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36 The Shore, Leith 0131 554 9260

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

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Leither Publishing William Gould: 07891560338 email: billy@leithermagazine.com Bagelfish Design: 0131 553 3773 email: hello@bagelfishdesign.co.uk Ryan McGoverne email: info@ryanmcgoverne.co.uk Jennifer Lawrie tel: 07908550118 email: theleither@orange.net 35 Tower Street, Leith EH6 7BN tel: 0131 554 2728 email: theleither@orange.net web: leithermagazine.com Gordon Riach Bernie Reid Photographs from LEITHAL IMAGES Exhibition: Boxers, Emily Majendie and Fundhu Mhura, photos by Scott Wilkins of Leith Community Learning & Development

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: theleither@orange.net

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kIdS - CUT OUT ANd kEEP!

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NOTES FROM Captains Courageous

It’s A Knockout – remember Stuart Hall’s hysterical laughter and the mud baths? – Is coming to Spartans FC at Ainslie Park on Sunday 2nd August. running from 11am till 3pm, there will be eight giant inflatable games and twelve teams will take part. CCLASP, a Leith based charity, have brought the old favourite north to raise monies for their (non – funded) work. CCLASP is a parent led voluntary organisation for families of kids with long term or incurable illnesses, offering advice and information on all aspects of caring for children with cancer or leukaemia. This is first hand support, as most of the staff are parents or relatives of kids who have or have had cancer. They run a drop in centre for families, and a helpline offering advice and support to over 500 parents, siblings, and the kids themselves. Every team will have a child as captain – captains courageous indeed – and anyone wishing to sponsor a child can do so for £250. You can also enter a team of ten for £500 or just turn up on the day, have fun, and donate. Whatever you do, please dig deep; this is a wonderful charity, devoted to a crucial and deserved cause. They provide holiday caravans and transport for critically ill kids, and fun days out, to take their minds of the treatments and operations. I was going to tell you about the new bespoke mini bus or the holiday cottage they are renovating but something else on their website caught my eye… ‘We try to organise dream come true trips where time is an important factor.’ Where time is an important factor…that stopped me in my tracks. Tel: 0131 467 7420 www.cclasp.net

Leith Victoria Amateur Boxing Club

The 90th Anniversary of Leith Victoria slipped under our radar; too busy watching Mogwai and The Twilight Sad. It shouldn’t have, it is the very epitome of a venerable old institution. Started by shipbuilders at Victoria Docks, in a wooden hut where Ocean Terminal now stands, it was originally for lunchtime keep fit sessions. The ablutions were performed at a trough of water outside. Our cover subject Emily and Fundo, on the contents page, both train at Leith Victoria’s current home on Academy Street. Fundo indeed was voted number one prospect in Britain at middleweight, until a genetically inherited corneal problem caused him to step down. He is now, we understand, back in full training. The club is the oldest in Scotland and many ‘bonnie Scottish fechters’ have pummelled the punch bag there. Johnny Hill, World Champion 1928 - who died of pneumonia on the day he was to defend his title, at the age of 23. James ‘Tancy’ Lee, and George Smith, who fought in the only fight where two different decisions were reached in the same fight, winning in three rounds then getting called back from the showers as the fight was meant to be over four rounds, and eventually losing. (He went on to referee Muhammad Ali v Henry Cooper.) Alex Arthur, World Champion 2008. Up to the present, where young Steven Simmons has won sponsorship to train with the British Olympic team. Women are welcome, as our cover attests. “Things can only get better,” says a gnarled old pugilist, a wicked twinkle in his eyes, and who are we to argue? LEITHERmAGAzinE.com

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I’ve had enough. That’s not something you’ll hear me saying very often, particularly when I’m propping up the bar in the Carriers Quarters along with the rest of the dyspeptic Leither crew. I used to think that I was letting our esteemed editor down by spending all my time (and no small amount of money) talking gibberish about football, food, films and well, you get the picture. But that was until I realised that said editor spent all of his time trawling the myriad watering holes in Leith talking gibberish about everything.

Protempore Anyway, I digress. I’ve had enough of people moaning. This is not a sudden revelation as I’ve always known that if there was a World Cup for moaning they would have had to scrap it, as we Scots would have retained the trophy time without number. Scots could moan any other nation on the face of the earth into submission. Take the weather. As you all know, there’s been a bit of a heat wave recently but on the east coast of Scotland we have had that well known weather phenomenon known as ‘the haar.’ Haar is actually a coastal fog which forms over the sea and is brought to shore by the wind. Now, rather than seeing it as a mystical and atmospheric natural phenomenon which sets our wee patch of land out as unique, we moan that it’s depressing and even more bizarrely, we go on and on about the rest of the country basking in glorious sunshine, particularly those twats at Wimbledon. I’ve got some news for you about ‘the country’ and it might come as something of a shock, so you better sit down. See that wee map that they show you on the telly when they’re telling you about the weather? It’s a fraud. ‘The country,’ i.e. the UK, isn’t flat, it actually curves from south to north because, and get this, the earth isn’t flat either. We’re further north than London so funnily enough we’re further away from the equator, so it’s LEITHERmAGAzinE.com

colder up here. What’s all this got to do with politics Protempore? I hear you cry. Well, we also like to moan about politics a lot and we like nothing more than taking a pop at Westminster politicians and how they control our affairs. Since devolution we’ve been taking control of a lot of our own affairs such as education, health, transport etc, and as far as I’m concerned, we’ve been making a pretty decent job of it. And the weather connection? Well there’s a wind blowing up here in Scotland and while it’s nothing more than a stiff breeze at the moment, it’s about time we found out which direction it’s going so that we can move forward without worrying about the haar which envelopes us. What am I talking about? Independence. Or not. There have been a couple of opinion polls recently on the independence issue and they make interesting reading. One showed that a majority (58%) of Scots wanted a referendum on independence to go ahead within the next year. Now that doesn’t mean that 58% of Scots want independence, they just want the chance to vote on it. This poses a problem for the opposition parties at Holyrood as they have already said that they will block any legislation on such a referendum. Where does this leave the SNP? Well, in a win-win situation really. If they bring forward that legislation and it does get blocked, then they can fight the

next Scottish election by saying that the opposition parties refused to give Scots the right to determine their own future. So how many Scots do want independence? Well that depends on which poll you read. One poll suggested that only 28% would vote for independence, while another showed that 46% favoured a break from the union. Some say that support for independence is growing while others say it’s falling. One thing is for sure, the entire issue is shrouded in uncertainty and confusion. Just when the skies seem to be clearing, in rolls the political haar and nobody really knows what they want or when they want it. So what to do? For everyone’s sake, and to alleviate the whining and moaning, let’s push all of the political parties to at least give everyone living in Scotland, not just Scots, the chance to have their voices heard and to clear the air. If we don’t we’ll be enveloped in that political haar for years to come. As Bob Dylan says, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

And remember, people don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy. Protempore ISSUE 54 >PAGE 5


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, smash. “Twinkle, twinkle, pouf smash.” Twinkle, twinkle, pouf,

It was 2:00am in the morning and Anna was lying in her bed awake. She was being troubled by strange noises coming from outside. It sounded like a fairy doing magic but that was impossible because there were no such thing as fairies. She opened her bedroom door The winner of Leith Fes tival C writing com petition, Maehildren’s because she decided to ve go and find out what was going on. She yanked on her wellies and pulled on her fleece. She opened the front door still pulling one of her wellies onto her bare foot. She walked slowly and carefully up to the hedge because there was a faint glow coming from it. Suddenly the glow jumped out the hedge and onto the grass. Anna was right, it was a fairy and it had long flowing blond hair, lovely golden wings, and a beautiful glittery blue dress. Anna was so surprised to see a fairy in her own garden. “What is your name?” asked Anna. “My name is Ella” said the fairy. Ella said to Anna that she needed help to find her spell book because she kept getting her spells wrong. They both went round the corner and Anna saw a magnificent unicorn. That would be their ride to Fairy Land. Anna was so excited to see and ride such a wonderful creature. When they got to Fairy Land, Anna had never seen anything more beautiful in her life. It was full of fairies just like Ella. They all looked the same but they all had their own differences. Some were wearing pink fluffy bobble hats. Some were wearing lovely green curly shoes. Anna was speechless for a while because she thought everything was so beautiful and peaceful. Ella said to Anna that because Anna had decided to help her, Ella would grant Anna a wish. Anna decided that her wish would be to have proper wings whenever she wanted. Ella promised to grant her the wish as long as she only used them on special occasions. When Ella granted the wish Anna felt very funny because she wasn’t used to wings. Ella decided to give Anna flying lessons, so every day they would go to the park and practice. By the first day Anna had already learnt how to keep her balance while flying. By the second day she had learnt how to fly properly and by the third day she could do tricks. Anna really liked her new wings because she had loads of fun with them. They were so delicate and beautiful. Anna was so pleased that she actually had real fairy wings. Ella was like a sister to Anna because she was so kind to her. When Anna was sad, Ella would cheer her up. They really got on very well because they both liked the same things... Please visit www.leithermagazine.com to read on.

