Pygmies of Jazz 8.30pm 29th May: Espy Birthday Party 12noon. (Wizard of Oz/Australia) 4th June: Maria Falconer 5pm - 7.30pm Photography exhibition. Guilty Lily 284 Bonnington Road t: 0131 554 5824 Tues: Poker night starts 8pm Open Mic. Night: 1st Wed. of each month Every Sunday: Roast Dinner from 1pm, D.J.Nikki from 4-7pm, Quiz starts 8.30pm. Renroc Café 91 Montgomery Street t: 0131 556 0432 Tuesday Film Night: starts 7.30pm Sat : Live Jazz Nevo Health & Relaxation Tues: Spiritualist readings. Victoria Bar 265 Leith Walk t: 0131 555 1638 16 May: The Big Eurovision Party 6pm.

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Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk t: 0131 553 5900 13 May: Exhibition Opening with Suzanne from Eero & Riley. Joseph Pearce’s Bar 23 Elm Row t: 0131 556 4140 Tues: Jogging Club 7pm-8pm The Bowler’s Rest Mitchell Street. t: 0131 554 4524 1st Thurs of the month: Open song and music sessionat 9.30pm. Roseleaf 23/24 Sandport Street t: 0131 476 5268 9 May: Europe Day - a little taster of some European delicacies. 21 May: National Waiters Day!! The Village South Fort Street t: 0131 478 7810 Leith Folk Club w: 12 May: Homecoming String Band (£6) 19 May: Kirsty McGee & Matt Martin 26 May to 2 June: Music Routes Festival Featuring Laura Cortese, Two Man Gentleman Band, Tom Hingley, Fribo, Stringjammer, Malinkey, Lori Watson & the Rule of Three and the Jamie Smith Band. Starts 7.30pm. The Shore Bar The Shore t: 0131 553 5080 Tues: Infinite Trio 9.30pm Wed: Folk Session 9.30pm Thur: Classical Guitar 7pm Sun: Kenny Ellis Jazz Duo 1-4pm.

Iso Bar 7 Bernard Street t: 0131 467 8904 Thurs: The Leith Tape Club 8pm. Oceana Bar 145 Ferry Road t: 0131 553 3009 Fri: Karaoke 7.30pm Sat: Open Mic. 7.30pm Sun: Open Mic. 5pm The Three Monkeys High Street, Portobello w: 9 May: Urban Poets 16 May: Rag Doll 23 May: Doc Rodent 30 May: Martyn Rapely All bands free entry & play between 9.30pm till midnight.

the arts Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop 25 Hawthornvale, Newhaven t: 0131 551 4490 Found : artist collective/experimental pop band. In residence at E.S.W. till 30th June. Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street t: 0131 555 7101 w: 9 May: Bruncheon, 11.30-3pm Brunch and live music event. 30 May: The Bavarian Tradition Show Songs, Beer and Yodelling. 13 May-15 May: Charity Event- Prospect Bank Exhibition, Auction and Screening. 16 May-17 May: Weekend Aerial Workshop with Lucy Loop - Trapeze, Silks & Rope work. Info & bookings: 30 May-31May: Dancing In & Out of Contact - Weekend Workshop. Weekly Classes: Drama, Dance, Youth Theatre, Yoga, Martial Arts, Belly Dancing & Life Drawing. Check website for details of classes.


Henderson Gallery 4 Thistle Street Lane t: 0131225 7464 Elph v’s burns: Urban Art Exhibition 2 May - 6 June.

Leith Festival 5th - 14th June Gala Day Parade: 13th June The theme this year is “the colours of Leith”.

Siege Perilous @ The GRV 37 Guthrie Street, EH1 1JG t: 0131 554 3005 w: 19-24 May: Double bill of plays written by Cormac Quinn, “Still” and “Signs of Life”. Starts at 8pm. Tickets £5.

