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Issue 58 November 2009

Leither

Vegas! Happy 12th Birthday

Plus

Spanish Civil War Red Card Against Racism Come Dine With Me Politics | Fitness | Reviews | What’s On | Foolishness | Opinion | Food


The Ship

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24 - 26 The Shore, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6QN 2 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com


EditoratLarge

Contents

3 Shiny Happy People 5 6 C

raig McMurdo and his Dance Orchestra – I checked it on the web, it’s definitely not his Jazz Quartet or his Big Band – are giving it laldy on the stage at the Vegas 12th anniversary stooshie, in Ocean Terminal. It is not yet 10pm and Mister McMurdo has already played a fine scything (air) guitar, cart wheeled across the stage, and described a perfect pirouette, he is a human windmill of activity and his rich, sonorous voice only adds to the feeling of being in (Las) Vegas. (Without the flying and the prohibitive costs) We have the added bonus that in our parallel Vegas, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior and Elvis are still alive courtesy of the bold McMurdo’s outrageous gift for mimicry and downright cool crooning. His backing singers back sing beautifully, the brass section parps and burps, the boffin behind the keyboard swirls cloaks

As 12th anniversaries go… it went. In a cloud of dry ice, body heat and magenta dust particles

of melody, whilst swotting up on difficult sums. Roulette wheels clack and rattle in the casino, where punters win thousands of ‘Elvis’ dollars and find they are worth, oh, nothing. Which is to miss the point, a Vegas club night is all about inhabiting the moment. A chance to be anything other than what you are, a chance to love some one the way you love someone you no longer love. The website says that people fall in love at Vegas Which I believe. It also says that many of them get married. Which I regret. Showgirls preen and blossom in the candlewick blue light. Acts come and go on the polka dot stage, somehow, nothing disappoints. As 12th anniversaries go… it went. In a cloud of dry ice, body heat and magenta dust particles. Perfectly choreographed by all concerned, Vegas is the paradigm for all good clubs, in that it realises it is all about you…and me. ■

Does the editor make a fool of himself again? Read on… Protempore gives his considered view of that question time Gordon Munro asks why so many Scots volunteered for the Spanish Civil War

11

An Englishman in Leith wonders why Alex Salmond has appropriated the Saltire Allan Muir tells us about the long winding road out of depression Andy Warhol gets thrown out of an orgy. Eh?!

18 22

Leither

Published by: Leither Publishing Editor: William Gould ( 07891560338  billy@leithermagazine.com Artwork: Bagelfish Design, ( 0131 553 3773  hello@bagelfishdesign.co.uk Photography: Ryan McGoverne  info@ryanmcgoverne.co.uk Advertising: Jennifer Lawrie ( 07908550118  theleither@orange.net The Leither: 121 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ Contacts: ( 0131 554 2728  theleither@orange.net 8 leithermagazine.com Cartoonist: Gordon Riach Illustrator: Bernie Reid © 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.

Have some fun and raise money for Prostate Cancer like all the guys at Carriers Quarters. Go to – lovethemo.co.uk

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

Front cover and Vegas! Photograph: By Ryan McGoverne from Vegas! 12th Birthday Bash. leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 3


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Protempore Question time or time to question A

s you’ve all probably noticed, there was a fair old stooshy about Nick Griffin MEP appearing on the BBC’s Question Time recently. For those of you who don’t know (or simply don’t care) Mr Griffin is the leader of the British National Party more commonly referred to as the BNP. The furore centred upon whether Mr Griffin should be given the oxygen of publicity for himself and his party given the fact that some of their views border on the downright racist. This is, in fact, something that Mr Griffin denies but we’ll get to that in a minute. His appearance has caused such controversy that it has thrown his party into the political spotlight and has, according to some commentators, increased the party’s vote-winning potential at the next general election. What a fair number of those commentators fail to explore however, is why any right-minded person would ever vote for a party who spout hatred and intolerance. The British National Party’s website sets out the detail on a number of its policies and is cleverly designed to conceal the underlying poison contained within its message. For example, it constantly refers to ‘we, the indigenous British people’ – which actually means – ‘we, the white people’. One of their policies would be to introduce a system of ‘voluntary resettlement whereby those immigrants who are legally here will be afforded the opportunity to return to their lands of ethnic origin assisted by generous financial incentives both for individuals and for the countries in question’. What that actually means is if you’re not white, we’ll pay for you to leave the country. It doesn’t matter if your mum and dad or gran and granddad were all born in the United Kingdom. We want you to leave. Not surprisingly, the website doesn’t say what kind of treatment will be afforded to those people who

choose to remain in the country of their birth but it doesn’t take a genius to work that one out. Their policy on health includes an interesting assessment of the reasons for a supposed increase of tuberculosis and AIDS – it’s the result of immigration. Also (British) white doctors and nurses can’t find jobs in the NHS because the country is importing medical staff from Third World countries many of whom have ‘questionable qualifications’. So, unemployment amongst white doctors and nurses is due to, yes, you’ve guessed it, immigration. On crime and justice, the BNP states that ‘non-indigenous crime’ involving knives and guns will be dealt with in terms of the BNP policy on immigration and identity. How can you possibly classify a crime as ‘non-indigenous’? It would be interesting to take that argument a bit further and suggest to Mr Griffin that if there are such things as nonindigenous crimes then there must surely be indigenous crimes that are only committed by the indigenous population i.e. white people. The BNP’s constitution states that the party is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples. This means that indigenous white plus white equals good; whereas indigenous white plus anything other than white equals bad. Remind you of anything? According to the National Socialism spouted by the Nazis, it is a mistake to permit or encourage plurality within a nation. In other words, it would be a mistake to work towards a society in which numerous, distinct, ethnic, cultural or religious groups are present and treated with tolerance. Mr Griffin constantly denies that he is a fascist or a Nazi but he has no desire to see a multicultural Britain in which diversity and understanding are allowed to flourish and where his narrow-minded and poisonous racism would be consigned to the

The British National Party’s website sets out the detail on a number of its policies and is cleverly designed to conceal the underlying poison contained within its message

gutter where it belongs. This brings us back to the opening point. Who in their right mind would ever vote for a party that spouts hatred and intolerance? Well it seems that quite a lot of people would and already have. At the European elections earlier this year, the BNP managed to return two members to the European Parliament. They took one seat in Yorkshire and Humberside and another in the North West of England. It was the first time that the party had ever won seats in a national election. Even before the controversial appearance on Question Time, it appears that the BNP’s message, however hateful and misguided, is appealing to voters in certain parts of the UK. What’s worrying is that it isn’t just appealing to a handful of people who have become disaffected with mainstream political parties there are millions of people voting for a party with division and hatred at its heart. We shouldn’t be worried about giving Nick Griffin a platform on which to spout his impotent tripe, because that’s what it is. We should be more worried that such a large number of people are being convinced by the message. If the mainstream parties don’t get their acts together soon and destroy the momentum that the BNP has gathered, we could be looking at the first BNP MP being elected at the next general election. Frankly, there are enough boss-eyed gargoyles dotted around Westminster Palace already – we don’t need another one. ■

Leave your comments on protempore at leithermagazine.com leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 5


Viva La Quince Brigada Councillor Gordon Munro recounts the highly emotive story of a young Newhaven man who…walked out one midsummer morning

J

immy Rutherford’s story is not well known but it should be. Jimmy Rutherford was eighteen years old when he left Newhaven to fight as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. He is still there, but he did not grow old. Jimmy was executed by a firing squad on Tuesday 24th May 1938. How did a young man from Newhaven get involved in this far away battle? Like many other volunteers, Jimmy had worked out that if fascism was not confronted in Spain, then bombs in Madrid one day, would lead to bombs in London, Glasgow and Leith the next. His friend, Labour Parliamentary candidate David Dryburgh, put it best. “This was no sudden impulse. It was the practical working out of his own theory of life.” Jimmy’s first stint ended when he and his comrades were captured at Jarama on 13th February 1937. Amongst his fellow prisoners was Harold Fry from Leith who was also Battalion commander. Both were sentenced to death. They had witnessed fellow volunteers being killed – in one instance for reaching for a cigarette and in another as the preferred choice between serving Franco or death – ninety Republican prisoners a day were taken away from the prison and shot. Every day, with brutal monotony, the prisoners were warned by their captors, “today you will die.” However, unbelievably, both Rutherford and Fry survived, they and their re6 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

Every day, with brutal monotony, the prisoners were warned by their captors, “today you will die

With thanks to the International Brigades Memorial Trust 37 Reginald Road, Forest Gate, London E7 9HS. 020 8555 6674, or international brigades.org.uk

maining comrades were exchanged for prisoners from the other side. In an infamous news photograph of the day they were seen huddled in the back of a truck whilst being told by the Daily Mail’s pin-up boy of the time, Alfonso Merry del Val, that if they returned to Spain “they would be shot.” This chilling warning did not deter them, both were quick to return, Fry was killed in battle soon after and Rutherford was taken back into captivity. Despite using an assumed name and his pals covering for him at every turn he had the misfortune to be recognised by the very same Merry de Val, who ordered he be put before a firing squad and shot. This time there was no last minute reprieve… Why return to Spain? Whilst home, Rutherford undertook a speaking tour to let people know about what was happening in Spain. His sister recalled him speaking for an hour and a half in a hall in Ferry Road. At one point he said, “If all the young men here had seen what I saw out there, then they would do as I am doing.” This was, as has been noted before, political belief translated from rhetoric into action. The elected Republican Government of Spain had effectively been invaded by Franco – under the auspices of Hitler and Mussolini who provided finance, logistics, and manpower – so Jimmy’s political beliefs almost insisted he fight for Republican Spain against Franco’s fascists, that and his inate humanitarianism.