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LAIRd’S LARdER CRISPY, CRUNCHY, GARLIC CHICKEN

Hullo there ma wee muckers! Wi aw they Michelins sloshing aroond Leith, somebody took it upoan themselves tae ask the Laird if he hud any…dinae worry, I put them straight. I telt them I wis a Dunlop man ma self. This month yis huv a recipe ye can do oan the barbie, dinae worry if yiv no goat a garden jist pit wan o’ them portable barbies oan yir windie sill…only joking! Anyhoo I’ll need tae douse the banter, as this recipe is quite long... Now wit yi’ll need is… 1 glove garlic 1 lemon 6 cream crackers 25g butter 4 sprigs parsley 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour 1 large egg 2 skinless chicken breasts Now wit yi dae is… Peel garlic and zest lemon. Pit crackers in food processor wi butter, garlic, zest, parsley and seasoning. Whizz till mixture is very fine. Pit oan a plate then pit flour on anither plate. Whisk egg in a small bowl. Score the underside o’ chicken breast and cover wi cling film. Now flatten the breasts by bashing wi a pot. Dip chicken in flour till completely coated, repeat wi egg then the flavoured crumbs. Press chicken with yir palm so crumbs stick. Now either; bake in oven at highest heat fir 15 mins, or fry in a glug o’ olive oil for 4/5 mins till golden, or sling oan that barbie until it starts tae smell burnt! Serve wi lemon wedge and a nice wee salad, tossed in honey mustard dressing. Hope yis aw enjoy ma wee summery offering, by the by, congrats on the arrival o’ Lara, a wee sister fir Boyd. And of course… Ching, ching! The Laird “Tae get in tae the laird’s recipe.”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

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ISSUE 54 >PAGE 7


THE WORLD

KITCHEN

Eat local; eat the world, says Vikki Graves. That’ll be 40,000 kilometres with a side order of fries to go then

leithermagazine.com

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I confess I am an armchair activist; one of those people who are happy to set the world to rights, just as long as it doesn’t mean getting off the sofa. It’s not that I’m ill-informed or don’t care, it’s just that sometimes tackling global issues seems too enormous a task. Food is one of my favourite armchair topics because if you tried to battle with all of these big issues at the shops you could risk meltdown. Shopping for food is not simple. Everywhere we go we are confronted with conflicting messages about what, where, and how we should be eating. Advertising for junk food that’s making us obese. Five portions of fruit and vegetables. Eat locally, eat seasonally.

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Don’t shop in supermarkets. Proceed directly to your community food co-op or farmers’ market. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred pounds. And so much of the food we are told we should be eating comes at a premium which some of us cannot afford. It’s enough to make you beat a hasty retreat to your living room with a tin of beans. People like me are suspicious of those who disengage from their furniture and get on with it. They make us feel a bit ashamed of ourselves. And it was this attitude which accompanied me to a meeting of a new group of Leithers who call themselves World Kitchen. Their idea, in a nutshell, is to use food as a way of bringing different strands of the community together; “all the colours of Leith” as Mridu Thanki, one of the founders put it. If you were one of those who braved the rain at the Leith Festival last month, you might have sampled some of the World Kitchen’s fare. Here, they brought people together under a tiny soggy gazebo and served them African maize, American cookies, Portuguese pancakes and more. And they sold the lot. Using food to get people communicating makes sense. We all need to eat and the very process of doing so is a democratic act. I wanted to ask the World Kitcheners how they thought their idea fitted into the endless debate about food politics and what we are told we should eat. Because if I want to cook, say, an African meal for my dinner, I might have to buy ingredients that have been imported by air, and this is bad for the environment. Although it might be good because it supports African farmers. Not only that, these ingredients may well have been sprayed with chemicals to make them last longer before they reach my supermarket shelves, and they will be wrapped in unnecessary packaging, which may or may not be recyclable. But I didn’t ask them that, because it didn’t seem so important – for once the issue wasn’t where the food came from, but where it was going and who was going to get to taste it. A different way to eat locally. For me, local food conjures up images of hemp shopping bags and pricey artisan cheese, but World Kitchen is looking to cook, eat and share a local cuisine which truly represents its community. As group member Fay Young, who also organises the multicultural group Leith Open Space put it: “Everybody understands food, even if you speak a different language.” The language we used consisted of inspiring words which become so much more complicated in practice – how to celebrate diversity, make connections in the community, be inclusive, and learn about and from one another. They’re an articulate and enthusiastic bunch, the World Kitcheners, but what next? And this is the hard bit. There were thoughts of cookery workshops, demonstrations in schools, a local food festival with an infinite budget. Ideas are one thing, but putting them into practice is another and money, logistics, marketing and the like are the realities a project such as this one must face. But as I ponder these ideas from the comfort of my armchair I feel like World Kitchen could be on to a good thing. We might not be able to solve all the world’s food problems, or navigate the contradictory maze of food choices, but we can all eat.

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ISSUE 54 > PAGE 9


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the near pavillion

join us again a full month and four more games after our last report. At the time of that briefing we were (The Secret Files of Leith Beige 2’s) top of the league - swaggering down the street broad shouldered, Part Two: Cricket and the sexual act - big boned, hardy handsome, buying drinks for bar staff we hardly The facts you need to know knew, etc - thankfully, things have “Playing cricket in Scotland is like wearing changed and we find ourselves adrift in lipstick in the Sahara,” commented the middle of the table, spinnaker flapping Leonard Nimoy while being interviewed softly in the wind like Max Mosley’s penis on reporting Scotland in 1989. In that at a PTA meeting. bold statement, going where no megastar We have lost on three occasions – to had gone before or since, he summed up other sad, lonely groups, willing to give what many of the general populace were up every Saturday during the summer thinking but were too scared to discuss months. Desolate, downbeat gatherings in openly. the demi-drizzle that Fife and the Lothian’s He’s so right though! If watching the seem to specialise in. The losses then: Tour de France halfway up an Alpine col Murrayfield DAFS with their lacklustre could be likened to a teenager’s first excited artificial pitch, Edinburgh South (featuring fumblings of sexual discovery – the long the ever vigilant Gus ‘Van Saint’ McLean, build up, the waiting in the sun, the distant 6 for 12) and an almighty thrashing by beat of the helicopters getting slowly but Peebles County. Thank goodness they are surely louder and suddenly it’s all over, as called a County as Leith is but a village the bright colours of the peloton flash by in and the 322 runs scored against us at an orgasmic blur - then playing in the brutal Fortress Leith seem justified. This grand mediocrity of The East Of Scotland Cricket total featured two centurions – one of Association Division 5 must surely be either sex –so congratulations to Darren compared to the regimented, disappointing, Chatt top scorer with a ‘knock’ of 116 and sexual congress between partners that Kathryn Whyte another exciting ‘knock’ have seen every nook and crease of what of 106. It’s at times like this as captain, each other has to offer over a period of as master and commander, that you really many years beyond twelve that you care to have to sit back in the huge captain’s mention. throne installed at great expense in the A harsh assessment you might think, but centre of the clubhouse. Then, when fully a bold opening salvo to begin the second ensconced, having had a few hearty flagons offering from ‘The very secret files of Leith of lukewarm Tennents Lager, accept defeat, Beige 2’s – the team that talent forgot.’ You and without the slightest smirk, say “What LEITHERmAGAzinE.com

a wonderful couple of batsmen - a truly great pair of knockers.” Still the season is but halfway through and there is so much more action to come, not all of it on the field of play either. The fullness of summer should see further steroid rages from Steven ‘Giant Midriff Middsie’ Middleton, our new player/ groundskeeper/mutant freak combo. Just don’t get him started on sawdust – just don’t - it’s simply not worth it! While we’re talking about mutant freaks, don’t worry, Ben Wood and Gavin Fisher are fine. Another point to note is the enthusiasm of the casual observers at Leith Links - be it the throngs of attractive youngsters turning up week in week out to support the 2’s, the occasional Japanese tourist sneaking into second slip and immediate danger to get that elusive snap or, most importantly, the spirited shouts of “Cricket’s for utter, utter poofs!” from excitable young men leaning out of their smoking Subaru, whilst draining every ounce of horsepower, between traffic lights. Here lies the true beauty of cricket at your ‘Near Pavilion’ in Leith Links - everybody gets involved – it’s a community sport!

