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Issue 63 April 2010


Patti Smith

When we were young


The able Mr Cable Eduardo Paolozzi

Opinion | Books | Food | Cinema | Reviews | Whisky | Crossword | What’s On

Osterio Di Domenicos



36 The Shore, Leith

0131 554 9260


The Latin-Inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning, feelit-to-the-core, fitness-party. Zumba

a local Italian restaurant on the Shore Sample Menu Homemade Soup of the Day £3.50 Fresh Mussels Marinara £4.50 Salad with smoked salmon, mozzarella and artichokes - £5.00 Pasta Bacon, red onion, chilli & Tomato - £6.50 Basil pesto, blue cheese & cream £6.50 Chicken, peas, blue cheese and cream - £6.50 (Large portions all £8.50) Main course

Sun 12pm Leith Community Centre Mon 6pm The Bongo Club Wed 7.15pm Thomas Morton Hall For more Classes and Free Tasters go to the website. Joanna: 07984746070 FiTNESS AROUND THE WORLD also offers Squash Coaching, Personal Training, Tabata & Kettlebell Training, Exercise at Workplace, Hen, Birthdays & Team Building Activities

Breaded fish of the day and fishcake with tarter sauce – (salad) £9.50 Breast of chicken with a port and porcini sauce (potatoes and veg) £9.50 Ricotta and spinach ravioli with blue cheese and spinach sauce £8.00

Opening Hours

Mon 12–2.30; Tues–Fri 12–2.30, 5–10pm Sat 12–10.30; Closed Sunday

Now Open For Saturday Lunch

0131 467 7266

30 Sandport St, Leith, EH6 6EP 2 | | Issue 63

in Specialisctastering outside ... all Give us eaact the dog or we’ll

29 Haddington Place t: 0131 652 3880 w:

Editor at Large



Adam Smart says Kick-Ass kicks ass, but then you had already guessed that

Rare whisky lounge opens


ilvio used to terrify me, he is my polar opposite in the style stakes, always immaculately turned out, the absolute acme of good breeding and taste, with the manners of Jeeves crossed with Hercule Poirot. When Leith first embraced me, he ran a fabulous restaurant in what is now Martin Wishart’s (minus the extension). For some years now he has been patron of the Vintners Rooms, an Edinburgh restaurant inexplicably overlooked by those old duffers at Michelin. Here I have eaten food sans pareil and drunk wine, a 1950 Barolo and a white – as complex as Fermat’s last theorem, made to ancient Roman specifications, in clay amphorae by the wildly idiosyncratic Josko Gravner – magicked from Silvio’s collection. Today whisky takes centre stage, a charming Italian fellow called Giuseppe Begnoni, a leading collector of rare whiskies, has lately bought the Vintners Rooms and we are here to celebrate the opening of the Whisky

Lounge. There will be 1,100 for you delectation, including a Highland Park from 1902, a 55 year-old Macallan and the last bottling (1964) from J J Thomson – a company that traded from this very site. Lunch was exceptional but as a guest it would be vulgar to review rather I shall list, parsnip shots with wild garlic clorophyl, consommé with ham and bone marrow croquette, foie gras with crispy duck tongue, rack of lamb and confit with egg plant two ways and chocolate mousse with vanilla bean foam. Then to the piece de resistance a 1920 vatted malt from another long gone Leith stalwart, MacDonald and Greenlees (a bottle of this was for sale on the web at over £500!). I shall quote the tasting notes of my increasingly garrulous tablemates. “Gentle uncaramelised toffee notes.” “Lighter and more refreshing with water.” “Remarkably fresh for its age.” Simply, it is the best whisky I have ever tasted. A tasting museum of whisky on our doorstep – lucky, lucky us. ■


Go straight to page thirteen for a picture of God playing keepy-up


Join the debate at the blog Cinematheque about the five most realistic Scottish films


The Editor (not for the first time) eats for nothing at Alan Breck, unfortunately he has to pay for his drinks


For some years now he has been patron of the Vintners Rooms, an Edinburgh restaurant inexplicably overlooked by those old duffers at Michelin

Published by: Leither Publishing Editor: William Gould ( 07891560338  Sub Editors: Shelley Smith & Louise Storie Design: Gavin Munro  Photography: Ryan McGoverne  Advertising: Jennifer Lawrie ( 07908550118  Contacts: ( 0131 554 2728  8 Cartoonist: Gordon Riach Illustrator: Bernie Reid © 2010 LEITHER PUBLISHING. 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:

Front cover: Image of Patti Smith is a still from Dream Of Life, a film shot over 11 years by renowned fashion photographer Steve Sebring. Available on DVD for the princely sum of £12.93 from Amazon Issue 63 | | 3


Dog crates – 25 percent off. Science Plan Dog Food, 15 kg, £20 off rrp. NEW Hill’s dog treats half recommended price. New seasosn rabbit hutches, all reduced prices. Prices slashed on bird and small animal cages. Fish room now open for tropical and coldwater fish. NEW Whiskas Simply: was £3.79, our price £2.50. Prices slashed on Felix Sensations and Gourmet A La Carte pouches … and lots more! Open 7 days. Free delivery service. Proud to sponsor

Bark in the Park

in aid of St Columba’s Hospice, Sunday 9th May Call 0131 467 2928 for details of event


We have not moved or expanded next door. This is a cynical attempt by neighbouring shopkeepers to hijack the specialist pet business that we have built up over the last decade. A1 PETS PUTTING PETS BEFORE PROFIT!