Jimmy’s story is one of many that can be found in local author Daniel Gray’s excellent and timely book, Homage to Caledonia Luath Press (£9.99). The book, which tells the story of how Scotland supplied twenty-three percent of Britain’s International Brigade despite only representing ten percent of the UK population at that time, can also be borrowed from Leith Library. Quite a few others books on this emotive subject were available for order the last time I was there. On that occasion too, Jimmy Rutherford’s great niece was in attendance – the Rutherford’s can still be found in great numbers in Newhaven – this, you see, is living history. What was it about the Spain of 1936 that resonated so strongly with Scotland? Jimmy Rutherford was a member of The Society of Free Fishermen of Newhaven who fought and died to free Spain from fascism. His tale deserves to be more widely known and is part of a greater story that is worth telling down the ages. Albert Camus remarked that “It was in Spain that men learnt one can be right and still be beaten, that force can vanquish spirit, that there are times when courage is not its own reward…” Above all else, Jimmy would have recognised the truth in these words. It is a mark of his courage that he fought on, despite and not because of them… He was one of your own, and you should remember his name with pride. ■


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NearPavillion 6

Paris soir

In which our society reporter and middle order batsman, Leopold Simpson, gets bladdered with that French bloke from Green Card

J

ournalists are often given a hard time for being nothing more than hard drinking scare mongrels – and rightly so – on the other hand it can be a demanding job, full of risk, sexual conquests, coupled with petulant, unnecessary raincoat wearing. As a freelance reporter at The Leither, the high salary I command allows me to mix this with a sensual European lifestyle akin to the likes of Tony Blair and pop sensation Bryan May. With the cricket season well and truly over, and demanding editors still insisting on their ‘800 words of flesh’, your trusted reporter must look to the society pages for an extra bob or two. I don’t genuinely need the cash but it’s just reassuring to know you can

Snoring Like A Norton

walk into any branch of Leather and Lace and blow a grand on poppers. So, as a special treat, let me tell you about my night out with Kylie Minogue and Gerard Depardieu at the latter’s restaurant La Fontaine Gaillon in Paris, France. Not to be confused with Paris, Texas – though I did spend a great weekend there with Mathew McConaughy, Terence Trent D’Arby, Bobby Brown, Sandra Bullock and a crate and a half of Grey Goose vodka. Fed up with La Tour D’Argent and its sartorial indifference we decided to ‘rough it’ at Gerard’s place. Luckily he had been alerted to our impending arrival, and dropped his filming commitments for the evening to cook exclusively for the 8 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

‘diminutive genius’ and myself. Gerard is a strong, sweet, man – chunky and earthy, much like his culinary skills, which are hands on and passionate. (Take the hairdresser out of Gordon Ramsey’s cooking and you have Depardieu). He indulges in rich, yet rudimentary sauces, coupled with the prime meats: le Boeuf, and carre d’Agneau. Surprisingly the Lamballe we had that night was excellent! His interpretation of split peas mixed with tapioca and the accompanying stuffed quails in paper cases would leave even Madame Antoinette’s pal delighted. As it was, come 11.30 and our 9th course, La Minogue had passed out and was snoring like a Flat Tank Norton rounding the hairpin bend at Knockhill racing circuit in gorgeous, pouting, Fife. The night was still but a pup, so myself and Gerard did the decent thing, we stuck Kylie down in the wine cellar under Mr. Depardieu’s duffle coat with a ‘reasonable’ bottle of sack should she wake up before dawn. For us, however, there were bigger fish to fry, quite literally, as Gerard was still hungry. So we briefly met up with that ageing electro soft rocker, Jean-Michel Jarre for a chippie at La Defense. Now, call me a snob with a widescreen TV and bells on, but I just don’t think the French can do a pickled egg like we Brits do, they just don’t seem to have that certain je ne sais croissant. Jean-Michel is a good lad and nobody wants to disrespect him (long pause) but…he does insist on getting the rounds in earlier in the night when its cheaper and strangely wants to stand at the bar only when it’s his call…no matter, either way, he totally got his comeuppance at Le Biz Bar & Diner later on. He honked his load over Sophie Dahl’s new pumps, and her boyfriend – Jamie Cullum – bit him hard on the knee.

As a freelance reporter at The Leither, the high salary I command allows me to mix with the likes of Tony Blair and pop sensation Bryan May

 Next month: What do John Travolta, Kirsty Alley, Leopold Simpson and a large barrel of baby oil have in common? Plus what does Alex Higgins really think of Bobby Davro.

Earthy Talents

Gerard was piling down a second helping of chilli ribs when who should turn up but, La, fucking, Minogue! Talk about ‘up and at em’? I’ve rarely witnessed such overtly slutty behaviour since Bryan Ferry’s early solo career. Ok, she has popped on the pounds since the chemo, but one really wouldn’t have thought she would have to try that hard. Try she did though, last time I spotted her she was snogging a delighted Mick Hucknall, who had exchanged his trademark flowing ginger locks for a tight, no compromise, suede head for the evening. I know Kylie quite well, having nursed her sister through her break-up with former Formula One race ace, Jacques Villeneuve – if I’m honest though most of the help involved lengthy ‘sexual cleansing sessions’ – never the less, I’m not sure that the tiny chanteuse will be able to live this one down. Not now that Heat magazine are interested in a weekly column. A bientot. ■

Vommed On


5 Recommended Non-Fiction Books Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Travel/memoir recommended by Sam) - ‘Following a traumatic divorce, Elizabeth Gilbert chronicles her road to recovery featuring lots of travels, great food and unexpected friendships. Charming, funny and enlightening.’ The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson (Biography/politics, recommended by Keith) ‘Wild, hilarious, untamed and possessed of incisive diamond cutting insight. Take a trip with the doctor.’ The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks (Psychology, recommended by Maria) - ‘An extraordinary journey into the human mind, what happens when something goes wrong? When we forget what happened only five minutes ago? Beautifully written, Oliver Sacks explores what it really means to be who we are.’

 Thanks to Martin MacInnes from Waterstones

Why England Lose by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski (Football, recommended by Martin) ‘A Freakenomics/Malcolm Gladwell-style take on the world of football, showing how apparently incidental details such as a player’s hair colour can have a very real bearing on success.’ Spells by Emily Gravett (Children’s, recommended by Anna) - ‘A fantastic picture book that combines Gravett’s beautiful illustrations with a great sense of humour to create an interesting twist on a classic fairytale ending.’

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The Wedding Planner Vikki starts the column as a Graves and returns next month as a…well, wait and see

O

ne of the best things about writing for The Leither is that my esteemed editor allows me to wax lyrical on any subject of my choosing. However this can be both a blessing and a curse if at the time of writing, your thoughts are dominated by other things; things which are so mundane as to be unprintable. Or so I thought. Although I would never claim a reputation for searing political critique, most of the time I would say I take a healthy interest in current affairs. This month, however, it’s more about currant affairs – my wedding cake is finished and I am forced to rely heavily on obvious puns to hit my word count. Regular readers of my mutterings may remember me mentioning my impending nuptials, and by the time you read this, (if you read this,) I will have renounced both my surname and my singledom. Just a few short months ago in this very publication, I navigated the social etiquette of weddings like a smart-arse, now I’m hoping that my own wedding guests will be able to do it whilst keeping their witty comments to themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, I am ridiculously excited about my wedding. I can’t wait to totter

down the aisle beside my dear old dad and I can’t wait to see the look on my fiancé’s face when he sees my larger than life, fairy princess, meringue of a dress which, despite my protestations to the contrary, I don’t think I’m going to be able to bring myself to put on eBay. I’m not one of those girls who has dreamed of her wedding day since primary school, but the helpless romantic in me does believe these are moments you can’t buy. It’s not these priceless and unforgettable photo opportunities that dominate my every waking thought though. No, it’s the parts of a wedding you can buy that never seem to end. I’m certainly not averse to shopping, but there are limits, or at least, I’m starting to think there should be. As I write, I am simultaneously attempting to source a very particular style of wire photo holder with a clear plastic base and liaise with the mother of the bride regarding table decorations. Perhaps I should have realised it would be like this when I was gifted a book entitled ‘Wedding Details’, but this is a level of detail way beyond my expectations. Not long after her wedding, a good friend told me that if she could do the whole thing again she’d go for a couple of ales and some cheese and pickle sandwiches down the pub. At the time I thought that was what I’d do simply as a matter of course, but I realise now how easy it is to get swept up in a grand sense of occasion. It really is amazing how quickly sandwiches become an artisan cheeseboard and how the transition from local ale and peanuts to sparkling wine and