Next month: the night the music almost died – Nick Faldo’s haunting story of the night his drastic bowel misfunction nearly ended the annual fundraising disco before it started. If you have a heart, if you’ve ever had flatulence, then this story is for you!! ISSUE 54 > PAGE 11


sketches from our photographer... the Ryan McGoverne is an everpresent at the Leith Festival music strand, which requires the constitution of Oliver Reed, Lee Marvin and Ernest Hemingway combined. Mr McGoverne is in recovery. White Heath - the opening salvo of my Leith Festival gig spree - deliver an inventive and excitable mixture of Arcade Fire and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, they’re ambitious, dynamic, and an intriguing live act. The diminutive singer stands centre stage pounding on a big bass drum, flanked by a violinist, trombonist, guitarist, and a keyboard player who forgetfully hasn’t plugged his keyboard in. Stage front, Gordon Munro, chair of Leith Festival and popular politico-man about town, dances as only politicians can dance. What might loosely be termed ‘The Watusi.’ Delta Mainline close the evening with Spaceman 3 shamanic drone rock versus a boogie-woogie blues band in a late night mid-western truck stop, all, trust me, good things. The terrifyingly titled ‘ska-funk night,’ has ruby and The Emeralds opening, a bovine funk band garbed in zany outfits. They epitomise that cultural nadir when Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers played slap bass, naked, with a sock on his cock. The Dull Fudds follow, a Borders band fronted by three girls and one lucky drummer boy. Frenetic, folk pop played with infectious abandon. The crowd lap it up, “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes!” demands Nelly, and the crowd look on, tempted. Hirsute troubadour Chris Bradley has captured the heart of our editor, so enamoured is our great leader that en route to the gig at the Dockers, he manages to sashay past the Alan Breck without succumbing. Bradley’s gig was a thing of charm. With full backing band he plays a solid set of country soaked compositions worthy of Bright Eyes. Occasionally veering menacingly close to James Blunt territory, and attempting a few high notes that were at least one testicle out of his range, Chris ultimately pulls it off with a woozy grace, a flawed gem of a gig. Noise Night at Queen Charlotte rooms was a mixed bag (of power tools). Ali Robertson and Dora Doll make a succession of wholly uninvolving plinky plonky noises, the highlight being when the kettle whistled alongside a lowing cow while someone closed a cutlery drawer. Scrim’s noise builds to a sonic shift, a swirl of feedback cuts to the fury of a wind tunnel – it’s their Westlife key change moment, when the balladeering bozos step up from their stools – and it feels like being strapped to the nose of an airplane. Interesting, but somehow faintly obvious. Muscletusk, a clear favourite of the venue owner, are an absurdist joy. Mysterious boxes emit thrums that swell and layer, noises

drunk

come out of guitars that have no business coming out of guitars, and the drummer hits his kit as fast and as hard as he can. The drone volume increases, cracked samples emerge from the cacophony, and dizzyingly the drumming gets harder, faster and louder. The ungodly squall is breathless, vicious and thrilling, kind of like Phil Spector’s ‘wall of sound’ had he let loose a few rounds from his cherished rifles into the mix. The Bum-Clocks self demote to second on the bill, because mum’s in town and she wants an early night. Erstwhile soap star Tam Dean Burn snarls his way through Rabbie Burns via Iggy Pop. Literate and punk, Tam makes for a captivating front man. Malcolm ross’s guitar work is as spellbindingly absorbent as Jack White’s, and not even ‘that bloke off the telly’ singing songs about nine inch penises in front of his mum can distract from it. Sellotape open proceedings with great promise, fractured art-punk that wouldn’t sound out of place on Yeah Yeah Yeah’s debut EP. From that opening the gig never quite takes off, and singer Viki’s performance is frustratingly restrained. A dipsomaniac dash across Leith ensues to catch the close of Little Doses’ gig. Sporting a new line-up, and a new haircut for The Leither cover star Kirsten, their sound is confident, dusky power pop and, crucially, the haircut is an entirely charming elfin crop. These popsters can all be seen in a venue near you, and MyTwitterSpaceBook, I am very sure, will give you the skinny...

LEITHERmAGAzinE.com


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46 Queen Charlotte St leith. T: 0131 555 3103 E: info@esibrasserie opEning hours: tueSday to Saturday 12pm - 3pm / 6pm - 10pm. Sunday 12pm - 8pm. monday CloSed PAGE 14 < ISSUE 54

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gathering of the clans The Leither’s resident expert at synchronized whistling, David Barnes, waxes lyrical about the Krankies. Photo: Colin Watt

At the end of this month, Edinburgh will host The Gathering 2009 the biggest clan gathering the world has seen - 127 clan tents in Holyrood Park, a mass procession up the royal Mile, and a Highland themed pageant on the Castle esplanade – all in the same tartan twirling, caber tossing, bagpipe tooting, whisky gargling weekend. For those susceptible to the tartan cringe, this might sound like the worst thing to happen to our nation since Wee Jimmy Krankie was voted ‘The Most Scottish Person In The World’ by the readers of The Herald (horrifyingly this actually happened!) But Lord Jamie Sempill, a director, says this event will be of a scale, standard and style which all of the nation – and not just the Celtic warriors amongst us – can be proud. “From the word go we wanted this to be a key component of the Homecoming 2009 programme,” he explains. “They wanted a very strong ancestral thread, and this provides that. Not only did we want to do it on a large scale internationally, we also wanted to do it in a way that would showcase the best of Scotland, and that’s why we have incorporated so many other events into the weekend and invested heavily in getting high quality infrastructure in place. This could easily be seen as something that is just for people who are involved in the clan system, but we are at pains to stress that this is a world class festival with world class attractions in it.” Among the events that Sempill hopes will make the weekend a success is the 2009 Highland Games World Championship, at which American Sean Betz will defend his title against rivals from all over the globe. Including, of LEITHERmAGAzinE.com

course, Scotland. There will also be an International Highland Dancing Championship; a hill race through Arthur’s Seat; a live music arena featuring the likes of Capercaillie, Dougie McLean and the Noisettes; a food fair showcasing some of Scotland’s finest produce; whisky tasting sessions; a genealogy centre; book readings and signings by international best-selling authors and workshops and lectures on Scottish family history. “This isn’t just a festival for people from overseas, it’s a festival of all things Scottish, we hope to attract many locals too” says Sempill, whose background is in marketing and who makes no bones about having used his influence as a senior member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs to get this project up an running. The whole lower part of Holyrood Park is going to be turned into a tented village and, because the structures being put up are of a quality more commonly used for corporate hospitality at prestigious sporting events such as The Open, construction will start more than three weeks before the event. The several hundred performers who will take part in the Saturday night pageant on the Castle esplanade have commandeered a warehouse in Leith for rehearsals. Clearly a lot of time, effort and money are going into this – but if Sempill and his team pull it off then the rewards will be great. With more than 5,000 of the 7,000 two-day passports snapped up so far, going to overseas enthusiasts, and organisers hoping for around 40,000 people to be in involved in one way or another during the course of the weekend, The Gathering 2009 has