Tel: 0131 467 2928 A1 PETS, 165 Great Junction Street, Edinburgh, EH6 5LG

Malcolm Chisholm MSP Constituency Office

5 Croall Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH7 4LT

Saturday Surgeries 9am: Leith Library 10.30am: Royston Wardieburn Community Centre 12noon: Stockbridge Library

Tel: 558 8358 | Fax: 557 6781 4 | | Issue 63

Protempore Crocuses, wee daffodils, and the very able Mr Cable A

s some of our more loyal readers will know, we like to wax lyrical in these pages about the onset of spring. I have, on more than one occasion I’m sure, trumpeted the arrival of the crocuses on the links as being a sure sign of better times ahead. Small daffodils suddenly appear on hillsides in Princes Street gardens, birds start chirruping as soon as the sun makes an appearance in the early morning and people start making plans to swap their overcoats and wellies for cheesecloth shirts and sandals. But when the clocks went forward last week, winter came crawling back over the horizon, reminding us that its darkness still has life in it – it just won’t let go. Scythe and slash And talking of darkness, the General Election is only a matter of weeks away, the outcome of which will determine whether we are set to endure a long, cold, and dark economic winter or whether we can at least expect a prolonged spell of tepid and settled weather on our way to recovery. Last night I watched the debate between the three men who are vying to be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer. Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Vince Cable stood before an audience and set out their plans for the country should their respective parties be successful at the election. All three of them spoke of “tough choices ahead” and warned that there would have to be major cuts in expenditure if the country was to emerge intact from the worst global recession in history. Despite this apparent consensus, there are major differences in how all three would go about mending the country’s huge deficit and it is these differences that

will determine what the economic weather forecast is going to look like in the next few years. For Labour, Alistair Darling said that his party would cut the financial deficit (which is expected to hit £167 billion this year) by half over the next four years – a kind of steady repayment policy that would stagger the cuts, which will have to be made across all areas of the economy. A small, recent recovery in the growth of the economy is seen as a fragile indication that a very small corner has been turned and to suddenly take a scythe to public spending would send us hurtling backwards. The Tories are ready, and willing, to pick up that scythe and slash public services immediately in order to reduce the deficit more quickly. George Osborne has said that the deficit must be dealt with from day one – in other words, massive cuts across areas such as education, housing, and transport. Interestingly, Osborne has also promised to maintain and increase spending in the NHS and provide for tax cuts – he hasn’t, however, explained how he is going to do this when there isn’t a penny in the UK’s bank. As Darling and Vince Cable pointed out in the debate, he is promising something which he can’t possibly deliver on – but there’s an election coming up and he will say anything between now and then to get himself elected to Government. Leading economic think tanks, including the politically independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, have stated that Osborne’s plans are extremely worrying given that he is committed to reducing debt – he simply can’t do both. Vince Cable has been credited by many as being the man who foresaw the global economic crisis before it hit Britain and is also regarded

as one of the most common sense politicians when it comes to the economic recovery. He has also said that the country faces massive cuts in public spending which are quite likely to be worse than those brought about by the Thatcher government in the 1980s. Being brutally frank in the recent debate, Cable said that the NHS wouldn’t be immune from cuts and that Darling and Osborne were being dishonest to suggest that it could.

Popular policies with some voters and disarming honesty from a politician who could, quite possibly, be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer

Frankly my dears He said that there should be a massive shake-up of the structure of the banks in the UK in order to avoid the situation whereby bankers still receive huge bonuses from taxpayer’s money and that the renewal of the Trident nuclear missile should be scrapped along with tax credits for better-off families in order to reduce the budget deficit. Popular policies with some voters and disarming honesty from a politician who could, quite possibly, be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer in a coalition Government after the election. So what’s it to be? Osborne’s long, dark winter; Darling’s “steady as she goes” journey to a far-off spring; or Cable’s common sense “dress for the weather approach”? Well frankly my dears, that’s up to you – my advice would be to get out and vote on election day whatever the weather because if you don’t you won’t be able to complain when some nasty man tramples all over the crocuses and beckons winter back over the horizon. ■ And if you’re sick of politicians, you can always take the W C Fields approach to elections: “Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.” Protempore Issue 63 | | 5

Pierino’s Leith’s favourite takeaway

Freshly made pizza with 100% top quality mozzarella Fish & Chips Burgers Kebabs Baked Potatoes and much more … Delivery available

(£1.50 charge, minimum order £5)

0131 477 7727 11 Bernard Street, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6PW

The Water of Leith Cafe Bistro

Some of our goodies Sunday menu offer Two courses £10.00 Three courses £12.50 Morning menu - ’til Noon Bagel, cream cheese & smoked salmon £4.95 Full breakfast roll £3.50 Croque Monsieur £4.95

The Water of Leith Cafe Bistro is the perfect place for homebaked cakes, a long, lingering, lunch or a quick bite on the run. We are available for private hire by parties of ten or more, and also for more formal events such as weddings. We are licensed and are (very!) child friendly. Please contact either Ana or Mickael to discuss your plans.

Afternoon Menu – ’til 6pm Cullen skink small £3.95 large £5.95 Chicken liver & cognac parfait £4.10 Smoked haddock & salmon fishcakes £3.95/£5.95 Spinach, sweet potato and chick pea curry £6.20 Also look out for our Daily Specials

Kids stuff from £2.95 to £3.95 Some of our cakes (from £1.65) Sticky toffee pudding Pear & almond tart Vanilla cheesecake

52 Coburg Street Edinburgh T: 0131 555 2613 Open 10-6. Closed Monday E: enquiries@waterofleithcafebi 6 | | Issue 63



With no power comes no responsibility Kick-Ass


Director: Matthew Vaughn Starring: Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Mark Strong, Christopher Mintz-Plasse Released: 31st March


am going on the record here; buying comic books is never geeky, only awesome. When some people need to escape from the mundane, laborious cycle of their nine to five lives they play dominoes, maybe watch the football, or knit (all wonderful past-times available in some of the drinking establishments around Leith). Some people however, prefer their mode of escapism to be a little more on the incredible and ludicrous side. They want to lose themselves in something that they could never ordinarily do in real life. They seek entertainment and release in a world where the laws of reality can be twisted; where fantasy reigns supreme. Somewhere in which having the body of Brad Pitt, the rapier wit of Bill Murray, and the martial arts skills of Kung Fu Panda is plausible. This is partly the reason why comic books and the cinema are such a successful diversion in Western culture. Ultimately, this is why Kick-Ass is by far the most ridiculous, imaginative and exceptional movie to be made in recent years. In a bid to escape the dull and monotonous repetitions of adolescence, Dave Lizewski (Johnson) decides to