Not long after her wedding, a good friend told me that if she could do the whole thing again she’d go for a couple of ales and some cheese and pickle sandwiches down the pub

canapés happens so smoothly. The need for everything to be ‘just so’ seems to have snuck up on me unannounced. On the one hand I am aware that the world will not end due to a wonky label on a miniature jar of homemade chutney, but on the other, I wonder if the guest whose sticker has not been applied parallel to the lid of the container might take it as some sort of slight. The throwaway nature of it all is somewhat baffling. Like the table decorations - hundreds of pounds for some almost dead plants stuck in a bit of green sponge which are liable to meet a sorry end if placed too close to a tea light. It would seem however, and this is real-time wedding planning folks, that even my florally minded mother agrees this might not be worth it. There have been points in this whole process when I’ve wondered if my betrothed and I are going to make it out of our wedding alive, let alone actually married. And I must confess there is a not insignificant part of me that is mostly looking forward to relaxing after the big day among the spoils of her John Lewis gift list. But a big day it is and a big day it shall be. I’m not planning on doing it again so I shall have cakes, canapés, dresses and decorations (mini cacti, by the way) cheaper, and my mum can take them home. The lot. And so the next time I grace these pages I hope to have not only a brand new name but also a wealth of new, previously undiscovered material. I cannot promise politics but you can rest assured it will most definitely be totally wedding-free. ■ leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 11


Home thoughts from abroad

An Englishman In Leith A

I have removed the symbol (in my life) of submission and slavery to a corrupt elite. In one bound I have also crossed faiths, standing side by side with Iran whose leaders have removed the decadent symbol of Western oppression

ge brings many changes, a desire to stay in once in a while, the belief that a view is worth the effort, that refusing that last drink might actually be a good idea. In line with many others of my age, my youth was one of political activity, no demonstration was to be missed, or opportunity to shout “Maggie Out” spurned. Lyrics spat of ‘no hope’, a generation betrayed and on the scrap heap. The circle has turned and once again school leavers face an uncertain future, a degree no longer guarantees a job, it is the late 1970s early 80s re-visited. However despite the proclamation that I am ‘as young as ever’, the inclination to tear down the walls of a bankrupt system is no longer driving me. My Billy Bragg CDs are a historical touch point not a rallying call for today. My political anger has burnt out, as has my ability to make overt anti-establishment gestures. Or so I thought, recently I have apparently been displaying distinct anti-establishment tendencies; I have removed the symbol (in my life) of submission and slavery to a corrupt elite. In one bound I have also crossed faiths, standing side by side with Iran whose leaders have removed the decadent symbol of Western oppression. How? Simple, I have stopped wearing a tie to work! The tie has a long history dating back to the 17th Century, when the habit of wearing cravats or pieces of cloth tied around the neck was established. Since then it has undergone numerous fashion changes but has consistently been seen as necessary attire for those in ‘respectable’ professions and has such been associated with conformity Minor rebellious attempts have been made to usurp this conformity, in my own school days it went from being worn short and fat with a double Windsor, to pencil thin, the ultimate punk fashion accessory. More recently the trend for ‘humour’ raised its head, sad types sporting Mickey Mouse or Dennis the Menace ties in vain attempt to show their non-conformity, which

12 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

were replaced at Christmas time with wintry scenes of snow and holly... help! Until recently our politicians have generally adopted the conformist approach, Labour wore red ties and the Tories sober blue ties, lately however Labour and Tory seem happy to sport whatever colour they fancy regardless of whether it is the colour of the other party. The SNP and in particular Alex Salmond appear to be taking a different route, using the humble tie to press home its political message by being seen ad-infinitum sporting a tie with the Scottish Saltire on it. On first thought it is a strange idea, lets face it Barack Obama sporting the Stars and Stripes? Gordon Brown with a nifty Union Jack tie? The Union flag may be a design icon but if a UK Prime Minister sported it around his neck he could expect to be pilloried by the press. So how does Alex get away with it? The SNP have been very clever, they have managed to appropriate the Saltire, making it almost synonymous with them. When not wearing the Saltire tie, SNP MSP’s can be seen with little Saltire lapel badges, the power of the flag and the symbolism that goes with it has not been lost on the SNP PR machine and they are not shy in grabbing it flaunting it and ultimately wrapping themselves or at least their necks in it! With an election looming next year, I am troubled, I believe

passionately that people should use their vote, but no party is talking to me at the moment, the Tories are still the party of the Daily Mail, despite cuddly David’s image. The Labour Party have lost their way and despite introducing the minimum wage will always be the party that took us to War. The Liberals, will side with any other party for a chance to share power. The SNP? They seem more interested in building Brigadoon and inviting Americans and others from round the world with tenuous blood ties back to the ‘homeland’, who knows maybe they may tempt them with a free tie and lapel badge? So come Polling day I think I may just don my shirt and walk proudly in without a tie and spoil my vote, making a radical political statement in a quiet kind of way. Thus enthused for my radical past, I may well be off campaigning for the next big thing. PENSIONS, who stole them, and why will we have to work till we are in our grave? It is the ultimate irony, there was no work when I left school in the late 70s and I wanted a job, now that I am looking towards retirement it looks like I will be forced to work when I don’t want to! I feel that old campaigning ire rising in me again, back on the streets waving my placard… This time it’s personal! ■

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Give racism the red card David Barnes catches up with someone who – says the editor – is one of Leith’s unsung heroes…

W

ith his snooker ball shaved head, his Hibernian tattoos and the gnarly grimace of a pit-bull terrier chewing on a wasp, Bryan Maughan does not give the first impression of a man suited to working through the endless paperwork and tiresome meetings which are part and parcel of life as a community activist. Never judge a book by its cover. In fact, he is an articulate, thoughtful and friendly gent, who has dedicated the past two decades of his working life towards helping local youngsters. You could fill this magazine several times over with articles on worthy projects he has been involved in (or would liked to be involved in if the funding could have been sourced), and he is happy to explain in detail what these schemes have achieved or how they could be improved. On this particular October morning – whilst taking a quick breather from clearing up after a toddlers play group at the Pilmeny Youth Centre on Buchanan Street which he manages – Maughan is talking about the three-day football festival held at Leith Community Centre between the 19th and 21st October which he helped organise for local youngsters as part of a ‘Fortnight of Action’ spear-headed by the charity Show Racism The 14 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

Red Card (SRTRC). “It started back in 2005 after the youth centre was approached by Sikh Sanjog, one of our user groups, to establish a school holiday project aimed at football coaching being used to pass on the anti-racism message within the wider Leith community,” he explains. “We prepared an application to SRTRC and were awarded a grant which got the ball rolling. Redpath Albion (the local amateur and youth football club, which Maughan has been chairman of for over 20 years) agreed to facilitate the coaching element of the project and have been involved ever since. The Citadel Youth Centre was next to step aboard, by offering to provide educational input aimed at raising racism awareness. And in 2006, the Community Learning and Development Team (CLD) based in Leith made a positive financial approach to the project and became a key partner.” “Year on year the project has grown, with the introduction of a girl’s day in 2006. This year there were about 75 kids from various ethnic backgrounds actively involved in the tournament over the three days, with a few dozen more coming along for finals night.” Maughan is keen to name check anyone and everyone who has

You could fill this magazine several times over with articles on worthy projects he has been involved in (or would liked to be involved in if the funding could have been sourced)

 Read more on the subject or contribute. pilmeny.co.uk srtrc.org

provided assistance – including the Leith Police Neighbourhood Action Unit (who provided the outdoor pitch used on finals night), local company Trinity Roofing (who covered the cost of medals for the participants and refreshments) and Leith Community Centre (who provided the venue for free and paid for the main trophy for the winning team) – because he knows that he needs to keep everyone on side. Times are hard, and so it follows that getting the money together to continue this worthy project gets harder and harder with each passing year. “This year it cost us £1,333 for three days and a night, including £300 for a buffet. It isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, but you would be amazed at how much work goes into scraping that money together,” he says. “In our first year, SRTRC gave us nearly £1000 but now we are only getting £600. You end up juggling the cash to get everything paid for. It gets to the stage where you are hoping that not all of the staff who have said they will help turn up, because you can’t afford to pay them all.” “If you weren’t driven on by the enthusiasm of the people actually involved you’d just walk away from the whole thing,” he adds. “On Wednesday night after


everyone else had gone home, the three main organisers – myself, Andy Thomas from the Citadel and Callum Gibson from the CLD – sat looking at each other, and you could tell we were all thinking the same things: Are we going to put ourselves through this again? It is not until you debrief it all that you realise that it really went well, that with a few tweaks we can make it even better, and before you know it you’re committed again.” It is a tragedy that such a worthy cause struggles so much to make ends meet. The number of kids involved may be relatively small, but the project has the potential to make huge changes in the quality of life of those who do get the chance to take part. “For starters, it is a chance to show kids from Eastern European and Asian communities that there is so much more for them to get involved in. A lot of them didn’t realise before that the Citadel or Pilmeny Youth Centres even existed, and we know from past experience that they will get involved in other projects we are running, and they will get their pals along,” says Maughan.