the potential to be a major boon to local businesses, injecting up to £8 million into the Scottish economy. The organisers also hope it leaves a lasting legacy by forging closer links with the 41 million people worldwide that have Scottish ancestry. To that end, on the Friday before The Gathering officially kicks-off, a convention in the main debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament, attended by over 100 clan chiefs and 300 key officials from clan associations around the world, will discuss the role of the clan in the 21st Century. Sempill reckons there are around 100,000 members of Scotland’s vast Diaspora who are actively involved in clan societies – and he hopes that this can be the first step towards growing that number and strengthening existing bonds. “We’ve got to prove that this very old network has a value in terms of the tourist industry in Scotland, and that it is worth nursing and worth investing in, in the future.” Sempill continues, “There are a lot of people involved in the clan network and they take immense pride in it. This is an opportunity for the wider community to see it manifest itself in a celebration of pageantry and colour and however cynical some of us may be, a key component of our culture is this extraordinary tradition of games, tartan, the playing of pipes, and so on. Other countries in the world don’t have this, not even the Irish – and the world loves the Irish. We are incredibly lucky, and this could be the first step towards making more out of that good fortune.” The Gathering 2009 will take place in Holyrood Park on the weekend of 25th and 26th July. www.thegathering2009.com ISSUE 54 >PAGE 15


p n io s s e r g s n a r t CAROLyN MCKERRACHER FINDs ROOM FOR HOpE AT

Where would you find bmx, skateboard, and parkour enthusiasts, mingling with tourists and shoppers, all within fifty yards of the Queen’s old holiday home? Why Ocean Terminal of course, host to one of the few indoor skate parks in the country. If you don’t know your parkour from your freerunning, or freestyle bmxing sounds like a triathalon gone wrong, then read on – you might just think differently about protests against the Council’s plans for an open-air park in the city. In 1984, local boy Ken Smith borrowed his uncle’s bmx bike and stumbled upon a hobby that was to become a lifelong passion. When the family relocated to Derbyshire he was taken under the wings of Jamie Bestwick - now a famous bmx freestyler - whose father built a skate ramp on the school tennis courts. Not only was he able to practice in the open air, he was introduced to indoor skate parks and the all-year opportunities they presented. Back in Scotland, he left both school and home and undertook a variety of low paid jobs. By now an accomplished amateur, Ken knew he didn’t have what it takes to become professional but realised he knew enough about urban sports and the needs of young people, to be able to pursue a career in the field. In 1999, Ken and a mate from Leith’s Citadel, took on the role of advocates for a group of teenagers who had started to lobby Edinburgh City Council for a skate park. Although sympathetic, the Council warned that they (the teenagers) would be unlikely to get one, but that their children might. (rather like the timescale for the Trams.) Undeterred, Ken began a PAGE 16 > ISSUE 54

feasibility study for an indoor skate park. A meeting in a pub where he worked, led to him teaming up with Doug McFadzean and Dougie Graham who had the same idea and, crucially, financial backing, but lacked skills on the ground. A partnership was thus formed. In 2006 parkour hit the headlines in Britain, thanks to Madonna’s Jump video, the opening scenes in Casino royale and a documentary called Jump Britain. Parkour involves running – and jumping – off anything and everything, as you traverse a park/ street/ city. Not to be confused with freerunning, which, although similar, is apparently a type of urban acrobatics, with tricks and street stunts. On the back of this exposure, the lads hatched a plan to pull together people they knew - bmx stunt riders, freerunners, parkours, skaters and breakdancers, and perform at events wherever they could. One of their first shows was at the Big Boys Toys annual event at Ocean Terminal, next up was the Edinburgh rat Race. Their profile and reputation shot up and eventually their dream became concrete. In January 2008, Transgression

Park opened on the top floor of Ocean Terminal. Ocean Terminal is a perfect location for this now nationally renowned skate park. It’s on numerous bus routes, it’s safe at night, and parents can leave their children there unattended if they’ve booked a lesson. It takes skating/bmxing etc, to a whole new audience, including tourists, who stumble into a free show when looking for Britannia. People from all sorts of backgrounds use the park. Young people from the poorest parts of the city make friends with private school kids and both find an active hobby that can guard against lives of potential addiction and crime. The privileged train with the unemployed, nascent stunt cyclists ride alongside professionals like Danny MacAskill, whose short film on YouTube was a thing of beauty. Last year, the Park put on an amazing event at Leith Festival, showcasing stunt riders, skaters, breakdancers, freerunners and beatboxers. They took it to Edinburgh Festival where, tragically, they lost £11k, due to problems with the outdoor venue and the weather. However, they bounced LEITHERmAGAzinE.com


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back at Leith Festival this year with the Battle of the Bands, won by Sea Bass Kid. It’s all miles away from the image of rowdy, drunken teenagers, presented in any skate-park protest meetings. On the contrary, Ken and the team provide a space full of hope… offering services to the social work department, whereby clients come with their key workers for free lessons and equipment hire. Amazingly, children with autism excel, through one to one lessons where they get clear, precise, instructions they can relate to. The park receives no funding from the Council. A decade on from the cries of those original teenagers, the councillors’ promise is nearing fruition. A state of the art outdoor skate park is at last to be built in Saughtonhill Park. It’s

not what the skaters wanted – they’d championed small local satellite parks in five different areas of the city – but they have thrown their support behind the plan, believing that it’s better to be on board in an advisory capacity than to be left out of the design and implementation. As recently as 2004, Ken Smith was scouting possible sites on his BMX. Now commercial companies are on the phone to him seeking advice, which is great, but maybe the Council should be on that phone, working in tandem with Ken and his team, putting money where, at the moment, only words are. After all the buzzwords are there – social inclusion, diversity, non-discrimination, disaffected youth – surely that would be a step, or a skate, in the right direction?

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EAT: LeiTH BETwEEN HUmBLE PIE ANd CUPCAkES, CARINE’S BEEN EATINg RATHER A LOT OF BAkEd gOOdS RECENTLy… So there I was, like some sort of Zola Budd, hammering on about running and making myself sound as though I’m a mere kilometre away from Olympic stardom. The distances, the times, the glory, the general polishing of my athletic halo. And then I had to go and have a (genuinely light-hearted) dig at my friend Alex for her so-called sporadic attempts to get into the sport, chastising her efforts, her inhaler-stops and her afterrun fags. regular readers of The Leither will know exactly what I’m talking about. And then, not two weeks later, there she was: running the final relay leg of the Edinburgh Marathon and me, well…. not. Not running in any races other than a 5k in fact. So here I am now, eating rather a sizeable piece of humble pie and apologising. In writing. In public. Alex, your marathon achievement should be applauded and admired. And people in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones. Or be snide in their columns. I didn’t mean it. In keeping with the baked goods theme, I have been doing a spot of cake making recently. The very same Alex and her lovely partner Rowan are to be married / civil partnershipped / civilised / whatever you want to call it, in July, and we are all beside ourselves with excitement. It is to be a small affair but nonetheless very special, with close friends, family and the sunshine in attendance. At least we hope so. We all know Edinburgh can be a touch unpredictable when it comes to matters of climate eh? Ever since Gemma, a friend of mine made the cake for another friend’s wedding I’ve had a hankering to have a go myself, and so it is that I find myself in charge of the patisserie for this affair. To her credit, she went down the traditional route and put together a very impressive three tier wonder of fruit sponges complete with marzipan and royal icing, while I will be going down the less challenging route of lots of oversized cupcakes. But there is some challenge in creating in

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Cup cakes the region of 150 cupcakes, all of which must look just right, then icing them on the morning of the big day, transporting them to the venue and positioning them just-so on their towering stand. I wanted these wee cakes to be delicate and summery, so decided on moist lemon yoghurt cakes topped with rose scented icing. Using yoghurt and oil instead of butter in the cakes ensures that they have a light spongy texture, and the lemon rind gives them an extraordinary citrus flavour. Of course the yoghurt makes them much er, healthier too. Until you slather the tops with butter whipped with rose syrup and sugar… I’ve adapted a recipe for a single large cake and calculated what I’ll need for 156 cupcakes. Just working out the quantities of butter, sugar and the other artery-clogging ingredients required was enough to bring on cardiac arrest: hello 13 packs of butter, 39 eggs and 9 pounds of sugar. Thank goodness for the 39 lemons – nearly eight days worth of your five-a-day fruit right? As you would expect from a consummate professional like myself, I have now baked two ‘trial batches,’ just to make absolutely sure they work you understand. They’re very pink, and they’re very girlie. It’s fair to say I’m not normally a pink girlie girl, but for a properly girlie occasion such as the civilisation of two lovely girls, I think we can make an exception.