Ramsay Cornish 15/17 Jane Street. t: 0131 553 7000 Traditional Lane Sale - Thurs 11am General Household Auction - Sat 11am.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR w: 11-16 May: Through Stranger Eyes: Stories of Travel.

community Mark Lazarowicz MP for Edinburgh North & Leith holds regular “advice surgeries” for local residents every Friday. t: 0131 557 0577 w:

Friarwood Fine Wines Commercial Street. t: 0131 554 4159 Free Wine Tasting. Fri 4.30pm & Sat all day. Red Eye Film Club Pilmeny Youth Club, 44 Buchanan Street. Ist Friday of the month till 7th Aug. Socialist & Radical Film-making. More info, e: Fort Co-op At Fort Primary School ,every Tues 9am-12 noon t: 0131 467 7326

Malcolm Chisholm MSP for Edinburgh North & Leith. Advice Surgeries every Saturday morning t: 0131 558 8358.

Medieval Fair South Leith Parish Church Grounds Sat 23 May: Stalls, Falconry & Heraldry 10am till 2pm

Leith Community Centre Kinsfolk Carers drop-in support group. Thursday 10am-noon Crèche & Café available. t: 07990795635.

Prospect Bank School Fundraising Event for a Soft Play Room. 14 May at Out of the Blue Drill Hall w:

Leith Library 28-30 Ferry Road t: 0131 529 5517 e: Computer Club - Under 13’s, Tues. 4-5pm Friday Craft Time - For ages 4 to 11, Fri. 2.30pm. For info on other clubs & events contact Leith Library. The Royal Yacht Britannia t: 0131 555 5566 w: The Royal Deck Restaurant is now open. South Leith Church Halls 6 Henderson Street t: 0131 554 2578 w: Computer classes: Mon afternoons & Tues evenings. Café opening times: Mon to Fri. 10am-2pm.


W: NE Deck l a nt Roy taura Res

Registered charity: SCO28070

Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ Tel: 0131 555 5566


Athlete’s Foot, Ingrown toe nails, corns, callous, thick nails, fungal infection, leg/foot pain At LG Beauty Clinic 15 Bernard St, Leith. 0131 467 7926

Royal Artizana 115 Leith Walk t: 0131 555 3999 Furniture, jewellery & crafts created by local artists. Serving tea & coffee. 20% of net profit goes back to local charities. A community shop. Fast Forward 4 Bernard Street t: 0131 554 4300 e: 19 May: Charity event at the Stand Comedy Club to raise money for the volunteer team at Fast Forward. The team travel all over Scotland promoting health & well being through education to young people.

Bagelfish is a unique, fresh faced look at design in Edinburgh.

We offer a hands on approach and a face to face service, aiming to build a lasting relationship. designers of the leither t. 0131 553 3773 w.

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ask astrogIrl it’s all in the stars!

arIes: Mar 21 - apr 20 With both ambitious Mars, your ruling planet, and seductive Venus in Aries, you are golden this month. There is not much you can’t do.The Sun continues to highlight your solar second house of income, while the Moon reflects clarity regarding work matters in early May. What’s easy to take for granted may not always be standing before you. Hope and heart increase, bringing rewards for taking action now. On May 16th, Saturn goes direct, stabilising your efforts. You may have to wade through piles of desires to make an important choice with the inspiration of the New Moon beginning May 24th.

leo: jul 24 - aug 23 With creative Pallas Athene in your solar twelfth house, ideas and plans are cooking in the quiet recesses of your mind. Projects you’ve already brought to light may experience change and new avenues this month. A special blend of Mars and Venus ensures they will be high profile. Stability, security, and loving warmth are all qualities to be found with this placement. The focus right now is on family and community ties - ones that previously had heralded a less enticing format of schedules. You’re able to remain at the helm, yet hold a relaxed hand on the steering wheel. It’s a pace of comfort you deserve.

sagIttarIUs: nov 23 - dec 22 When you’re a Sagittarius, a lot of things come your way. Sometimes, too many. And then things seem complicated, because they all require your time and attention. Which to choose? Right now, Saturn pushes you to consider a longterm path that appears to offer security. Dream away this month, but don’t leave yet. Day trips to beautiful locations become more inspirational, your musical and healing abilities expand, and you may meet a new friend who speaks with the tender compassion of an angel. Take care to get your work done and be gentle with yourself.

taUrUs: apr 20 - May 21 Ruled by Venus, your life must be comfortable, whatever the circumstances. You can prove you’re able to live a spartan life, but why not leave that to the Capricorns? As Mercury retrogrades into Taurus on May 13th, opportunities that seemed incompatible with other aspects of your life may now be integrated. If someone offers to take you to dinner, or make your life beautiful in some way, it’s meant for you to enjoy. Someone has a crush on you, and are hoping you’ll react in a similar manner. The New Moon brings changes beginning May 24th.

vIrgo: aug 24 - sept 23 What is set in stone gets un-set. That’s the delight of living with the vast consequences of sudden change. It’s the little things that set off big reactions. As a Virgo, you are an expert at details. You may not always like seeing the fine print and tiny imperfections, but face it - you’ve got a gift. Enjoy the appreciation coming your way. The exceptional discerning mind which is your forte sees possibilities still abounding in a current financial situation. The extreme corrections felt acutely around the world won’t happen again until September, so breathe easy for now..