“And it is not just about breaking down barriers between different ethnic communities, but also breaking down the barriers between different parts of Leith,” he adds. “There is this big territorial thing going on between, different parts of Leith but because they all want to be involved they all turn-up, and you can see there are a few snarls at first, but by the time the project is finished it is high-fives and everyone is pals. That does make a difference next time they run into each other out on the street, because they don’t immediately view each other as the enemy.” “Our biggest problem is trying to build on the successful platform we have with this football event. It would be nice to say to these young people that we’ll have something else for them in December or early in the New Year – but the SRTRC money is only available for a fortnight in October. So we’ll just have to carry on as best we can.” ■

 Leave your comments on this column at leithermagazine.com leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 15


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WinterFitness Tracy Griffen

Toadstool seats and I Leith bells L

It was then Spencer’s turn, he told the room, “I go swimming at Ainslie Park three times a week. I find guys in swimming trunks a good distraction

ast Saturday I lunched with a few friends on The Shore, we’re a motley crew and a fair cross section of Leith and so good fodder for this article. I mentioned that I was in the midst of writing a story on winter fitness and the chat got round to what folk do to keep fit over the winter months. Living in Leith is great, but cold weather, tram works and dark days in an urban environment, can make exercise seem an extraneous effort. What can you do to keep your body lithe and supple whilst everyone else seems to be hibernating on the sofa, eating chocolate and getting sozzled on booze? Alice, our host, informed us, “I’ve just discovered Pilates, which I do weekly at St George’s School. It really helps me keep my tummy tucked in and is something I can do indoors over winter. I keep working between classes as well, and I feel trimmer already.” Next up was squeaky voiced Nicky, who excitedly proclaimed, “I love rollerblading. I rollerblade on Ferry Road cycle path When I first got my blades I got a friend to lie down on the path and I did a big jump over her. It does keep me fit. Apparently Silverknowes esplanade is good on a Saturday. Rollerblading is free and you don’t need to pay road tax!” Shona, a Kiwi who has been living in the UK for around a decade, was next and laughed as she told me “I actually don’t. Do you know what I do? I stuff my face up until Christmas and then go on a massive detox. Last year I detoxed for all of January and February and lost shed loads of weight. When I’m detoxing I cut out all rubbish food and alcohol. I run every day. Last time I lost about a stone. It was hard work though… I run at the gym and also a circuit from Broughton Road Tesco along the cycle path to Granton following the seafront and up

through Trinity and back. It’s a really beautiful route so I don’t notice that I’m running and just enjoy my surroundings.” Then, the ebullient Joy, who is known for her fantastic vintage wardrobe as well as her quirky pastimes, “I’ve just started dancing at the Modern Mixers, who run different ‘decade’ related events. You know, the 20s, 30s and 40s. It’s described as ‘Old Fashioned Social Events for New-Fangled Folk’. I also go to Scottish Ministry of Burlesque events; my burlesque name is Miss Chippi Sauce. All the events feature different types of dancing, I go to Zoot Swing dance classes at The Pleasance called Solo Jazz Steps and Charleston. You get to dance on your own and it’s a very intensive, energetic workout, plus you learn new dances. I was also doing my Cher VHS workout in my living room yesterday, and giggled at a classic line. They’re doing squats and the trainer says ‘when I’m doing this I like to think about squeezing my buttocks’, to which Cher replied ‘I like to think about shopping’. So funny! ‘Turn Back Time’ is a particularly good song to exercise to.” Joy continued, “I also like to ride my bike, it has a toadstool seat and an ‘I Love Leith’ bell. I used to take notice of the weather forecasts, but last week it was forecast to rain

and it never did. So I ride my bike to work no matter the forecast. You’ve just got to do that.” Sheila was excited as, “I’m joining the gym and getting a free membership! I plan to tone up and get a personalised programme.” Lucky her! However couple Mark and Julia were the first to admit, “We hibernate. Like bears…yoga bears. We don’t really do much over winter, only day to day shopping really, so we have a reason to get out the house. And all our friends are plants.” So that explains it. Things started to get a bit silly when Sam announced, “Bed gymnastics are the best way to keep fit!” No one could argue. It was then Spencer’s turn, he told the room, “I go swimming at Ainslie Park three times a week. I find guys in swimming trunks a good distraction.” As you can probably imagine, the conversation took a turn for the unprintable, so I decided to turn off my laptop and continue our long, boozy, lunch. ■  web links: pilatespeople.co.uk tryskating.com modernmixers.co.uk academy.ministryofburlesque.com zootswing.co.uk edinburghleisure.co.uk

 Leave your comments on this column at leithermagazine.com leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 17


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The Dark Illness Of Perception We are a multi-faceted mob and Alan Muir is no exception, whether seen as a solicitor/advocate, recovering alcoholic, survivor of child abuse or ‘overqualified - you’d get bored’ jobseeker, Alan is grateful (most days) to be around to tell the tale

N

ot long ago, I was put in touch with Depression Alliance Scotland and have already benefitted greatly from the time I have spent with them. Trish, a worker there, asked if I could write a little of my experience of depression. I do so in the hope that this helps someone, anyone, even only one! It has already helped me. I have cause to be grateful to all who give their time and energies to this worthy cause. Whatever you call it, ‘the black dog” or ‘the fog’, my experience of clinical depression is of a living hell, a long night without any breaking dawn. It is potentially fatal. I call it ‘The Bottle Dungeon’, why? As a child, our annual holiday was to St. Andrews. We stayed in what I recall as an underground cell in the shape of a flat-bottomed bottle with a single entry/exit along a very narrow hall that allowed little light to enter, thus tormenting the wretched occupants. I used to imagine that I was crawling up the walls towards the light (and freedom) only to learn that the walls started to work against me as I climbed, sapping what little energy I had, leaving even less for the next futile, desperate attempt. These imaginings would always end in confusion, removal, starvation and bleakness. Are you with me now? Every time I tried to crawl out of depression I fell back in the same way. Why bother? It would only return

anyway, and, one definition of insanity is the repetition of the same action expecting a different result so, wasn’t I sinking further into insanity each time? These debates with my ‘internal bully’ were quite frankly ‘nae a fair fight’. What right did I have to be depressed? In late 2002 I was a busy Advocate, a recovering alcoholic, five years – now twelve – sober. Popular (I kept being told!). Clearly it was my fault. Had someone else related their history as mine, I’d have seen it as a debilitating illness needing support and treatment. In me however it was a fault, a failing, an error, something else to use to beat myself up with. I had read, but forgotten, the words of The Talmud, quoted in Elizabeth Wurtzel’s ‘Prozac Nation’ – “We do not see things as they are, we see them as WE are.” That is why I call this the illness of perception. For instance, take a calculator and move the numbers 4 to 7, 3 to 8, 2 to 6 and so on – now try for an accurate calculation… In my illness, the number buttons have been jumbled just like that for some reason and ‘reason’ is the first thing to go. Eventually, in April 2003, I tried to hang myself, just to end the torture, to punish God and get some peace. I remember thinking ‘right God, if this is the life you’ve planned for me, you can fuckin’ have it back, you backed the wrong horse, infallible my arse’! The rope snapped and I beat myself up about yet another failure.


I (re)made and (re)drank my last coffee, (re)had a last fag and (re) washed and dried the cup, saucer and ashtray, no mess to be left – a body didn’t seem to feature in my thinking – the rope (re)snapped! I tossed a coin and Murray Royal Hospital in Perth beat going to Homebase for more rope. I was examined, admitted, and talked to a consultant who agreed with me, unfortunately! What right did I have to be depressed? I was simply avoiding my problems, time to straighten up and fly right - clearly! She equated obtaining a law degree/career with losing the ‘right’ to mental illness. Her discovery that I had written a guidebook to the 1984 Mental Health (Scotland) Act sealed my fate I think. Two weeks later I was thrown out, she did not last much longer than me though. A journey into the light So turfed out, no Community Psychiatric Nurse or support, with pills in hand, there followed three nightmare years and a further admission, although, to a wholly different atmosphere and ethos. I could write a book (I might yet) on that stay as a ‘user’, as patients were called at that point. God knows what eejit thought that supposedly PC, less offensive term up! The new consultant was amazing, a real credit to his

profession. His help, guidance and gentle cajoling brought me into the light. The nursing, auxiliary and cleaning staff couldn’t have been of greater support, not soft, but wonderful people. Dr. C treated patients as I did clients and court staff – we all had a contribution to make. I am truly humbled to have met them, and my fellow patients, who each helped in their own way, (some now gone before their time). In the Murray Royal grounds sits The Walled Garden café – a sanctuary! If you are in the area it is well worth visiting. It served as the third massive hurdle cleared by two of us, the first was the door of the ward, the second the hospital shop fifty or so yards from the ward. Bonds are made quickly and deeply in hospital (similar to prison I’m told). Three of us spent hours in there, simply sharing, a massive factor in any recovery. If you talk about it, it can’t fester in your head in the same way. Three years on I have come to accept the anti-depressants in the same way a diabetic uses insulin, albeit in my case, I still like to test the ‘I must be alright by now’ theory. I now hope to work in the area of helping others who are facing up to similar demons - many not mentioned here. To hear someone say, “I know how you feel, it WILL change” and see in their eyes that