Go to www.leithermagazine.com for recipe.


And summers lease hath

John Holmes visits the revamped Nobles Bar at 44 Constitution street… I trust you enjoyed the summer: those 4 days in June when it all lay before us, or so we hoped. We really should know better. But unmet hopes - dashed by the rough winds that shake the darling buds in whatever month we dare formulate them - never stop us optimists hoping afresh. Sunshine on Leith? Aye, occasionally. It’s the same with restaurants: no matter that only 20% of new eateries survive, newcomers arrive full of Panglossian enthusiasm and hopes for the future. In Leith alone we’ve seen the recent opening of Café Fish, Leith Lynx and Nobles. Support them and give them a fighting chance. So, I didn’t think I’d be doing Leith in this new “job” but his nibs is trying a new angle this month, three for the price of one, and I’m doing Nobles. Whilst you wouldn’t actually call Nobles a restaurant, it does serve restaurant-quality food, I’m glad to say. As an excellent and now more welcoming bar, it also might just fill the Home’s bar shaped hole in my life (and the lives of quite a few chaps who’ve been wandering around Leith in a trance-like state, trying to fill their days, since Fitzy deserted us, all those long months ago). Nobles’ menu is well judged, with seven starters, three sandwich options, seven mains, and five puds. Our starters were soup – a moreish broccoli and cheddar – and ham hock with poached egg and mustard lentils. Despite a slightly over-poached egg, for my taste, both were very good. ‘Welch’s daily catch,’ sea bream with Savoy cabbage, fennel and crushed potatoes, was fresh and tasty with properly crisped skin. Whilst the beer-battered haddock with chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce - a good example of this resto staple - was interestingly presented on a chopping board. We didn’t stretch to a pudding but I’ll be back to righten that wrong, not least because Luca’s ice cream (right spelling this time Precious and Liddy!) features large. BILL FOR TwO: £41.90 (incLudinG a very nice souTH african cHenin bLanc) SCORE: 15/20 T: 0131 561 8219 PAGE 20 < ISSUE 54

Cafe Fish

Nobles

Louise storie tries Leith Lynx at 102 Constitution street… This part of Leith is quickly becoming an alternative to the better-known Shore area for dining out. Formerly a real ale pub, Leith Lynx is now a classy bar & brasserie offering a wide selection of food with reasonable price tags attached. LEITHERmAGAzinE.com


h all too short a date… The Editor samples Café Fish at 60 Henderson street...

Leith Lynx

From homemade burgers to lobster Thermidor, the menu is designed to suit a range of palates and budgets. To start, I had the salad Lyonnaise, a very simple dish consisting of wild leaves, strips of smoky lardons and croutons, topped with a poached egg and drizzled with tangy Dijon vinaigrette. A dish I first discovered as an au pair living in Lyon, it was the same gooey, sticky, smoky delight I remembered. Norman ordered smoked salmon, which was exactly that - nothing less nothing more. Simple but delicious. Chicken, mushroom and tarragon pie for me next. It came with chips and a mixed salad. Individually prepared, the pastry was crispy on top and soft underneath, below; a deep bowl was filled with generous chunks of chicken, button mushrooms and dreamy tarragon infused gravy. Ideal for dunking chips! Norman chose the sautéed collops of venison alternated with large croutons in a rich game sauce. The meat was tender and the texture of the croutons brought a delicious contrast to the dish. The vegetable of the day was okra prepared in a spicy sauce - an eccentric but tasty accompaniment. Literally sweet-talked into choosing a dessert by the waiter, we opted for the chocolate terrine with mango and raspberry sauce. Very rich and dense, the perfect sharing dish. Leith Lynx bar & brasserie has a certain elegance and formality, with its little orderly brown tables and accents of red. The staff are also well turned out, young, and fun. But it does seem to be a place that would benefit from being quite busy. We’ll make sure we come back again on such an evening, to enjoy tasty fare and great value. BILL FOR TwO: £34.20 SCORE: 17/20 T: 0131 538 4796

THELEITHER.Biz

I was educating my girlfriend on the intricacies of the Duckworth-Lewis Method as a means of determining the result in a cricket match when the starters arrived - six Bracadale oysters and a trio of the same Loch’s hand dived scallops - she heaved an, ill concealed, sigh of relief and set to eating with gusto. My grimaces at her lack of respect for the ‘summer game’ soon turned to smiles when I speared a scallop. Perfectly caramelized and lightly scented, a celeriac puree and sweet onion chutney added complexity. The oyster I tried was a saline delight, a Pacific, which in a blind tasting I would have sworn was a Belon. A sharp mignonette sauce did not let the bivalve down. Excuse my ignorance, dear reader; I forgot to mention we are in Café Fish, a stunning restaurant and bar in Leith. The last time I was here it was called the Vintage and I was playing dominoes in the Persevere league, no, seriously… Now it is all brushed steel and warm, burnished wood, with a fin de siècle (19th) revolving door. The open plan kitchen is an oasis of calm, which contrary to thug ramsay’s ethos is a good thing. If you want provenance, the entirely charming owner tells us our scallops were hand dived by “His wife’s sister’s husband’s pal.” The same hale fellow guided us to a bracingly acidic, aromatic, Galician Albarino £27. A little used wine, best served young, with, you guessed it, seafood. Which is handy, given that our spiced cod with salsa and red rice, and lobster linguine with Provencal sauce had just arrived. The cod was briny fresh and flaked beautifully, the lobster dish lacked cohesion, if not generosity - the best part of a whole lobster perched atop the pasta. A side order of chips, wedges really, were pelicaned into the girlfriend’s mouth. Mmmm, it sighed. So too was a landmark crème brulee magicked away before my very eyes. Across the table, all was bonhomie, which I soon punctured with a long-winded exposition on why Monty Pannesar cannot field at silly mid-on. dINNER: TwO COURSES £19 THREE COURSES £23 SCORE: 17/20 T: 0131 538 6131

ISSUE 54 > PAGE 21


Life is sweet on Bernard street As a good friend of Louise storie’s sings in his band stanton, “life is sweet on Bernard street…” she tends to agree.

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Apart from the constant stream of traffic rumbling past, which I can’t deny sometimes drives me bonkers, I feel very fortunate to live on this fine street, smack in the middle of historical Leith, and just on the edge of the glittering Shore. As the number 22 bus veers down Henderson Street and the water comes into view, I can’t help feeling very pleased with myself for having found such a nice spot to live. I had an uncle who lived on Bernard Street when I was a teenager. We were living in Penicuik at that time. Leith, and Bernard Street in particular, always seemed so exotic to me with all the pubs along the water’s edge, and the view from my uncle’s flat of the wide street below and grand, majestic buildings on either side, with Robert Burns towering above it all. My uncle worked on the lighthouses as an electrician and had a fascination with all things nautical. It made sense that he should live in Leith. And his local was Carriers Quarters. It was called something else then, but I remember how very small it was and the purpose of the Tulip room, in days of old, being explained to me - much to my amusement. So, when we saw a flat for sale on Bernard Street, we put it on our list to see – more out of curiosity than anything else, but when we walked through the door, we both fell in love with the coombed ceilings, sash windows, crooked floorboards, and of course its views to the street below. For just one street, we have so much on our door-step: Pierinos, handy for the odd fish supper when we’re feeling too lazy to cook; the China Palace for some hot and sour soup when we get the nibbles after a few beers in the pub; Kitsch, our new little coffee shop directly below us, ideal for lattes and tasty toasties – they even had a Eurovision Song Contest Evening which I missed; Flux for all those last minute birthday cards and little treasures you feel you just have to buy; Beets for Green and Blacks chocolate; Petals by the Shore – for the tallest, brightest sunflowers to grace the windowsill; and Carriers Quarters, now our own local – a place to meet with friends, and enjoy local bands – The Jammies and Stanton. So, it’s hardly surprising that I always have a big smile on my face when I hear the words to the song: “Life is Sweet on Bernard Street.” I can certainly vouch for that. LEITHERmAGAzinE.com