become a crime fighting superhero. After a rocky start that leaves him battered, bruised and bleeding, Dave, or Kick-Ass as he calls his alter ego, is recorded by a passer-by and becomes an internet phenomenon. He soon finds himself mixed up with real superheroes Big Daddy (Cage) and Hit-Girl (Moretz). Local gangster Frank D’Amico (Strong), tired of losing men and money to the father/daughter vigilante duo, sets about constructing their downfall with the aid of his gangster wannabe son, Chris (MintzPlasse). Hilarity and violence of epic proportions ensues. First of all, as you may have gathered from the plot, this film is not one that wishes to be taken seriously. The fact that it is an independent movie has allowed it to remain true(ish) to the comic book, whilst being made without worry of production studio interference. Instead of being a darker, realistic, re-imagining of the comic book world, Kick-Ass opts to put the unbelievable back into the genre. At the same time, it will appeal to a wider audience than just those of us who have a geek fetish for spandex clad do-gooders. Behind all the craziness the story is really about being accepted by ones peers. It just so happens to portray this ideal with a myriad of shockingly hysterical dick jokes and uproarious observational comedy, mixed with action sequences to rival The Matrix. As Big Daddy, Nicolas Cage – who has been in too many dreadful movies of late – returns to the screen re-invig-

Saturday 29th May – 2nd Annual Kitsch Eurovision Party! 11th-19th June (not 13th) Silence in Court. Interactive theatre directed by Liam Rudden. Tickets available now 36 Bernard Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6PR tel: 0131 553 7046 web: email:

Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass

Nicolas Cage – who has been in too many dreadful movies of late – returns to the screen reinvigorated and on top comic form

orated and on top comic form. Two of the numerous highlights of the movie are his training scene with Hit-Girl and his impersonation of Adam West’s portrayal of Batman in the 60s television series. Johnson does well as the hero of the title, playing an awkward teenager to great effect; the fact he is only nineteen and not a thirty year-old who has just had a shave, is a nice change for such a role. However, the real star of the show is thirteen year-old Moretz. Hit-Girl, although a child, is one of the most insane characters in years. Cursing, shooting and drop-kicking her way through the movie, one could not be blamed for finding the pint-sized mass of death and destruction funny and cute, whilst at the same time being scared shitless of her. There will be movies that garner the attention of audiences more than this in the coming months; creations that touch a political nerve, which construct an emotional experience, or attempt entertainment on a grander scale. But, I am highly doubtful that there is going to be a movie this year more pleasurable, funny, thrilling, or as awesome as Kick-Ass. ■

Adam Smart

112/1 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6NF tel: 0131 539 1181

Lets Just Let is an independent and innovative letting agent, looking to offer the highest levels of service backed up with tailored marketing to maximise the potential rental of every property. Issue 63 | | 7

Sample our exciting dishes ›› Pan-fried woodpigeon, rocket, beetroot, walnuts and pears with port reduction ›› Curried massala sabji tart with raita ›› Seared stone bass, chive mash, sautéed red cabbage, beetroot sauce ›› Guinness braised ox cheek, sweet potato chips, chunky carrots with a rich jus ›› Slow roast pork belly, black pudding, apple mash, sautéed broad beans and pancetta Not forgetting … ›› 2 course lunch for £9.95 ›› Famous Thursday steak night where steaks are cheaper but just as good! 46 Queen Charlotte St leith. T: 0131 555 3103 E: opening hours: tuesday to Saturday 12pm - 3pm / 6pm - 10pm. sunday 5pm - 10pm. monday closed Zumba is THE new dance fitness class that’s taking the UK by storm! * Looking for something new and exciting? * Want to lose weight whilst having fun? * Tired of that same old workout? Then Fiona’s Zumba class in Leith is for YOU! “I couldn’t stop grinning throughout! Fitness and fun combined can only be good!” – Heather :-)

Where:Thomas Morton Hall, Ferry Road Cost: £5 When: Tuesdays 7.15-­8.45pm Phone: 07503 139 646

8 | | Issue 63

The Sea of Possibilities Photo from The Dream of Life by Steve Sebring


single. This was sold at readings but it was the popularity of the b-side, Piss Factory, on the jukebox at Max’s that convinced them that their approach was the right one. Smith signed to Arista records and made the seminal Horses LP. Mapplethorpe chided her for making it first but he was always proud of her.

Piss factory It is their serendipitous stay at the Hotel Chelsea that helps them break through the strict hipster hierarchies of the New York scene, such as The Factory, Max’s Kansas City and the galleries. The

Holding god’s hand At this time the couple went their separate ways but they stayed within walking distance of each other. Following the break up of his relationship with the actor/model David Croland, Mapplethorpe met his patron and lover Sam Wagstaffe. It was in Wagstaffe’s apartment that the cover of Horses was shot and it was Wagstaffe’s money that bought the equipment Mapplethorpe needed to explore his talent for photography. He confessed to Smith, ‘It is only you and Sam who get me.” For him it was always about light and dark, his art mirrored his private life showing, in unflinching detail, acts of sado-masochism and coprophagia. Despite the subject matter Mapplethorpe’s photographs struck a chord, perhaps due to their compositional qualities and sheer painterly beauty. In a neat narrative arc, as he makes his mark, Smith steps back to marry and have kids. The final chapter (Holding hands with God) is beautifully written. People may not be aware of the importance of religion in both artist’s works but photos of them as children, Smith at bible school and Mapplethorpe at his first communion, are placed at the beginning of the book, emphasising the part it played in their lives. Smith may have been a boundary breaker, but she was also highly moral. Before Robert died, Patti promised him that she would write their story. It is clear it has taken so long because the hurt and loss are still so keenly felt. In the wake of The Coral Sea comes this extraordinary book. Thirty years after the event, a deathbed promise is repaid in full. ■