I had read, but forgotten, the words of The Talmud, quoted in Elizabeth Wurtzel’s ‘Prozac Nation’ – “We do not see things as they are, we see them as WE are

they actually mean it, is often a huge step towards the light. It certainly was for me. I now know what hell they had come through to earn the right to say it with such disarming sincerity. A good friend hit me between the eyes about suicide during a visit. “You’ll always have that option - the simple fact is that we all do BUT if you take it, you’ll never have another. Some time ago you would not have accepted you’d feel like this BUT it happened. So you now have to accept that sometime in the future you WILL feel differently that your life is worth the living.” Thankfully, I heard as well as listened and it is; changed too in ways I could never have imagined and would never have planned. There’s a new route map, one including the views, support and honest criticism from others I love and trust. To my father and my sister, no words can adequately thank them, only – I hope – seeing me grow (even if its two steps forward one step back a lot of the time). Some days I get reminders of what that hell was like. I need them, I’m not cured, I am, like so many of us, on a journey that has its own turns, lay-bys, and, the occasional puncture! I thank everyone who was/is there for me. There are others here for you…■ leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 19


The Citadel returns from exile “There is a part of this place in every footballer I have ever trained.” John Hughes

I

t has often been said that The Leither would attend the opening of a can of Carlsberg special brew. This is obviously a vile and scurrilous rumour, we surface only when the occasion absolutely demands it and nothing gave us greater pleasure this month than to attend the official launch of the newly refurbished – fit for purpose – Citadel Youth Centre. On arrival we were not in the least surprised to note that a gaggle of councillors – perhaps that collective noun should be a ‘bevvy’ – had annexed the impressive buffet and hem hem the refreshments. Dark rumours were circulating to the effect that one of their number had threatened to boycott the occasion due to the omission of their name from the memorial plaque that was about to be unveiled. Who cares? This day was all about the kids, and the staff and volunteers, who had returned from exile – all the way from Great Junction Street! – to inhabit their magnificent, newly refurbished building, and its facilities. The original stone and wrought ironwork has been restored to its former glory. Nothing has been skimped in the modernisation; there is an IT centre, an arts & crafts room, a TV and DVD lounge, a cracking café and a beautiful multi-purpose space for the kids. Worryingly, perhaps, for the neighbours, there is a state-of-theart sound system! The hordes had grazed well and were on their second glass of bubbly when the redoubtable Willy Barr – Project Co-ordinator and all round good fellow – got proceedings started. “This isn’t the 20 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

real launch,” he said mischievously, “we had that last week for the only people that matter…our kids.” He likened his job to plate spinning, I’m willing to bet a lot get broken, and talked about a community that had remained loyal to the idea of The Citadel for 29 years. “Isn’t that 30 years?” someone piped up. “For god sake don’t ask me,” deadpanned Willie, “we only had our 25th anniversary last year!” Willy is not resting on his laurels, according to Marilyne MacLaren; he has his radar set on phase 2 of the building project. “I’m sure Willy will always be a thorn in our side,” she said. “Yes,” said Willy, quick as a flash. And all the moneymen in the room looked like rabbits trapped in his headlights. “Remember to smile,” read Sandra Malcolm sotto voce from her notes. “The Citadel was my childhood, this place has given me memories I could talk about for ever, my son Lewis comes here now, and I hope my grandchildren will too.” Tears never far away, her nerves were infectious, endearing, and affecting. Mr Barr beamed from the side of the stage his pride in his protégé obvious. John Hughes opened with a gag, “Oh sorry, it’s my phone – Sir Alex Ferguson? – listen I’ll need to get back to you…I’m at the opening of The Citadel Youth Centre.” Hughes attended as long ago as 1980 and paid a generous tribute to Margaret Jarman, who has been there from the beginning. “There is a part of you in my kids and every footballer I have ever trained.” Tears flowed, not least your hard-bitten editor. There was a dry as a bone speech from a fellow from the Heritage

Willy Barr

He gave his usual rabble rousing speech – something special is happening here, and it is staying here

Lottery Fund, before Rob Munn took us back to the days when the surrounding area was a wasteland and this building was an abandoned wing of a railway station. Gordon Munro regaled us with a story about a child he bumped into on the way in, “He said to me – this is barry – and it is.” He gave his usual rabble rousing speech before finishing, movingly, with, “Something special is happening here, and it is staying here.” Ceremonial cakes were cut, plaques unveiled, and then the kids set about turning the place upside down. Which is just as it should be. ■


Louise’sColumn

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… I

t’s that time of year when I can’t walk past the crammed window of Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe without stopping to have a look. I’ve got my eye on some tartan Santa decorations and a cheeky looking fairy with dangly legs for our Christmas tree. I’ve even started to compile my own ‘wish list’ on Amazon, not unlike the hours I happily spent as a kid leafing though the back of Kays catalogue putting big bold ticks alongside all the toys I wanted. It’s not even the end of October as I write this, and I can already feel myself gearing up for Christmas, much to Norman’s dismay. But I just can’t help myself. It’s my favourite time of year. The wonderful aroma of cinnamon in coffee shops (deliberately wafted out on to the streets at this time of year, I’m sure), the array of sparkly Christmas decorations in John Lewis, which I always stop to admire on my short cut through the Centre, along with their upside down Christmas trees. What are they all about? Do you think anyone actually buys them? For me, there’s also the promise of two weeks off over Christmas, and of course my birthday before it all (and it’s not my 40th this year so I’m much more relaxed about it). December is in fact a magical month. But there is no reason why October and November can’t be too. Why wait? I’m not sure who is supposed to be buying me all of these wonderful pressies. I guess it will all be down to Norman, who I tend to affectionately call Scrooge at this time of the year. He’s not such a big fan of the festive months apart from his yearly supply of American Jelly Beans and latest X-box game that he gets to open on Christmas morning. I’d better make sure I send him the link to my Amazon wish list… But don’t get me wrong. I don’t make Christmas all about me (although Norman would beg to differ as I stick on another Nat King Cole CD, and urge him to have a wee festive port with me). I love to make up other lists too – with those gifts I plan to buy for family and friends and of course Norman. I always buy my dad’s first, and true to form I did it just the other day. A couple of clicks

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Master Chef Menu Saturday 17th October on Amazon later and I had two pressies I knew my dad would love. Because, like me he’s another Christmas fanatic, and starts to compile his Christmas list at the end of summer! I hope my four-year old nephew never loses his Christmas spirit. I guess all kids, whilst they are kids, have it in abundance. Norman must have had it too when he was younger, trying to work out what the pressies were beneath the Christmas tree. We all did it. The difference is, I still do! Memo to self – I’ll need to ask his mum where it all went wrong, when Christmas became just another day. I didn’t always like Christmas. I had a few bad years; the moody teenage years when I just wanted to be out with my friends, traumatised at having to be up at the crack of dawn, showered and dressed by 9am (yep – my mum is that way too)…but, thankfully, I grew out of it. So for all those, like Norman, grumbling at the sight of early Christmas decorations in the shops and the sound of the odd Christmas tune on the radio advertising festive treats, there are a few of us who simply can’t get enough! “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store, but the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be, on your own front door…” ■

 Leave your comments on Louise’s Column at leithermagazine.com

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FoodReview John Holmes

Ondine had Andy Warhol thrown out of an orgy… Ondine 2 George IV Bridge Edinburgh ( 0131 226 1888 8 ondinerestaurant.co.uk

O

ndine is the brainchild of Roy Brett, one-time acolyte of Rick Stein, and occupies a space adjacent to the new fashion hotel – Missoni – that replaced the concrete eyesore in our fine old town, which housed the former offices of the Scottish Parliament. It’s on the first floor and most of the tables have views either onto George IV Bridge or Victoria Street. I didn’t actually ask him but I’m pretty sure Roy didn’t have this review’s title in mind when naming his new restaurant. The paintings in the attractive and expensively appointed dining room suggest he is more of a water nymphs man than a fan of Andy Warhol’s eponymous superstar, but you never know. Some things are better left unexplained, no matter how obscure, to allow the observer 22 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

to reach their own conclusions - like restaurant reviews. As I say, it’s an attractive space, if you like dining in a place that feels as though it’s straight from the pages of a magazine. Me, I’m ambidextrous. As my friends will tell you, I can relax whatever the vibe and felt quite at home, even though my hair needs cut. However, for the first time since my initial review (Chop Chop, Leither 51) for this much-loved periodical, we dined with the Chief and Dot. Now the lovely Dot - prepossessing, well mannered and self-evidently a credit to her parents – also managed to blend effortlessly. But Gouldie? Well, you probably don’t need me to tell you that after five pints of the Extra Cold he’s the sort that gives any doorman whose job is to prevent ne’er-do-wells sully up-market establishments the jumping heebie-jeebies, even though he has had a haircut. But I had a quiet word with the chap on the door, thrust a wrinkled 10-spot into his sweaty palm, as-