AUTHOR ANd RABBIT FANCIER COLIN gALBRAITH Has PubLisHed sHorT sTories, Poems, and arTicLes, in PrinT and onLine PubLicaTions. His noveL, HUNTINg jACk, was seriaLised in 2004, and His cHaPbook, FRINgE FANTASTIC aPPeared in 2005 To criTicaL accLaim. POOLSIdE POETRy foLLowed in 2007. coLin Has PubLisHed THree e-cHaPbooks: BRICk By BRICk (2005), SILLy POEmS FOR wEE PEOPLE VOL1. (2006), and SELEkTION (2007). He is ediTor of THe ranfurLey review e-maGazine, and associaTe ediTor aT THe scruffy doG review. He Lives in LeiTH, wiTH His wife and dauGHTer and Two rabbiTs. He is an exPerT in THe arT of fake faLLinG. new leither

wHAT wAS THE INSPIRATION FOR yOUR NEw BOOk, STELLA? The idea for Stella came in 1985. I was listening to an album by Yello, and I developed a series of images to certain songs in my mind as I listened. I promised myself I would one day write these images down into a cohesive text, but it wasn’t until 2007 that I felt my writing had developed enough to give it a bash. I began by writing down these images, and from that I used the music to further inspire the gaps in between. Slowly, a story began to unfold until I had a first draft. It took a lot more work but I’m delighted with how it turned out. wHy wRITE A PARANORmAL mySTERy? It wasn’t meant to be a paranormal book. My original idea was for the book to be a spy novella, something with its roots in the mysteries of Eastern Europe. But as the ideas began to develop on paper, though, the book began to take on its own form and it made sense for a paranormal aspect to come into it. I can’t honestly see it working without it now. dId yOU ENjOy wRITINg IN THE PARANORmAL mySTERy gENRE? Very much. My writing has diversified naturally over the past couple of years. My favoured genre is crime, but I have found children’s poetry equally rewarding. wHAT RESEARCH wENT INTO wRITINg STELLA? Not as much as you might think. Most research concerned the locations in the book that I hadn’t been to. It’s a fast

LEITHERmAGAzinE.com

moving story and takes the reader all around the world, so while I could write vividly about Prague, Amsterdam and London, I knew little of San Francisco, Brooklyn and Fes in Morocco. There was also a bit of research into demons and black roses, but mostly it’s all made up - the kind of writing I enjoy most. wHAT ELSE ARE yOU wORkINg ON? Other than the sequel to Stella, I have various projects on the go. I have one novel and a novella both in the editing stage, and I’m working on a new chapbook of poetry to be released later in the year. I’m also a gig reviewer for the News of the World

too I expect will the readers. I’ve already begun work on the sequel; it’s called Baccara Burning… BACCARA BURNINg SOUNdS INTERESTINg – wHAT’S IT ABOUT? I’m not going to give a lot away – obviously - but it will take Randolph and Stella’s relationship to the extreme. It will be a real test of their love and trust, and through this we will get to know the real them. Both have lived dark and hidden lives, but in Baccara Burning there is no hiding any longer. The book starts in Sorrento, but ultimately I want to bring them to Edinburgh, throw in a local ghost legend or two and see what happens.

wHAT INSPIRES yOUR wRITINg IN gENERAL? I get my inspiration from people. It might be something that happens in the street that provides me with a tiny nugget of an idea, or just the look of someone I see on the bus going up Leith Walk. It’s the old ‘what happens next’ trick, like if someone ran up to you in the middle of the street and shoved a piece of paper in your hand then ran off again – that’s the start of a novel – what happens next? wILL wE SEE mORE OF STELLA ANd RANdOLPH? Stella was originally meant as a writing experiment and I never meant for it to be published. However, now it has been, and having enjoyed working with Stella and randolph so much, there are so many questions I have now the book is behind me. Where the author has questions, so

ISSUE 54 > PAGE 23


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HEALTHy LIVINg in LeiTH

On yir bike! says Tracy Griffen, and who are we to argue? In my humble opinion, cycling is the most sensible way to get about Edinburgh. If you’re lucky enough to reside in the historic port of Leith, you can get nearly anywhere on a bike track, or on quiet streets. Stuff Leith Walk for cycling! It’s officially one of the most dangerous streets for cyclists in Edinburgh, so do everything you can to avoid it - and the awful car farts that equal pollution. I prefer to pass Annandale bus depot, bomb up Broughton Street, along Abercromby Place, and then up to town from there. Or try Easter Road and Abbeyhill to get Southside. Don’t let the Mound roadworks deter you, just wheel your bike straight through the plaza behind the RSA Gallery and up the Mound. No traffic = No worries. One of my favourite routes from Leith is to join the Route 75 cycle path at the end of The Shore - just across the bridge from Café Truva - an excellent start spot for bike rides. Follow the Water of Leith, dodging the broken glass and dog poo, until you find yourself with a choice between Victoria Park or onwards and upwards! Cycling along Warriston Path past the allotments, you could easily forget you’re in the centre of a city. Beware the pedestrians, who are either elderly, (and cannae hear bike bells) or voluntarily deafened by iPod tuneage. Either way, it is polite to tinkle your bell, so your speedy passing doesn’t startle foot traffic. There are a group of five ladies who walk their dogs every morning on Goldenacre Path. Upon hearing bike bells, all five dogs freeze to the spot and it’s up to the cyclist to weave past poodles and terriers. It’s a bit like a video game and it takes a few passes to master! Upon reaching the consumer Mecca that is Broughton tesco (lower case deliberate), note that the bridge under Cannonmills has been re-opened, for us all to use as a neat shortcut up to Eyre Crescent Gardens, before rambling up the cobbles of Scotland Street into the New Town and beyond. If you continue along the route that THELEITHER.Biz

follows Goldenacre, you reach Ferry Road cycle path – a very handy one indeed as it runs parallel to another treacherous cycling stretch, Ferry Road itself, (to be avoided at all costs). Following that cycle path you reach Crewe Toll, avoid the killer roundabout and take the cycle path in whichever direction you wish. If you continue down to Granton you can follow your nose to Silverknowes esplanade. On certain days it’s you against Mother Nature, as there can be a hefty Westerly ablowin’. Should you make it to Cramond at the other end, kick back and relax...Don’t do what my mate and I did, take our bikes over to Cramond Island. A very silly idea, not to be encouraged! If you’re in Silverknowes on a Saturday, you may spot legendary silver-haired inline skating instructor Don Morton, who gives lessons to one and all - www.tryskating.co.uk - if he can get me upright on wheely shoes, he can help anybody! Or you could try the opposite direction and have an ice cream on Porty beach. You’ve a choice between graffiti spotting on the path parallel to Seafield Road (nice smell), or taking the back route along Fishwives Causeway. The choice, as ever, is yours. The joy of cycling lies in the fact that you are so immediate to the environment that you pass through. You can hear birds, smell the scents around you, and get up close and personal with nature. You can spontaneously stop and pick flowers or sit and contemplate life, even pop into a café for a reviving cuppa. No problems with parking. With a car you are trapped in a metal box, and it is not completely necessary for inner city living. So cyclists unite! remember, I can spot you from your toned calves, pert buttocks and healthy glow. Did You Know: you can pretty much cover the whole of Edinburgh without braving a busy main road, if you know where to go? Pick up a Spokes map from a bike shop, or online at www.spokes.org.uk, for a fiver. ISSUE 54 > PAGE 25


HOME THOUGHTs FROM ABR OAD

AN ‘ENgLISHmAN IN LEITH’ RAISES HIS HEAd ABOVE THE PARAPET ANd TELLS US A LITTLE, AHEm, ABOUT OURSELV ES...