Gordon Munro on the ties that bind Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith usan Sontag said of Patti Smith, that due to her example “Women were sassier, and felt sexier. Because of you, precious friend.” She was right but Patti Smith would be the first to admit that she was only one half of the whole; the other was the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. When Ms Smith sees the iconic photograph from her debut album Horses (where she throws that classic Sinatra pose) she sees ‘us’ not ‘her’. This wee snippet from Just Kids – Smith’s memoir of their time together – is a moving and eloquent testimony to a pact that has lasted, despite Mapplethorpe’s demise from AIDS in 1989. The pact was a simple but profound one – to take care of and look out for each other. A late anniversary note from Blue (Mapplethorpe) to Soakie (Smith) reads – ‘thinking of all that we have gone through, knowing we have somehow done it together and it will always be that way’ – and is deliberately reproduced on the end cover of the book to emphasise their commitment. It was written in the Hotel Chelsea on 1st September 1969. By this time Mapplethorpe was earning money as a hustler and was well on the way to the exploration of his sexuality which split them as sexual partners but not as artists or as a couple. The hustling money was his way of helping pay the rent, but in contrast to his fellow hustler the poet and musician Jim Carroll, he did not take the money if he had enjoyed the experience.

Ms Smith at her androgynous best

Despite their subject matter Mapplethorpe’s photographs struck a chord, perhaps due to their compositional qualities and sheer painterly beauty

ÊÊJust Kids is available at all the usual outlets. Check out: www.

cast here is amazing, Harry Smith – who’s American Music Anthology inspired the likes of Baez and Dylan – Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Velvet Underground. From the world of words, Allen Ginsberg, Sam Shepard and William Burroughs have walk on parts. There is more, Dylan’s pal Bobby Neuwirth encourages Patti to write poetry. The Chelsea itself was the finishing school for both Patti and Robert. It would take a while longer for either to realise what form this would take but the key breakthrough was made during their residency at the iconic Hotel. It is here that Smith asks herself, “Why commit to art? For self-realisation, or for itself? It seemed indulgent to add to the glut unless one offered illumination.” Surprisingly, Smith broke through first, merging three chords and the spoken word in a bid to rescue rock from self-indulgence. A successful reading with Lenny Kaye on guitar at St. Mark’s led to Mapplethorpe putting up the money for their first self-produced

Issue 63 | | 9

Bunking of school to march against war Vikki Jones meets some kids who feel wearing badges is not enough


s I settled myself into a chair in the corner of the studio at Out Of The Blue, Ruth Hollyman, a small lady with a big voice managed to silence a room full of teenagers with one booming command. “Right, guuuuyyyys!” Impressive, I thought, and scribbled it down next to my large shorthand note which read Chaos. “This is Vikki and she’s from a magazine called The Leither. She’s writing an article about us and I want her to say we are a highly focussed theatre group.” Highly... focussed... theatre... group, I wrote, remaining highly focussed on my notebook as the crowd of teenage eyes came to rest upon me. But before I knew it they had launched themselves into what Ruth called a warm-up, although in truth it seemed like something more of a cool-down. The highly focussed theatre group of which I write goes by the name of Strange Town, a youth theatre company for 8-25 year olds. Their aim is to encourage young people, whatever their background or previous theatrical experience, to recognise and develop their creativity and artistic abilities. But we’re not talking gratuitous opportunities for parents to cheer on their offspring whose appearance as the backend of the pantomime horse guarantees a future of superstardom. Strange Town endeavours to create high quality, daring and entertaining work, much of which consists of brand new writing. In fact, I visited at the beginning of the rehearsals for a piece so hot of the press that it was still undergoing rewrites. The play is by Duncan Kidd, a one time member of the acclaimed Lyceum Youth Theatre, who has also written two other productions for Strange Town. Wearing Badges Is 10 | | Issue 63

Not Enough is not, as the title might suggest, a drama about politically active teen nudists, but takes it’s inspiration from the recent resurgence of the debate surrounding the war in Iraq. Kidd tells the story of a group of Scottish teenagers who felt so strongly about the invasion, that back in 2003, they bunked off school to march against it. Red wine and fags Now, back in 2003 I was in my final year at university. The lecture theatres were overrun with talk of protests and we discussed international politics over thinly rolled, chain-smoked, cigarettes and cheap red wine. Aside from lamenting my fading youth, as I watched the reallife youth of today chanting, “1, 2, 3, 4, we don’t want your fucking war,” I wondered what parts of this story these performers would remember. I also secretly wondered whether the protesting, red wine and fags story I just mentioned might make them think I was really cool. But Robbie Small (17), Jess Innes (16) and Grace Sutherland (17)

Impressive, I thought, and scribbled it down next to my large shorthand note which read Chaos

ÊÊCheck www. strangetown. for more details.

weren’t really the types to be impressed by stained teeth and smelly breath. Having barely hit double figures in 2003, they were aware of the Iraq invasion, but have no firm memories of the public resistance it met. For them, the Iraq Inquiry is confusing. They have none of the need of my generation to find a way, however staged, of holding those we considered responsible to account. But this hasn’t stopped them having a sympathy for the cause – all of them say they are anti-war and, had they been politically conscious enough to make the decision at the time, would have wanted to get involved in the protests. “Did they not lie about stuff?” said Grace. “Lots of stuff,” I said. “That just makes me want to protest even more,” said Jess. “I just stand up for what I believe in.” And so, I leave with renewed faith in the youth of today. Even more so because these are not just card-carrying, middle class, Guardian reading lefties. Strange Town rightly prides itself on involving young people from 17 out of 23 state and private schools across the city, and its work is not afraid to show it. Take the line from this production which compares the relationship between a girl from Mary Erskine’s and a boy from Firrhill with Lady Chatterley’s Lover - now that’s a play I’d like to see... Upcoming events Wearing Badges is Not Enough, by Duncan Kidd, will be performed as part of The Lyceum’s Connect Festival of Youth Theatre that runs from 9-11 June. The show will also feature on the Saturday night at Promote YT’s National Festival of Youth Theatre Summer Gathering. The event runs from 1-4 July at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, Fife. Strange Town runs weekly classes at Out Of The Blue on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They will also be running summer schools for 8-14 year olds in July. ■