This is not to say the staff were unfriendly: far from it. They were very smiley and appeared to be trying hard. They just hadn’t mastered the art of remembering things…

sured him I’d keep the hairy one in order, and we were in. Having gained entry, and despite the flock of suited management types that had congregated in a corner obviously talking about how they might yet eject the scruff, we ploughed on. At this stage we didn’t want to play the we’re here to review your restaurant for The Leither card because, despite the fear and concomitant swift increase in attention and service this statement inevitably brings, it is unprofessional to make the declaration before the food is served. And we’re nothing if not professional at The Leither. So we simply adopted an air of indifference and casual disdain. Obviously a wrong call because in the time it took us to procure some drinks we could have finished a full meal in next-door’s Pizza Express. And the service didn’t improve as the night wore on. This is not to say the staff were unfriendly: far from it. They were very smiley and appeared to be trying hard. They just


hadn’t mastered the art of remembering things – that we wanted drinks; that we wanted two bottles of wine; that we wanted it cold; that we wanted ice (because it wasn’t cold), etc., etc. We also had a near fall-out because they didn’t bring chips with Dot’s steak tartare, insisting they didn’t come with the small option, despite their being included on the menu. The chips appeared eventually, and ungrudgingly to be fair. The food itself was ok, which was disappointing because Sweetness and I had gone for lunch just a week earlier and it had been very good. But the ‘ok’ generalises a range from excellent to awful. We shared the oyster selection (£24 for 12) as a pre-starter, which were fine, if a smidgen expensive, and the waitress didn’t tell us which were which so we had to guess. I then had mutton broth with Welsh rabbit (£6) which was excellent and a very generous portion. About two platefuls came in a soup tureen for me to serve myself, and to keep it hot. Gouldie had grouse

and foie gras terrine with Poilane toast (£7.50), very good, and the ladies had potted rabbit with piccalilli and sourdough (£6) and tempura salt & pepper squid (£7.50). The former was nice but had too much tarragon and the latter tender cephalopod was spoiled by having batter which was neither light nor crisp, suggesting it had either been over-beaten or hadn’t been made with iced water (maybe the kitchen had as much luck as I in procuring some ice). Our mains were an equally mixed bag - roasted shellfish with aioli (£28), steak tartare with green salad and (eventually) chips (£9.50), fish curry with basmati rice and raita (£18.50) and deep fried halibut with mushy peas and chips (£14.50). I asked the editor to describe succinctly what he thought of the shellfish and the steak – “sybaritic and proper, respectively,” he advised. I did ask. The fish curry was okay but despite being over-spiced the fish was paradoxically bland, and the halibut didn’t appear to be halibut to me

Score :

9/20 Bill for four : £168.50 including two bottles of wine (a good Sauvignon Blanc and a poor Chardonnay – both £15.50)

(although the chef in our gang of four assured me it was). It looked pearly white and therefore fresh but had next to no taste and it was encased in a batter so thick and stodgy it wouldn’t have looked out of place in the World Thick & Stodgy Batter-making Championships. For pudding we shared a very good treacle tart with clotted cream (£6.50) and a not-so-good caramelised rice with jam (£6) - the rice was too hard and the taste quite cloying. Anyway, Ondine became a good friend of Andy Warhol’s after having him thrown out of that orgy in 1961. And here was I, saving a good friend from being thrown out of Ondine in 2009. Gouldie assures me he wasn’t at the orgy, but he was invited. ■  P.S. On the way out we noticed, intriguingly, there was no music being played in the lift, yet they choose to play lift music in the dining room. I suggest they reverse this policy. leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 23


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24 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

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


Come Dine with me Louise Storie on dark tales of ropey Hollandaise and stolen lines

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ome of you will recognise Jacquie from a recent episode of Channel 4’s ‘Come Dine with Me’. She was the bubbly, ‘feisty’ – as Heat Magazine labelled her in their TV section – contestant who had no toilet seat and turned her Hollandaise sauce into scrambled eggs. If you were watching the X-Factor results on the other side and missed it all, you can still watch it on www.channel4. com/programmes/come-dine-withme/4od I caught up with her a week later to find out more… You not only cooked for complete strangers, it was also televised to over one million viewers. What was the appeal? Every year I have a couple of New Year resolutions. Usually to appear on ‘Come Dine with Me’ and get an allotment; both came true in the same year! I’m a real foodie, I love entertaining, and there’s always been a wee superstar in me trying to get out. I once auditioned to be a weather girl on the Big Breakfast but the audition went really badly. Part of the reason for going on ‘Come Dine With Me’ was to win the prize money, which I planned to donate to the Edinburgh hospital radio station Red Dot Radio. I’m a DJ there and also their new press and fundraising manager. How did you come up with your menu? You are given £125 to buy all the food and wine. You’d be surprised how much you end up spending especially when you have to buy all the wine. For my starter of Thai beef salad, I followed a recipe of Gordon Ramsay’s from the ‘F Word’. The pickled ginger was a last minute addition, which unfortunately didn’t go down very well with the other contestants. The 20 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

Image sourced from Channel 4 website

Salmon Coulibiac was a Delia Smith recipe, which I’d made many times before. Due to copyright reasons, I had to modify it. I decided to serve it with Hollandaise sauce, which I’d never made before. I thought I could just wing it. The ice bowl and dry ice effect for my dessert were my own creations, along with the ice cream, but I took inspiration from Raymond Blanc for the summer berries. What did you think of your fellow contestants? I’ve got quite an open mind and don’t judge people too quickly. Four nights doesn’t really give you a chance to get to know someone. The filming also gets in the way there’s lots of stopping and starting with each of us being taken away to comment on one another’s food. Coranne was a glamorous, smart, intelligent woman. Gordon was very entertaining. And Terry - well I really liked him actually - he was very down to earth and natural.

Every year I have a couple of New Year resolutions. Usually to appear on ‘Come Dine with Me’ and get an allotment

Did you mind losing to Coranne? I thought Gordon should have won. He put in the most effort and had the best quality ingredients. I found Coranne’s venison very heavy – and not very summery. Terry might not have served up the best food but his evening was the most fun. How much does the production crew influence what happens on the night? A lot! They instigate the asking of certain questions to promote debate, and they are always telling you what to do next. I was really annoyed with the director on the evening of my dinner party as my timings were

all messed up by having to stop and start all of the time. I was also not happy with the Hollandaise sauce. I actually had a jar from Waitrose in the cupboard but they wouldn’t let me use it. They made me serve up the curdled sauce. I would never have done that normally. I’m also convinced that the production crew planted the dirty glass that Coranne made such a fuss about at the table. I had checked all the glasses the night before. But I take full responsibility for the missing toilet seat! When you saw it back was it wildly edited or pretty much how you remember it? It was a pretty tame representation of what actually happened over the course of the week. Coranne’s appreciation of Gordon’s scallops for example, was completely played down. I also noticed that some of the things that I’d said in jest were cut out or used by Dave Lamb the voiceover guy. I came across as much quieter and subdued. They left a lot out, including our karaoke session at Terry’s house. I was proud of my 98% score for ‘Eye of the Tiger’; I’d hoped Simon Cowell might be watching! So, what’s next? MasterChef? X-Factor? I thought about maybe doing a YouTube cookery school… I’ll definitely audition for X-factor next year. I would have done it this year but I had a friend’s wedding on the day of the auditions. These are all ‘tick the box’ experiences. I don’t want to be old and grey and say ‘what if’. If I get on to X-Factor, I get on, if I get laughed off the park then that’s fine too. ■ leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 25


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

Tighnabruaich Rabbit Stew (now try spelling that) H

Key Point Building services All insurance work carried out. Free estimates. Mob. 07904 657899 Tel. 0131 555 2483 Email. keypoint@blueyonder.co.uk CREDIT CRUNCH DISCOUNT 10% OFF TO LEITHER READERS

AQUATIC STORE OPENS IN LEITH

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Freshwater tropical fish and goldfish, plants, fish foods, tanks, bowls, etc. Plus our usual extensive selection of pet foods, accessories and cat litter. Live & frozen fish & reptile foods now in stock.

ello ma wee muckers! Here’s a wee nosh fir yis, aw the way frae Tighnabruaich – a can spell it but a cannae say it - oan the ither side o’ weegie land. Tighnabruaich is Gaelic fir ‘hoose oan the hill’, a bet ye didnae ken that? It’s an awfie bonnie part o’ the country… anyhoo here’s the wabbit wecipe. Wit yi’ll need is: 1 rabbit (get yir butcher tae joint it) 1oz flour, seasoned wi’ salt ‘n’ pepper 2 onions 3 carrots 2oz dripping 1-pint stock made fae marrowbone (nice butcher again!) Wit ye dae is: Wash rabbit well and leave

overnight in slightly salted cold water. Dip rabbit joints in flour, clean and chop all veg and fry in hot dripping with rabbit till lightly browned. Drain well and place everything in a casserole dish wi’ the marrowbone stock. Cover and simmer oan a low peep till the meat is tender… aboot twa hoors. Serve wi’ buttery mash (it’ll dae four o’ ye). Nooadays rabbits are usually fairmed. In the auld days we used a shotgun. A mind oor lavvy pan hid loads o’ cracks in it fae the lead pellets shootin’ oot oh ma jacksie! Ony way that’s mair than enough aboot ma toilet arrangements… ye wouldnae want tae know, happy noshin’. Ching Ching The Laird

Free home delivery. Open 7 days.