CaPrICorn: dec 23 - jan 20 Deep recesses are penetrated by light and feeling this month. Thoughts you saw floating by now ask for more attention. Pluto in your Sign wants you to consider building a foundation that lasts. Whether it’s for love, home, work, or play, a restorative financial plan is imminent. Mars and Venus at home bring out your domestic goddess and warlord. Saturn moves direct on May 16th, stabilising your sector of longdistance travel. Mercury, ruling thoughts and communication, is retrograde until May 30th, asking you to reassess an important situation.

gemInI: May 2 - jun 21 There’s nothing a Gemini likes better than witty repartee or a flight out of town. Of course, the two together would be a delight to the spark-chasing Twins. Have you noticed unusual power plays? As these are early days for this kind of change, what you see before you may not be your first choice. Aspects of what you hope for may combine with elements that need to be thinned out. Mars and Venus connect with a bang this month. Freeing up your energies is all to the good. Light is yours to enjoy, whether it’s internal combustion, or soirees and romance. CanCer: jun 22 - jul 23 Mars and Venus glide in each others’ airstream this month. You may find yourself enticed by someone with an unconventional streak, who captures both your eye and your imagination. They’re in your sector of career and public standing. Part of you may feel impatient for an outcome, while another part needs time to assimilate these changes. Being comfortable is a key feature in determining your best choices for the future. Clear communication is important, but not as vital as the waves of instinct. Domestic bliss begins May 25th. Quiet participation is your strength.

lIbra: sept 24 - oct 23 Venus, your ruling planet, blends with action-oriented Mars this month. Relationships take on a keener pace and you may be invited to dinner or to a beautiful home. Temptation arises to encourage social conversations with remarkable flair, as the flirtatious Libran Moon brings out the gleam in your eye. Watch for orbiting satellites in the form of sexy admirers and new best friends. You may feel you’re walking upon a tightrope of stability, with each step worth considering. This is a dynamic period in which to experience their energies and effects. sCorPIo: oct 24 - nov 22 Although all bits of life are not easily balanced during these times, there is a counterpart in the heavens. And a reason. Mars and Venus are in your solar sixth house of work and health. This is an auspicious pairing, they encourage you to improve and beautify your life. Do you sometimes wonder why you can’t just let the past go? But what if everything that exists is a form of love, whether it’s light or dark, solid or ethereal? What happened before is still real, transformed into the love that becomes you.

aQUarIUs: jan 21 - feb 19 There’s nothing like an Aquarian finding a rainbow in the middle of a thunderstorm. If you felt a bit neglected earlier this year, this current configuration of planets restores your confidence. Staying on top of career matters, as Saturn moves direct May 6th, brings introductions and results. There’s good news - expansive Jupiter in your Sign sticks around all year, so you really can count on more episodes to present themselves. This is true whether it’s romance, finance, or a home you’re hoping for. The New Moon May 24th brings confirmation of this. PIsCes: feb 20 - Mar 21 Believing in miracles is worth your time this month. The gaps in financial stability appear larger. Things may seem fine, the next day the bottom has dropped out, and then by the end of the month, all is well. Of course, your ability to visualise a strong outcome encourages positive results. Confidence comes from a recent experience, knowing you have good friends. You may need time in natural surroundings, as the center core of your being needs tender care and healing. Venus and Mars in your money house keep you focused. Love is coming - in a very original package. © AstroGirl 2009