Pen Portraits from the Port

Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) Local author Daniel Gray salutes the forgotten heroes of Leith’s past

camps in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or Orkney, from where they were to be deported to Canada or Australia. On July 2nd 1940, the Canada bound Arandora Star was torpedoed by a U-Boat off the northwest coast of Ireland, of the 1,200 foreign prisoners aboard over 800 perished including Eduardo’s father, grandfather and uncle.


espite Eduardo Paolozzi’s colossal contribution to 20th Century art, his childhood home on Albert Street remains plaque-free and unrecognised. Perhaps that reflects the Scottish nation’s natural leaning towards modesty, or maybe the world’s blue plaque resources are running perilously low and therefore being reserved for true greats like Jordan and that bloke from the Ronseal adverts. Local homage to Paolozzi’s achievements is paid only subconsciously: his old flat at 12 Albert Street and the family’s confectionery at number 10 nestle beside the legendary Sicilian Pastry Shop. Yet here lived not only one of Leith’s finest sons, but one of the world’s. It’s quite amazing to think that a founding father of Pop Art, the movement that brought us Warhol and Lichtenstein, grew up opposite what is now Shrubhill. What did he see on Leith Walk that would later prompt him to revolutionise painting and sculpture? The only inspiration I get on the Walk comes after six or seven pints, but I just can’t picture the young Eduardo tanning Belhaven Best in the Horseshoe Bar. Man and machine Paolozzi was born in Crown Place, just around the corner from the Spey Lounge. He was a pupil at Leith Walk School and then Holy Cross Academy, and also worked in the family shop. It was there, while collecting and studying cigarette cards, that Paolozzi discovered his love of striking imagery and bold colours. Just as important were the illustrations of Hollywood stars, aircraft and submarines he coveted; these sparked a curiosity in the relationship between man and machine that was to last a lifetime. Yet this Cinema Paradiso-in-Leith life of simple awe and beauty was not to last. When Paolozzi was born in

Eduardo Paolozzi, Master of the Universe, 1989 Bronze, © The Artist’s Estate

Paolozzi found himself dispatched to Saughton Prison, locked up for the crime of his parents’ nationality

1924, Benito Mussolini had already been Italy’s fascist Prime Minister for two years. By 1939, the British mood had turned distinctly against Mussolini’s Italy. The Paolozzi shop was one of many in Edinburgh and Leith to be pelted with rocks in xenophobic attacks. Legend has it that Valvona & Crolla continue to pull their shutters down at night as a reminder of those dark days of intolerance. When Mussolini declared war on Britain in June 1940, Scots-Italians became enemies overnight. Fifteen year-old Paolozzi’s birthplace was at war with his spiritual homeland. No matter their political sympathies, Italian men were rounded up by the British government and hastily detained. Paolozzi found himself dispatched to Saughton Prison for three months, locked up for the crime of his parents’ nationality. The cigarette card-collecting teenager was released only when authorities were sure he would not be leading an insurgency against Britain any time in the near future. The Leith home Paolozzi returned to, though, was not a place for respite. Of the Italians rounded up by the British police force, a large number were sent to internment

Not down and out Somehow, Paolozzi battled on, survived and prospered, proving that genius cannot be held back by tragic circumstances. By 1943, he was studying at Edinburgh College of Art, and went from there to London and Paris – though he was never ‘down and out’ there – his talent saw to that. In Chelsea, Paolozzi established his first studio, a workshop happily cluttered with discarded street objects, models, sculptures, tools and toys. The artist produced breathtaking collages, and embraced surrealism in his screen prints and ‘Art Brut’ sculpture. In 1962, Paolozzi founded the Independent Group of artists, the precursor to Britain and America’s Pop Art movements. While his endeavours in that period paved the way for Warhol et al, Paolozzi’s own fame irrupted through sculpture. He produced stunningly lifelike statues rendered unique by the addition or removal of cubic elements (no, I don’t know either, but I had to put some art stuff in eventually, didn’t I?) The sculptor taught in California, Berlin and Munich, passing on a gospel whose origins were, somehow, always in Leith. He was awarded a CBE, elected to the Royal Academy and in 1986 became Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland. In 1989 he was knighted. Paolozzi died in 2005 having left his life’s work to the Scottish Modern Art Gallery. It can now be seen at the Dean Gallery along with a fabulous reconstruction of his remarkably messy studio. From Leith beginnings, he left the world in a brighter hue than that in which he found it. ■ ÊÊNext time: William Wedgwood Benn, MP father of Tony Issue 63 | | 11

NearPavillion 11

Bacon with Bacon W

hen Kevin Bacon first phoned up to interview me for The New Yorker I wasn’t sure. Why? – Footloose, Tremors and Father of the Bride 2 – That’s why. He wasn’t actually in the Steve Martin led project but he sat next to me at the premier in San Diego and blew off right at the start of it – what a stench! I could barely finish my third box of popcorn, I did of course, a gentleman always does, but it was a struggle and struggling and big Leo Simpson do not make for easy bed partners. As has happened previously, it was close friends Michael Winner and ‘the lovely’ Geraldine who came to my rescue. They were going to be in Scotland’s capital at the same time and had a spare suite at the New Balmoral; this made it possible to cover many of my usual yet sometimes difficult requirements during any interview.