A year has passed since we saw the landing of a space probe on Mars, whilst here on Earth; pictures were taken of a hitherto un-contacted tribe deep in the Amazon forest. The Brazilian government, we learned, operate a policy of ensuring that outside contact is avoided to ensure the continuance of the tribes culture and way of life - it would seem that these fears do not extend to cultures from outer space. Can the Brazilians stop the inevitability of the encroachment of modern life? I doubt it. The French Government periodically seeks to stop the influence of the English language within its borders and the continued development of Franglais, whilst campaign groups here in the UK look to redress the decline of once thriving languages with bilingual road signs and programmes on the BBC in Gaelic or Welsh. However, history has shown us that change is an inevitable consequence of time, that speed is the only variant through the ages. All cultures develop as knowledge increases. Language, government and society are in constant flux, it is one aspect that separates us from the beasts. Leith too has seen its share of comings and goings; indeed it is these external influences that have shaped its history and continuing vibrancy. Where would Leith be without its influx of seafarers and travellers through the ages? I myself am amongst the latest wave of incomers to have found their way here, 25 years ago, in fact. I like to think that one day I might afford myself the title of honorary Leither. My children, on the other hand, are children of Leith. Born at the old Eastern General, schooled locally and, together with myself, proud season ticket holders at Easter road. Leith, in some ways, is Scotland and indeed the UK in microcosm, a hotchpotch of cultures that have PAGE 26 < ISSUE 54

developed over the years. From time to time though there is a backlash against these changes, the perceived dilution of a culture. People create a mythical past where we all shared simple values; spoke the same language, believed the same things. This is highly subjective; at what time was Leith the real, definitive, ‘Leith’? Was it during James the First’s rule, when the Beaujolais trade was at its height? What about the turn of the century when whaling ships jostled for space in the busy dockyard? Or was it when the men of Leith left their homes in the Old Kirkgate to join Kitchener’s army in 1916, only to find their great adventure ending in tragedy at Gretna? Which is to say, even if change is an inevitable consequence of time passing, Leithers are right to view the development of their town with healthy scepticism. To involve themselves wherever possible in helping shape its future and ensuring that the changes that do come will be to the benefit, and not detriment, of the area. Some recent and not so recent developments have, in all honesty, done them a disservice. The Kirkgate is a soulless 1960’s vision of the future, derided for ripping the heart out of the area and the architects behind Ocean Terminal managed to overlook its proximity to the water. Praise though, for Ocean Terminal’s community spirit, regularly staging events such as; art exhibitions, boxing matches, cultural festivals, extreme sports events and even a life drawing class. Some might say I’m a living representation of all that’s gone wrong with the area. For myself, I hope one day to be accepted as a Leither, despite being a Sassenach. I rather hope history is on my side that Leith’s traditional inclusiveness will win out in the end. Meanwhile, I will continue to take my seat at Easter road

and bemuse people with my dulcet – and distinctly southern - English tones, as I rant at the futility of yet another missed pass or incomprehensible signing. Unfortunately that belief in Leith’s inclusiveness is now set against a world backdrop that has seen economies decline and industries crumble. There is a worldwide move towards looking to the past for political solutions to this perceived crisis, arresting the failings by reinventing the past. New countries nudge old ones aside each time an atlas is reprinted. Across Britain the BNP offer their peculiar take on what was fought for in World War II; ignoring the role played by Commonwealth troops and displaced people from across Europe, seeing no irony in the fact that the war was fought against the very type of intolerant attitudes and policies that they now seek to impose. This is reflected across Europe as right wing nationalists ride a wave of popular support, calling time on change, offering the comfort blanket of days gone by as a shield from the rapidly changing world. Here in Scotland a resurgent Nationalist party offers a significantly different political agenda to these parties but still sees no problem in wrapping its message of ‘putting Scotland first’ in ribbons of nostalgia and romanticised history, to offer up a vision of that very future. So what will the future bring for me, full Leith citizenship? Maybe. I fear though that my tendency to cheer for the ‘wrong team’ on sporting occasions may preclude me from ever becoming truly Scottish! LEITHERmAGAzinE.com


aQuaTiC sTOrE OpEns in lEiTH

a1 pETs

Freshwater tropical fish and goldfish, plants, fish foods, tanks, bowls, etc. plus our usual extensive selection of pet foods, accessories and cat litter. Burns pet food now in stock. Free home delivery. Open 7 days.

165 great junction street,EH6 5lg. Tel: 0131 467 2928

Food served 11am - 4pm pints from £1.90. Mega deals on house doubles. Funerals respectfully catered for.

the port INN

Edinburgh Festival? BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW!

4 twin or king-size rooms with en-suite. 4 twin or triple rooms with shared facilities. Disabled room with en-suite. From £30 pppn includes breakfast. OpEN FOR LUNch 12pM tO 4pM Fresh ground coffee, free wi fi, beer garden, child and dog friendly. w.portinn.co.uk e.contact@portinn.co.uk t.0131 467 1807 48-50 constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh

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6 Carron Place, Edinburgh, EH6 7RE

Tel. 0131 555 1230 Emergency Tel. 0131 478 1230 Email. services@jsbplumbing.com Web. jsbplumbing.com

LEITHERmAGAzinE.com

ISSUE 54> PAGE 27


The shore Bar The Shore. t: 0131 553 5080 Tues: Infinite Trio 9.30pm Wed: Folk Session 9.30pm Thurs: Playing alternate weeks, The \GT’s and Kevin Gore from 9pm Sun: Afternoon Jazz Session, Kenny Ellis & Brian Kellock, 2pm-5pm. Evening Folk Session, Nuala Kennedy,7pm-10pm. Kitsch Coffee Bar Bistro 36 Bernard Street. t: 0131 553 7046 Every Thurs live acoustic music from 7pm. Book now for theatre productions in August. The Village South Fort Street. t: 0131 478 7810 Leith Folk Club.

wHAT’S ON in LeiTH entertainment Carrier’s Quarters 42 Bernard Street. t: 0131 554 4122 Sun 6.30pm: Jammie Devils. Compass Bar 44 Queen Charlotte Street. t: 0131 554 1979 Tues: Craig McMurdo from 7pm. Espy 62/64 Bath Street, Portobello t: 0131 669 0082 Mon: Poker Night. Guilty Lily 284 Bonnington Road. t: 0131 554 5824 Sun: Nikki’s Quiz Night Wed: Poker League Fri: Live Music 8.30pm Sat 18 July: Disco Night 10 July: PJ Mama 17 July: Aidan McIvor 24 July: Runaway Brian 31 July: Dream Tobacco Saphire Music Club @ Guilty Lily Last Thurs of the month. 30 July: Jill Jackson with host Lorna Brooks. From 7.45pm, £5 entry. Renroc Café 91 Montgomery Street. t: 0131 556 0432 Tues film night: starts 7.30pm Sat: Live Jazz Nevo Health & Relaxation: Tues Spiritualist readings. sofi’s Bar 65 Henderson Street. t: 0131 555 7019 Mon film night: 8pm Scottish - Swedish Society: last Mon of the month. Knitting Nights: last Tues of the month.

PAGE 28 > ISSUE 54

Joseph pearce’s Bar 23 Elm row. t: 0131 556 4140 Tues: Jogging Club 7pm-8pm 1st Mon of the month: The Paintbrush and the Sewing Needle. A general art & craft circle at 7pm. Starts 6th July. Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk. t: 0131 553 5900 Heather McDonald exhibition: Superature from 2nd July – 31st Aug. Boda’s Summer Theme is Boats. 11 July: Pirate Boarding Party 18 July: Ghost Ship Party 25 July: Yacht Party 1 Aug: Shipwrecked Party 6 Aug: Full Moon Party The Bowler’s Rest Mitchell Street. t: 0131 554 4524 Open song & music session: 1st Thurs of the month at 9.30pm. Iso Bar 7 Bernard Street. t: 0131 467 8904 Thurs: The Leith Tape Club 8pm Roseleaf 23/24 Sandport Street. t: 0131 476 5268 13 July: Roseleaf’s 2nd Anniversary. Mad Hatters T party from 7pm. Must wear hat to enter the raffle! 14/15 July: Closed to nurse hangovers and fix stuff! 21 July: Belgium Day. Hot steaming moules & frites washed doon wi barrie Belgian beer. 25 July: Antipodean Xmas. Celebrate Crimbo down under with cheesy festive tunes & xmas delights. Oceana Bar 145 Ferry Road. t: 0131 553 3009 Fri: Karaoke 7.30pm Sat: Open Mic 7.30pm Sun: Open Mic 5pm.