165 Great Junction Street,EH6 5LG. Tel: 0131 467 2928

Full body: £15 Half body: £10 e: ferr@aol.com 26 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

Two boys a rabbit and a shotgun...


The Esplanade

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The Esplanade 62-64 Bath Street Portobello 0131 669 0082 the-espy.com

ooking over the sands of Portobello, across the seas of the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife is the ESPLANADE or as some folks like to say the ESPY bar and restaurant. With a menu that puts quality first, we serve a wide range of tasty regular menu choices that we add to daily with freshly prepared specials mmmmmmm. Serving excellent coffees & teas, delicious wines, cask ales, cold beers, cocktails and freshly squeezed fruit juices – There is something for everyone at the the Espy – free wifi & live music too. With bright sea views as well as cosy sofas, you can relax and watch the world go by or sit down with family and friends to enjoy some Scrabble as you sip on our damn fine after dinner coffee. The Espy’s uniqueness in Portobello quickly made it a popular meeting place for locals, groups, and clubs. We strive to provide light entertainment every couple of weeks and regular events like Mad Mexican Mondays, Stitch and Bitch Tuesdays, Monthly Aussie days and much more… The Espy always has something going on.

Welcome to the Guilty Lily!

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The Guilty Lily 284 Bonnington Rd Edinburgh 0131 554 5824 guiltylily.co.uk

aught 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. With a Menu that gives you a wide selection whilst maintaining our high standards as well as a breakfast menu served 12 till 5pm every day, there should be something for everyone. Our new menus include the new and improved (if that were possible) Burger Menu as well as the Little Guilty Kids Menu. We are a family friendly cafe/restaurant and are licensed for children. We have board games, puzzles and colouring books and a Monday Matinee Family Movie – there’s stuff for the kids too. Cafe by day, bar and venue by night. Come for breakfast, stay for lunch and relax into dinner. After the success of the Esplanade in Portobello, Amanda decided to share the love with the good people of Leith. Fresh homemade specials prepared every day, fresh ground coffee from Pat the finest coffee man, fresh baked scones, fabulous live music, funky cocktails, fine beers and ales, fruity wines, free wifi and a huge big smile. leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 27


What’sOn

Highlight of the month

Entertainment

The T120s 29 Nov: Playing at the Ark. Doors open 7.30pm Mary of Guise Barge 11 Nov: 1940’s themed afternoon Tea Party. In aid of Erskine – Caring for ex-Service men & women. Retro homebaking and raffle, 3-6pm. Carrier’s Quarters 42 Bernard Street  0131 554 4122 Sun: 6.30pm Jammie Devils Espy 62/64 Bath Street, Portobello  0131 669 0082 Mon: Poker Night. Tue: Stitch & Bitch (local knitting circle). Wed: Open Mic Night Sun: Quiz Night. Guilty Lily 284 Bonnington Road  0131 554 5824 Sun: The Afternoon Session & Nikki’s Quiz. Wed: Poker League. Fri: Live Music 8.30pm. 7 Nov: David Salmon, 9 til late. 13 Nov: Ben Kearsley. 20 Nov: We’re no Brothers. 27 Nov: Blues for Pocket Money. 28 Nov: Charity fund raiser party. 4 Dec: Naughty and Nice Burlesque. Saphire Music Club @ Guilty Lily Last Thurs of the month.7.45pm, £5 entry Sofi’s Bar 65 Henderson Street  0131 555 7019 Monday Film Night: 8pm. Scottish - Swedish Society: last Monday of the month. Thurs: Acoustic Open Mic Night with Sylvian. Sat: Come watch the X Factor. Knitting Nights: last Tuesday of the month. Knit blankets for Lothian Cat Rescue. 8 Nov: Launch of Mulled Wine Season. 9 Nov: “Festen”, an amazing Danish film. It will be introduced by Lars Bredo Rahbeck, the producer. 15 Nov: Bar Boot Sale, 1-5pm. Call in to book your stall. 24 Nov: Clothes Swap, 7pm. Victoria Bar 265 Leith Walk  0131 554 5706 14 Nov: Singles Night, 8pm. Speed dating & Postman. Joseph Pearce’s Bar 23 Elm Row  0131 556 4140 Tues: Jogging Club 7pm-8pm. 1st Monof the month: The Paintbrush and the Sewing Needle. A general art & craft circle at 7pm. New events: Cinnamon Wednesdays and Sunday D.J. nights. Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk  0131 553 5900 Last Wed of the month: Craft Guerilla Nights. 25 Nov: Big charity night for E.W.R.A.S.C. Music quiz, Craft Guerilla Exhibition & Art Auction. 28 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com

Mary of Guise Barge, The Shore Wednesday 11th November 1940’s themed afternoon Tea Party. Retro homebaking and raffle, 3-6pm. The Bowler’s Rest Mitchell Street  0131 554 4524 Open song & music session: 1st Thurs of the month at 9.30pm. Iso Bar 7 Bernard Street  0131 467 8904 Thurs: The Leith Tape Club 8pm Roseleaf 23/24 Sandport Street  0131 476 5268 Now taking bookings for Xmas Day!! The Shore Bar The Shore  0131 553 5080 Tues: Infinite Trio 9.30pm. Wed: Folk Session 9.30pm. Thur: 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 The Vine Bar 43 North Junction Streeet  0131 555 5834 Fri: Disco & Karaoke from 8pm. Sat: Karaoke from 8pm Kitsch Coffee Bar Bistro 36 Bernard Street  0131 553 7046 Every Thurs: live acoustic music from 7pm. Check out website for the artists & drink promos. Oceana Bar 145 Ferry Road  0131 553 3009 Fri: Karaoke 7.30pm. Sat: Open Mic 7.30pm Sun: Open Mic 5pm. Coburg House Studios 15 Coburg Street. 5th - 6th Dec: Open Weekend, 11am-6pm.

The Village South Fort Street  0131 478 7810 Leith Folk Club  leithfolkclub.org 10 Nov: Cheyenne Brown & Seylan Baxter with Trina Nestibo (£6). 17 Nov: Jonathan Kalb & Tokyo Rosenthal (£8). 24 Nov: Anna Massie & Mairearad Green (£6). 1 Dec: Blueflint (£6). 8 Dec: Richard Dobson (£8). The Yard 2 Bonnington Road Lane  0131 554 1314 Every 2nd Sun from 6th Sept: The Coolest of Crooners - Marty Waugh & his trio.1-4pm. Every Wed: Acoustic live music sessions.

The Arts

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop 25 Hawthornvale, Newhaven.  0131 551 4490 Corn Exchange Gallery Constitution Street  0131 561 7300 13 Nov: Anna Sikorska – Exchange & Harbour Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street  0131 555 7101 Weekly classes include drama, dance, yoga, martial arts, belly dancing, life drawing, aerial classes and children’s art workshop. 7 - 8 Nov: Chinese Pole Weekend Workshop. Moritz Linkmann will introduce students to basic climbs, figures, descents & strength moves. 14 Nov: Bruncheon! Featuring Vroni’s Bavarian Show Music. 11.30am-3.30pm. 14-15 Nov: Lucy Loops Aerial Workshop. 28 Nov: The News Exchange. Free Workshop from ACTive Inquiry, using drama to analsye current news stories. 28 Nov: Bella Caledonia. 2-8pm. U.D.I. and


Building a movement for Yes. 5 Dec: Arts Market, 11am-7pm. 6 Dec: Ride Planet Earth. The regular “Spokes” Sunday ride. Starts 10am at the Usher Hall. To book your place go to spokes@ spokes.org.uk The Scottish Storytelling Centre 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR 21 Nov: The Homing Stone: 7.30pm. Hugh Lupton celebrates the adventures of his great uncle, Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows & Amazons. £10/£8. 22 Nov: The Music of What Happens: 10.30am. Hugh Lupton Workshop. £32/£26. The Scottish Parliament Main Hall, Holyrood 3 Nov: This Is Who We Are - Photography exhibition discovering the spirit of Scotland in Canada.

Community

Mark Lazarowicz  0131 557 0577 MP for Edinburgh North & Leith holds regular advice surgeries for local residents every Friday. Malcolm Chisholm  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. Gordon Munro Leith Ward Labour. Advice surgeries:1st & 3rd Monday of each month at Leith Community Education Centre, 6.30-7.15pm. 2nd Monday of each month at Fort Primary School, 6.30-7.15pm. Last Saturday of each month at Lochend Y.W.C.A., 12noon-1pm. Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP Advice Surgeries: Every Monday at the Scottish Parliament, 10am-12pm.