Winner: Close personal friend

It’s a riproaring tale of sexual torment, more sexual torment, and a little bit more sexual torment

I’m no Maria or Britney but just like my uncle (Frank Simpson) I have certain demands, these are as follows; unlimited supply of Romeo e Julieta No 2 cigars, a place to smoke said cigars that will preferably at some point be inhabited by non-smoking persons under the age of 16, a butler who will smoke said cigars for me if I have decided that I can’t be bothered, two copies of the footage of Tommy Simpson’s tragic death on Mount Ventoux in the 1964 Tour de France – on DVD and BETAMAX video formats, a signed photograph of Hugo Fluendy (pre 2002), a foodstuff named after the interviewer – in this case not so difficult, 4 capsules of tramadol, a

12 | | Issue 63

Vladimir Karpets: Intense relationship

spacehopper, 14 litres of Grey Goose Vodka, a 300ml bottle of water (tap) and at least three albums by The Backstreet Boys. There are some don’ts as well. No pictures of Martin Scorsese, Martin Landau and that wank from the BT adverts, no eye contact (unless knighted) after 10 pm, and please, no discussion or questions about my 4 year intense, jealous, tempestuous, difficult, draining, robust relationship with Russian cyclist Vladimir Karpets. We had our good times we had our average times but now it’s over – he has signed a new contract with Russian sponsored outfit Katusha (not won a race since the Tour Of Switzerland 99, Vlad) and I write highly successful film scripts and 800 words for The Leither pamphlet each month. We’ve gone our separate ways we have our own careers and that’s that. We don’t talk about that any more, not in interviews with the New Yorker anyway, Kevin (Mr. Bacon to you), ‘always the bridesmaid never the bride’ to me, arrives at 7pm as arranged wearing the floral print dress and blond wig, also arranged. We briefly discuss my decision to have sexual congress with Sandra Bernhard rather than Madge and after he agrees with my poignant forthright argument it’s down to business. He is naturally curious about my latest film Leith Beige II’s – The Legend of Cornie’s Gold and he’s right to be – it’s a rip-roaring tale of sexual torment, more sexual torment, a little bit more sexual torment, money, greed and brutal unashamed proud

flatulence set against the backdrop of a working class cricket team subjugated by their own lack of confidence and sexual prowess, until, thank god, a hero arrives… me! I was meant to be played by Tom Berenger but on my insistence the role was given to Wesley Snipes after several nude auditions at The Tourmalet Bar on Iona St, a tiresome building but at least they have a good stage in the back room. Kevin asked why I would have a person of different race and colour play me in a Hollywood movie. I had to restrain myself, count to 12 and then comment that it’s a film about human nature – not form or appearance – it’s the spirit of the human soul that must come across to the enthralled viewer. Having seen the rushes let me just say that Wesley’s depiction of the Leopold Simpson character is a cross between the big fella in The Green Mile and Morgan Freeman playing Mandela in what ever the fuck that film was called – other things to note about this soon to be screened sensation is that the role of Middsie is played by Roger E Mosely (TC from Magnum PI) and Tam Heinitz is essayed by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). After the interview, Kev and I went out late ‘n’ live and, unusually for Leither contributors, managed to get past Pilrig church and have a wonderful evening in ‘The Street’. We got tipsy on quality cocktails. Though Kevin stopped speaking to me soon after we meet the increasingly youthful Peter Irvine M.B.E. ■ C’est la vie… a bientot Leo Simpson

A bacon roll: Tasty

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The Homeless World Cup Carolyn McKerracher reports on positive change through football with the SSS


ere’s a little brainteaser for you. What do Leith and Rio de Janeiro have in common? That’s easy, I hear you cry, Rio was Leith’s most famous twin city (circa 2007-2009). Okay, well done, but what do Leith, Rio de Janeiro and football, all have in common? A little bit trickier, though not for a diehard Hibernian fan, who will recall the time (1953) when Hibs were invited to take part in an international tournament in the world famous Maracana stadium in Brazil. Ten points for effort, but we’re still not there yet. What do Leith, Rio de Janeiro, football and homelessness all have in common? Any ideas? Nope? None at all? The answer is of course – Street Soccer Scotland (SSS). Still none the wiser? Then read on… SSS is a social enterprise firm, located in the south stand of Easter Road stadium. Founded two years ago by Glaswegian David Duke, the firm uses football to engage with those who are socially excluded, primarily through free drop-in football sessions in and around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. But, it’s not just about playing football, SSS also has an ‘academy’ based in Hibernian’s new training centre and managed by Jewel and Esk Valley College. Students there can study up to ten Scottish Qualification Authority modules over six months, in addition to their SFA coaching badges. They can also undertake personal development courses and become volunteers in football or other areas. SSS hopes to set up academies in Glasgow and Dundee and run a pilot scheme for girls in Glasgow. Having left school with no qualifications and then experiencing homelessness, David

God at 2007 Tournament

Duke regained his self-respect through football. After playing in the 2004 Homeless World Cup, he decided to use his love of the game to reach others in similar circumstances. Six years later, David has an HND in Community Development and numerous coaching qualifications. He’s met and worked with some of the world’s greatest footballers; Eric Cantona, Scott McDonald and Darren Fletcher and has good working relationships with Celtic, Dundee United, Hibernian, Falkirk and Man United. In June, he will receive an honorary doctorate from Queen Margaret University, testament to how much he has achieved. C








Crap World Cup songs What about Rio? Well, not only do SSS organise football games, take on trainees and support vulnerable young people, they also recruit and coach the Scotland team for the Homeless World Cup, which this year, will be held in – yes, you guessed it – Rio de Janeiro. It may be time to dust off that Andy Cameron LP and put on the ginger wigs for, while Scotland didn’t have a sniff at South Africa, they might just have a chance in Brazil. Altogether now. “We’re on the march with David’s Army…” ■ ÊÊHomeless World Cup, Copacabana beach, September 2010. www. Issue 63 | | 13

Home thoughts from abroad

To vote or not to vote? People have died for the privilege Levellers illustration: Clare Melinsky


In May 1649, three English soldiers were shot in the picturesque town of Burford in the Cotswolds. They carved their names on the font in the small church, where they spent their final hours before being dragged outside and shot against the church wall. The names and the marks from the musket balls can still be seen. The crime these soldiers had committed? Refusal to embark upon ships that would take them to fight in Ireland. They were members of the Levellers – a radical political party led by John Lilburne who campaigned for democratic reform, they wanted increased male suffrage (at the time only those who owned land had the right to vote), a Parliament that would hold elections every two years, religious tolerance, and back pay for the years of service they had given to the cause. They had fought long and hard for Parliament against King Charles I and were part of the victorious army that brought England its first Republic by removing the monarch as the head of state. They fought for liberty and feared that their erstwhile leaders were about to sell them short, keeping them quiet by shipping them off to Ireland. Acts of defiance This single act in many ways sums up the contradictions that make up England and is as relevant today, with an election looming, as it was then. Burford is a classic village that screams Middle England. Tory country. Green welly wearing Land Rover drivers preside over countryside that is ‘forever England’. And yet in the midst of this vision of timeless evolution that many would have us believe is England, we have radical thinking, direct action and violent consequences. Underneath the surface of that chocolate box vision, you have a people that do not tolerate leaders who get above themselves. The ‘Burford Business’ was not an isolated act of defiance, the Levellers were active throughout the English revolution and their voice was heard loudly when, at the end of the first 14 | | Issue 63