Dalriada 77 Promenade, Portobello t: 0131 454 4500 Thurs: Quiz Night 8.30pm Fri & Sat: Live Music 9pm Sun: Live Music 3pm-6pm Holiday Mini Music Festival: Fri 31st July to Sun.2nd Aug. Live music from 3pm. Electric Circus 36-39 Market Street. Sat 25 July: TV21 and Panda Su.

the arts Edinburgh sculpture Workshop 25 Hawthornvale, Newhaven. t: 0131 551 4490 Fri 10 July: Education Exhibiton, 6-8pm. Work by students of the recent sculpture courses. MAGAZINE 09: Creative Spaces. Annual Festival Exhibition from 15 Aug. 11am-5pm. Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street. t: 0131 555 7101 11 July: Bruncheon. 11.30-3pm Brunch & live music event. 10 July: LaNua Dance Improvisation and Contact Workshop. 4pm-8pm Workshop and Jam: £18(£15). Workshop only £12. Jam only £7 (£5). Info:www.lanua.org Weekly classes at the drill hall: drama, dance,yoga, martial arts, belly dancing, life drawing etc. The scottish storytelling Centre 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR 4th July- 5th Sep: Storytelling Pick & Mixcollaborative exhibition by local children’s illustrators. 10am-6pm, free. 17th July: Storylab - Happy Endindings. Create your own tales, 2.30pm, £4. Concrete Wardrobe 50A Broughton Street t: 0131 558 7130 July Maker of the Month:Teresa Green. Leicestershire based designer with an unique range of hand printed, practical textiles. MonSat: 10-6pm, Sun 12-4pm. LEITHERmAGAzinE.com


Coburg House Art studios 15 Coburg Street. t: 0131 555 7001 7th-9th Aug: Annual Open Studio Event, 11am-6pm.

Red Eye Film Club Pilmeny Youth Club, 44 Buchanan Street. Socialist & Radical Film-making: Ist Friday of the month till 7th Aug.

Diner 7 7 Commercial Street. Leonard Fligal Exhibition til 27th July.

Fort Food Co-op t: 0131 467 7326 At Fort Primary School ,every Tuesday 9am12 noon.

community Mark Lazarowicz t: 0131 557 0577 MP for Edinburgh North & Leith holds regular advice surgeries for local residents every Friday. Malcolm Chisholm t: 0131 558 8358 MSP for Edinburgh North & Leith. Advice Surgeries every Saturday morning Rob Munn Leith Ward SNP. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd Monday of each month at Thomas Morton Hall, 6pm. 2nd Wednesday of month at Hermitage Park Primary, 6pm. Leith Community Centre t: 07990795635 Kinsfolk Carers drop-in support group. Thurs 10am. Crèche & Café available. Leith Library 28-30 Ferry Road. t: 0131 529 5517 Computer Club: Under 13’s, Tues. 4-5pm. Friday Craft Time: 4’s to 11’s, 2.30pm. south Leith Church Halls 6 Henderson Street. t: 0131 554 2578 Computer classes: Mon afternoons & Tues evenings. Café opening times: Mon to Fri. 10am-2pm. Ramsay Cornish 15/17 Jane Street. t: 0131 553 7000 Traditional Lane Sale - Thurs. 11am General Household Auction - Sat. 11am . Friarwood Fine Wines t: 0131 554 4159 Free Wine Tasting. Fri. 4.30pm & Sat all day.

LEITH PLASTERING

The Village store New Food Co-op on Fridays,12-4pm at Out of the Blue Drill Hall. Edinburgh Backgammon Meetup t: 0131 665 1170 12 July 3pm, Out of the Blue Drill Hall Welcome to people of all abilities. strange Town summer school t: 0131 556 0710 13 - 17 July: Summer school for ages 14-18, at Out of the Blue Drill Hall. It’s All About Me! First Impressions Art summer school t: 07951 137 218 20 -24 July: 11am-noon, ages 3-6. 1pm-2.30pm ages 7 & up, at Out of the Blue Drill Hall. Beach Body Boot Camp Crammond beach: every 2nd Sat. From 4th July Portobello beach: every 2nd Sun. From 5th July. Royal Artizana 115 Leith Walk. t: 0131 555 3999 Furniture, jewellery & crafts created by local artists. Serving coffee & tea. 20% of net profit goes back to local charities. A community shop. Edinburgh Mela Festival Pilrig Park 7, 8 & 9 August. The sick Kids Friends Foundation w: bigfunrun.com Enter online now for the 5km Edinburgh Big Fun Run on 3rd October.

LEITH PODIATRY & CHIROPODY W: NE Deck al nt Roy taura s e R

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 www.leithpodiatry.com LEITHERmAGAzinE.com

Registered charity: SCO28070

Ocean Terminal, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ Tel: 0131 555 5566 www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk

ISSUE 54> PAGE 29


Thanks to Leith based Black & White publishing for sponsoring this months crossword and kindly donating three copies of Ted Bracks book, There is a Bonny Fitba Team for the competition and crossword prize. Answer this simple question to receive a free copy, first two corrects answers will qualify. Who were the oppostion when George Best made his home debut for Hibs?

crossword no 29 Supplied by: www.leithlinks.co.uk

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

Crow feather eats change, this does! (7,8) Silver girl country (9) Crushed grape mollusc (5) Crumpled rag, yes! Oily (6) Burst Sid out and intrudes (8) Flag up part broken signature (6) Last acts for chess players (8) Short time a right-winger, threatening (8) Made reparation for a big weight, Ed? (6) read gore perhaps and you could get this (4,4) Bitch! (3,3) Reportedly I grass stateside to top cake (5) Student category form not straight (5,4) Please! Light roan falls and you could end up here (7,8)

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Crossword prize: Copy of ‘There is a Bonny Fitba Team’

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

War ends with 2 to argue (7) Glean perhaps, right perhaps (5) Deer view has the ability to understand (9) About to enter long straps (4) Love tax charges, applause for that (8) Be connected to a very soft queen and highland town (9) The concise oxide pushes (7) Broken ant noises causes this headline (9) Perhaps chaste pup could mend the relationship (7,2) Art broken by GI (Californian) shame! (8) Dynasty broken by Noah’s craft shows colour arrangement on animal (7) Part dig, Italian with new radio perhaps (7) Over and out (5) Wander aimlessly doctor if, junction opens (5) Long way to duck a card game (4)

answers: crossword 28 1

Last months winner Kevin Riddell, Gorgie. Send or email your answers to the The Leither 35 Tower Street Leith EH6 7BN info@theleither.biz

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H I G H O E 9 A E R O V E 11 E N D E N 13 14 S E D U E 18 T A V E R O 21 A N T I I I 26 T R O O O N 28 R O S S

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29 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh, EH6 6JL Tel: 0131 625 4500 Fax: 0131 625 4501 www.blackandwhitepublishing.com PAGE 30 > ISSUE 54

LEITHERmAGAzinE.com


40 years ago

man set foot on the moon (nothing to do with the leither, but what a pretty picture)


Share a Loch Bracadale tasting plate scaLLoPs, oysTers, crab, 2 GLasses cHiLean vioGnier or sauviGnon bLanc £19.00

Wines by the glass 3 cHamPaGnes from 7.00 5 wHiTes from 4.25 2 reds from 4.50 1 rosÉ from 4.00

Sunday brunch

from cHarLie barLey’s sTornoway bLack PuddinG To eGGs fLorenTine or a doubLe decker roLL and a muG of Tea 10-5 60 Henderson sTreeT, edinburGH 0131 538 6131 www.cafefisH.neT

Leither - 54  

Captains CourageousIt’s A Knockout – remember Stuart Hall’s hysterical laughterand the mud baths? – Is coming to Spartans FC at Ainslie Park...

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