Friday Craft Time: For ages 4 to 11, Fri 2.30pm For info on other clubs & events contact Leith Library. South Leith Church Halls 6 Henderson Street  0131 554 2578 Computer classes: Mon afternoons & Tues. evenings. Perc U Up Café opening times: Mon to Fri. 10am-2pm. Fairtrade goods for sale. Ramsay Cornish 15/17 Jane Street  0131 553 7000 Traditional Lane Sale: Thurs. 11am General Household Auction - Sat. 11am Fort Food Co-op Fort Primary School  0131 467 7326 Every Tues: 9am-12 noon Edinburgh Backgammon Meetup Out of the Blue Drill Hall  0131 665 1170  meetup.com/Edinburgh-Backgammon A friendly group that meets up regularly. Whether you want to play competitively or just for fun. Complete beginners welcome. 15/29 Nov: 2pm, £2. 23 Nov: 6pm, £2. Royal Artizana 115 Leith Walk  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. Belly Dancing Classes Out of the Blue Drill Hall From 8th Oct. 7.30-8.30pm, Beginners/foundation levels.  shelleyskipper.com/bellydance/ classes.html Bulb Planting in Leith Links 8 Nov: 2pm onwards, everyone welcome (weather permiting, so we can take bets this won’t be happening!!!) Port Haven Nursing Home Leith Links  0131 554 2271 13th Dec: Car Boot Sale. All donations welcome, clothes, shoes, toys, books and bric-a-brac.

Margorie Thomas City Chambers  0131 529 4988 Leith Ward. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd Wed. of each month at Fort Community Wing, 5.30-6pm and Leith Academy, 6.30-7.30pm. Leith Community Centre  07990795635 Kinsfolk Carers drop-in support group. Thurs 10am-noon. Crèche & Café available. Leith Library 28-30 Ferry Road  0131 529 5517 Computer Club: Under 13’s, Tues. 4-5pm

Registered charity: SCO28070

Visit our Gift Shop in Ocean Terminal and find that perfect Christmas gift www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk

leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 29


CrosswordNo.33 Sponsored by

Supplied by: www.leithlinks.co.uk

across 1 5 10 11 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 27 28

Two boys lose oriental period. (8) Revolutionary crew, short-handed, first to the nursery. (6) Newcastle icon has cameo role in Leith per haps. (5,2,3,5) Loose and model inside the nation’s going rate perhaps. (4,3) Dog right pitman. (7) Wicket, first at bat, pocket these. (8) Bandsman who was the epitome of Americana. (5) Stud orange house in part. (5) Rout undone without hardy girl, she’s a teacher. (8) Fighting ice cats that have no bodily gratifica tion. (7) Various underwater eels first. (7) Paper agent cause to be on the bill maybe. (5,10) Beat out bird that left university for the Orient. (6) Donkey put on Eastern ship newspaperman valued. (8)

down 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 14 16 17 19 21 22 24 25

Ugly Betty, not! (6) Magpie not liver but feathery. (9) The Spanish giant breaks down to glue. (7) Very loud in French town. Attach. (5) King with leg pieces gets annoyed. (7) Wow! Soldier gets dog. (5) Oriental leather stretched spirit-like. (8) Broad body or stupid TV? (8) Browser catches poncho! (8) Stupid grin stuns and puts out of tune. (9) Sat right out! Upright? (8) Taste or spin? Yes, spin. (7) Right, always, that is a fanciful notion. (7) Rely on rude Pendragon. Partly. (6) Part louche erethism. Hooray! (5) No notice before speech to gut game. (5)

winner

Fiona McGowan, NHS Bloodbank, Edinburgh

crossword prize:

Meal for two, excluding drinks McDonald Hotel.

answers: crossword 32 across

1. Jamaican 5. Rhythm 10. The sound of music 11. Abstain 12. Rat race 13. Priscian 15. Riche 18. Mimic 20. Nibbling 23. Aquatic 25. Big deal 26. Self confidently 27. Settee 28. One sided

down

1. Jetsam 2. Maelstrom 3. Isobars 4. Annan 6. Hamster 7. Tosca 8. Mackerel 9. Doorknob 14. Innocent 16. Contented 17. Impasses 19. Cuticle 21. Liggers 22. Flayed 24. Unlit 25. Brian

Send or email your answers to: Bagelfish Design 121 Giles street, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6BZ info@theleithermagazine.com 30 | Issue 58 | leithermagazine.com


Leither in London Carrie Mitchell

This month Carrie comes up with a novel way of screening potential boyfriends… Coldplay are shite, Elbow are good. Discuss

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Well fight might be overstating it – it was more of a debate resulting from John’s shocking confession that his all-time favourite band was Coldplay

pending a week consuming my body weight in cheese and wine at my parents’ new home in France was something I’d been looking forward to for months – but now John had arrived on the scene, I can’t pretend I wasn’t a little worried. Could the initial buzz of a successful first date last all that time when I was hundreds of miles away? I wasn’t convinced. However, much to my surprise, it didn’t seem to be a case of out of sight, out of mind. Every day, without fail, there he was in my inbox saying all the right things. And by the time I touched back down on the asphalt at Stansted, I had just a few inconvenient hours in the office to get through before date number two: a couple of afterwork G&Ts by the Thames. Sadly our Indian summer wasn’t in evidence that day and when I started shivering, we thought it best to head back to The Lock in Camden – scene of the first date…and as it happened, scene of our first fight. Well fight might be overstating it – it was more of a debate resulting from John’s shocking confession that his all-time favourite band was Coldplay. I mean, come on, Coldplay? The least ‘rock’ rock band of our time. Here I was thinking I was dating a musical genius, and yet he seemed to have no discernable music taste at all. Okay, yes, I may have been a little harsh – it was the gin talking – anyway, he seemed to take it well, simply silencing me with his lips every time I overstepped the mark. We reached a truce when we discovered one band for whom we both shared a liking. “See the difference between Coldplay and Elbow is that Elbow have throwdown,” I preached. “You know that raw passion that just grabs you? As opposed to sending you to sleep which seems to be Chris Martin’s forte.” (Yes, I’m annoyingly opinionated when I’m

drunk). “So would you say I have throwdown?” John asked, as we left and he cornered me for another kiss. “It would appear so,” I laughed, managing to prise myself out of his arms just long enough to throw myself in a taxi as he looked on pleadingly. “I think your boyfriend misses you, love,” laughed the driver. “He’s NOT my boyfriend!” I fired back, shocking even myself with the force of my response. But it was true… things with John were great – I felt totally at ease around him, he made me laugh, and there seemed to be a mutual struggle to keep things decent once our lips touched - but there was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on that made me think he might not be boyfriend material.

Drink and sunburn

However that little puzzle wasn’t to be solved this weekend. Much as we were both evidently keen to tear each other’s clothes off, the V Festival beckoned for John and as he drove off for a few days of debauchery with his mates the next morning, I was headed to a friend’s birthday BBQ in London Fields. A day where I expected to get a little tipsy, acquire a touch of sunburn, and have a laugh with my mates – what I hadn’t bargained for was meeting someone new. But somehow after eight hours of solid drinking, I found myself spending most of the evening sat in the beer garden with a personable young chap called Rob. The gin had brought out my feisty side again

and looking for another debate, I started probing his taste in music. Only Rob surprised me on that front – his was flawless, and we soon abandoned the debate in favour of a mutual love-in over our shared favourites. Still, when it came time to leave and Rob asked for my number, I was genuinely surprised. I hadn’t been looking at him that way at all, but could I? Maybe. What to do? While one side of my brain was saying: ‘Don’t do it, what about John?’ The other was putting forward a convincing case for the other side: ‘You’ve been on two dates, he’s not your boyfriend, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, what harm can giving him your number do?’ The second voice won out and as Liv and I drove off in a cab, I tried to ignore her staring at me incredulously. “Well you’re becoming quite the little femme fatale, aren’t you?” “Hardly,” I scoffed, “besides, I’m not very good at it – I’m already wracked with guilt.” And on cue, my phone rang… “Hello? John? Are you there? I can’t hear anything over the music…” then I realised he wasn’t actually listening, he was in the middle of a crowd at V festival holding his phone up so I could hear the song that was playing. “It’s looking like a beautiful day….” Elbow sang out, as I groaned and dropped my head in my hands. Things were about to get complicated.

 Leave your comments on Leither in London at leithermagazine.com

leithermagazine.com | Issue 58 | 31


Cafe Fish would like to thank the people of Edinburgh for their kind words. Our shared starter was a Thai red mullet sitting on a bed of rocket, mange tout, carrot and red peppers. It was a delicious starter, properly proportioned, with lovely, fragrant ginger, lime and sesame seed. MARC T Reading the menu, it’s evident that Cafe Fish are thinking local and West-coast sustainable, and are vocal, without being worthy, about showcasing Scotland’s wares. LEILA ARFA I opted for a spiced crab crostini starter which was delicious and beautifully presented. DAWNY FOX I have been dining in Edinburgh’s fine eateries for over forty years, and this is the first time I have experienced this kind of quality for such a low price. From PP

60 Henderson Street, Edinburgh 0131 538 6131 www.cafefish.net

Leither - 58  

Welcome to Leither 58 wherein all sorts of stuff and nonsense are available for your perusal. You will find Councillor Gordon Munro on the r...