Signed a treaty with the Scots agreeing to impose Scottish Presbyterianism across the whole of the UK in return for military support

Civil War in 1647, they forced the army leaders to sit down and discuss what kind of England there would be after removing the King. The Putney debates – as the talks became known – took place in St Mary’s Church on the banks of the Thames and raged for two weeks. You can enter its vaulted central chamber now and, if you shut your eyes, you can almost hear Colonel Rainsborough declare that, “I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he.” Make no mistake this was radical talk, they insisted that the House of Lords should be removed and a second chamber voted on, the Labour party have only just re-introduced this into their manifesto.

Alas much of this came to nought. Why? The debates were hurriedly brought to a close when Charles I escaped from captivity and subsequently signed a treaty with the leaders in Scotland, agreeing to impose Scottish Presbyterianism across the whole of the UK in return for their military support to return him to the throne. In July 1648 the Scots invaded England, Cromwell rushed north to Preston with his army and the chance for a truly radical form of democratic government was lost. Joyce Macmillan recently wrote of the long and proud tradition of English radicalism, from the peasant’s revolt of 1381 and the Tolpuddle martyrs of the 19th Century, to the recently departed Michael Foot. In the coming elections Labour may well be thrown out of power, rather than a return to natural English Conservatism, this should be viewed as a reaction to a political party that has been in power too long, has lost its way, and shows distinct signs of having been corrupted by that power. Socialist in outlook? Meanwhile, in Scotland, the English electorates’ rejection of New Labour and the resultant Tory government that would be forced on the country is seen as something that could breathe new life into the debate on independence. Scotland is viewed as intrinsically socialist in outlook, however until the late 1950s the Conservatives were the dominant political force. It is not inconceivable that in the future an independent Scotland could return a Tory government. If history teaches us one thing it is that nothing is forever and we should be careful what we wish for. When we see the Daily Telegraph and Mail headlines it’s easy to think of England as Tory to the core, but scratch the surface and you will find that history of English radicalism. A country moulded by revolution and direct action – not benign evolution – and, in amongst all of that, the story of three men who 361 years ago to the month of the coming elections, died believing that the vote was, amongst other things, something worth fighting for. ■

The Citadel, 2pm 19th March … The Year of Our Lord 2010 T

o the strains of The Eye of the Tiger… no, wait, I was never very good at this… it’s The Final Countdown… the condemned man (see right) shuffles into the room as the baying hoards scream for blood and the photographer gasps, “it’s like Edward Woodward in The Wicker Man.” The Photographer. Now there is a good name for a serial killer… Okay, okay, you think you can handle the truth? I’ll give you the truth. Your cub reporter is perhaps still too much in thrall to last night’s viewing of Shutter Island. What actually happened was this; Dave Woods gambolled into the room beaming from ear to ear, despite the fact that he was about to lose his crowning glory to charity or, if you check out the ‘before’ picture, perhaps because of it. Meanwhile a group of angelic children trilled, “Dave! Dave! Dave!” And Willy Barr – Citadel, erm, Enforcer – made a mercifully short speech

(result). Celebrity crimper Simon Hill, from Sesh, did a reasonable impersonation of Edward Scissorhands whilst substituting Ed’s trademark shears for a lawn mower. Smart Alec reporters from other publications took notes in impeccable shorthand whilst Mr Barr waxed lyrical on his plans to annexe Leith for the greater good. By the time I’d managed to sharpen my tangerine crayon the audience with the great man was over so councillor Gordon Munro filled me in. (I’m still convalescing.) Meanwhile the kids played bouncy castles on Dave’s shorn locks and the man himself looked like a stunned sheep that has just been fleeced with a can opener by Crocodile Dundee. When the dust settled it became increasingly apparent that Dave was

Mr Barr waxed lyrical on his plans to annexe Leith for the greater good

ÊÊDonate at www.justgiving. com/citadel youthcentredavesbigshave

a near certainty to replace Warren Clarke as Adam Dalziel in the gritty crime series Dalziel & Pascoe (see below). Mr Barr had one final surprise for us grizzled hacks, “folks, if you wish to move to the café there will be free tea and garibaldi biscuits.” Done up like kippers again. We were convinced he promised us, “as much booze as you can shift.” Ah well, it’s for a good cause. Which brings us to the serious bit, Dave’s selfless act was fun, but youngsters in Leith are the benefactors, so far his gallantry has raised £460. This is where you and I can help, as the web page for donations – – is live until the end of May. So let’s go over there right now and make a difference. ■