a leItHer… beHavIng badly - agaIn

…In london

so, tHe fUnny tHIng aboUt CelIbaCy? When it’s unofficial (i.e. When you’re just having a bit of a drought), it’s a daMn sight easier to stick to. conversely, When you have Made the voW publicly to nuMerous actual people. (i say nuMerous in the hope that More than just My MuM read this coluMn. hi MuM). it suddenly becoMes Much More of a challenge. no sooner had i hit send on the eMail containing last Month’s coluMn (the one With the brave assertion that i had transforMed into a beacon of virginity), than teMptation arrived on My doorstep.literally. Since moving into my lovely new home back in January, the house next door has been sitting empty but the other weekend, all of a sudden, there came the distinct sound of someone tramping up and down the stairs heaving boxes. A new arrival in our hood. “Ooh new neighbours!” I proclaim excitedly to my housemate Johnny. “Yeah, I met them earlier and you’ll be pleased to hear it’s three boys - one of whom is apparently just back from touring with his band.” Potential Hot Indie Boy next door - amazing. Fast forward a few hours, I’m leaving the house to meet Liv for lunch and bump into said HIB on the doorstep. “Oh hi, I’m X, I just moved in ne….” he trails off... and we both look at each other incredulously.Turns out i’ve met this particular HIB before. In fact the last time I saw him, we were pretty much in a liplock for the entire evening. Afterwards there was some flirtatious texting but given the fact he lived up North, it seemed pointless to start anything up. I knew I’d see him again at some point as he’d just signed to my friend’s record label - but I wasn’t quite expecting to see him directly outside my front door. “Hi X, this is a bit of a coincidence,” I manage, as a flush creeps up his neck - shy boy this one. “Hi Carrie, I had no idea you lived here. This is mad.” Indeed it is, I think. Approximately 2 minutes of awkward conversation ensues before I make my excuses and we both turn to leave, with stunned smiles frozen on our faces. Since then, I have successfully managed to avoid bumping into him, but the knowledge that he could be lying in bed on the other side of the wall from where I lay my head, immediately unlocked the door in my mind that led to the kind of thoughts my vow of chastity was supposed to quell. ‘Well as long as I don’t act on them,’ I tell myself...before promptly going out and sleeping with the first man who chats me up. Whoopsadaisy. The result of that particular encounter was a plethora of embarrassing lovebites, a sore head, and the lingering worry that I may have acted like a wanton hussy (I can‘t be sure, as the old memory had been dulled into submission by a cocktail of white wine, brandy, and sambuca). One thing I was sure of - I had no idea what this man’s name was, I wanted him out of my bed sharpish, and I never wanted to lay eyes on him again. Of course, with my life being a ridiculous chain of embarrassing events, I inevitably bumped into him in the same bar just a few THEleItHer.BIZ

days later. Fortunately I know the bar manager…so I had him barred. Problem solved. Hoping this was simply a slip-up on my path to a virginal existence, I attempted another night of white wine induced drunkenness to test my mettle. To minimise the chance of bad behaviour on my part, I decided to make it a Thursday night out, hoping that the anticipation of work in the morning would stop me going too far. I took my mate Laura, who promised to ensure we remained civilised. Sadly, after the nth glass of cheap white wine, which they were proffering for free at the 1st birthday of my favourite Camden haunt, things began to go downhill. The process went roughly as follows: 9.30pm: Laura and I are approached by two young men asking for a light. 10pm: Laura and I decide party is lame and head to nearby bar with said young men. 10.30pm: Laura and I are aghast to discover young men are only 21, and still live with their parents. 11pm: Laura and I have a tequila and decide to relive our youth vicariously through them. 11.30pm: I am waltzed around a kebab shop, ending in a heap on the floor. 12am: We take a cab to one of the boy’s houses (or rather parent’s house). 12.30am: Boy breaks out vinyl collection and presence of Leonard Cohen album convinces me he is wise and mature beyond his years… 1am: …he may even be my soul mate. 2am: Laura passes out in the spare room after exhausting game of charades. 2.30am: Boy number two goes home, leaving me and boy number one to discuss the merits of Neil Young’s back catalogue. 3am: Boy tells me I am pretty. 3.15am: I’m pretty sure you can guess. 8.30am: “Oh holy crap, I start work in an hour and I have no idea where I am!” I’ve decided celibacy is like dieting - as soon as you decide to stop indulging, you want to stuff your face with cake. Clearly, neither are for me.

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Leither - 52  

For the second month in a row, your custodian managed toget blootered on sparkling wine, at the opening of the latestexhibition at Leith’s C...