The Editor

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A kick in the ballots As election fever kicks off, Colin Montgomery opens a long forgotten diary


onday, 23rd October, 1905 After thinking long and hard, seeing off three bowls of rough shag – unnerving the housemaid with my impersonations of the Tundra Marsh Harrier in the process – I have concluded that my destiny can be stayed no longer. It is my solemn duty to formally present myself as the official candidate for the Moustache Party, seeking election to represent the people of Upper Leith South. Well, those able to grow a moustache at least. The rest can burn in their beds. I plan to announce this to the good people of the port today and have asked Mrs. Watkins, the housekeeper to prepare me a light packed lunch of beef wellington and mock turtle soup - with a brandy truffle for courage. Tuesday, 24th October, Campaign Trail, Day 2 I fear I may have to revise one small fixture of my manifesto. Actually it’s more of a central plank. Namely the commitment to let those without hair bridging their beak and oral orifice burn in their beds without mercy or compassion. Rest assured I remain committed to championing impressive facial hair. But on reflection, advocating a pogrom against those unfortunates whose top lip shivers baldly in the cold light was rather rash. Contrary to public opinion, the death threats scrawled in human dung and liniment on my drying bed linen during the night played no part in this reconsideration. 13th November, Campaign Trail, Day 21 The game is afoot, for today I experienced the true cut and thrust of campaigning, becoming embroiled in an imbroglio with the sitting Side Parting Party MP on the stump outside Pilrig Church – three scoldings and a minor fatality. It all started when a passing match girl became lodged in my facial topiary. As I battled in vain to free her, Mr. Sidney Spatchcock (Side Parting, Meadowbank East, majority 3 and a fathom) accused me of affray against an urchin, a crime punishable by a week without kedgeree. A fracas ensued. An officer had to intervene. The match girl perished. 18th November, Campaign Trail, Day 26 Splendid news on two fronts. I have the secured the backing of a local milliner, 16 | | Issue 63

Mr. Diameter. And I have discovered the match girl alive and well. The former ‘doffed his hat’ to my campaign this morning (new fangled speechwriters be damned! You are no match for my vaudevillian wit and crisp trousers). As for the match girl, I discovered her in my ivory bristle bin by the night latrine – I must have combed her out whilst pruning for my appearance at the unveiling of Lady Gilhooley’s new bust. Poor wretch was emaciated, having survived on droplets of Gentlemen’s Relish and cigar ash. Mrs. Watkins stiffened her up with some arsenic toast.

It was a chance meeting in many respects. Well one respect really – I crashed into his campaign car. From above. Wearing only a monocle

30th November, Campaign Trail, Day 38 I now move with the big political beasts. And they surely fear me. For today I laid my first glove on Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman, Liberal contender for the position of First Lord of the Treasury. It was a chance meeting in many respects. Well one respect really – I crashed into his campaign car. From above. Wearing only a monocle. How I came to be compromised in such a fashion I cannot say. But mark my words, burly Irish navvies threatening blackmail over my penchant for a spot of lower class filth with Mrs. Minstry the poorhouse cook, may break my bones, but allegations of sleaze will never hurt me. 4th December 1905, Election Night To the count. I write this in a state of bliss that’s not just down to the lauda-

num soothing my cracked spine. For genteel enquiries made at the polling place by my campaign manager have revealed an indicative result of: ›› Me (Moustache Party), 291,002 ›› Sir Malcolm Venison (Death to the Smirking, Cunning, Fox Party), 561 ›› David Urquhart (Limited Servant Whipping on a Sunday Movement) 178 ›› Lord Ivor Midas (Tory) 177 ›› Wee Sandy Fae Pilton (Workers’ Pipe Dream Party) 3 Of course the accuracy of this report is questionable. Particularly as my campaign manager is a Corsican opium addict with crooked eyebrows and a tendency towards the fantastical. No matter. Give or take a few votes in error, I believe I may be on the verge of achieving my life’s ambition. Already I can smell the green leather where the posteriors of power seek comfort, but a few snores from the Whip’s office. 5th December, 1905, A New Government There is no logic in this world. I, proud truth-seeker for the Moustache Party, author of such sensible measures as the 100-day week for the idle poor and a tax on seahorses, sit here without a seat. Yet in Downing Street, no doubt sipping champagne from a bejewelled inkwell is that charlatan CampbellBannerman. A pox on all your houses, particularly those without a moustache in evidence. The party is hereby declared over. ■

On the shelf

ARC Colourprint ‘She said she was approaching forty, and I couldn’t help wondering from what direction.’

Martin MacInnes charts the muddy waters between fact and fiction

– Bob Hope


t the beginning of the film Sideways two characters discuss a book one of them is writing. Mike asks Miles what his subject is, hoping it’s not fiction: “there is so much to know about this world… I think you read something somebody just invented… waste of time.” Unfortunately Miles is writing a novel which he carries around in shoeboxes, though he figures the material comes from his life, so it’s like autobiography. Mike looks suspicious, does Miles even know what his book is about? Surely he knows whether it’s real or made-up? Recent books have been getting into similar trouble. James Frey’s A Million Little

V.S. Naipaul’s novel A Bend in the River was passed over for the 1979 Booker prize because it was too much like documentary Pieces, about his recovery from drug addiction, is now labelled a ‘semi-fictional memoir’. After publishing the book as ‘truth’, Frey later admitted inventing significant parts, and the publisher offered a refund to anyone who felt deceived. Having sold five million copies, he is now writing novels. Ryszard Kapuściński, the Polish foreign correspondent who wrote eight acclaimed books largely about his experiences in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, is often criticised for embellishing facts or writing about things that did not happen, or that he did not see happen. Would these writers have been as successful if their books were published as novels - i.e.,

as not real? Would they even have been published? And how do these labels affect the way we read them? While several non-fiction books are being reconsidered as fiction, recently some novels have gone the other way, moving closer to non-fiction. V.S. Naipaul’s brilliant A Bend in the River was passed over for the 1979 Booker prize because the judges felt the style too much like documentary; it was too real to be a novel. In 2006 the Californian writer Dave Eggers published What is the What: the Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng. Deng, a Sudanese refugee, told his extraordinary story in a series of long recorded conversations. Eggers then arranged the story, adding fictional details, and published the book as a novel. (Confusingly, Eggers’s most recent book, Zeitoun, despite being put together in a similar way, is listed as biography.) In both What is the What and Zeitoun, it is unclear who the author is. British crime writer David Peace bases his novels around true crimes. He says it has to be this way: “To me there’s just so much that happens in real life that we don’t understand and we can’t even fathom. I don’t really see the point of making up crimes.” The rise of eBooks and online book buying further mixes fiction and non-fiction, as genres can’t be physically separated as they are in bookshops and libraries. Writers have always attempted to capture and express ‘the real’; the problem, and the fun, is in agreeing how best to do this. ■

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ullo rerr ma wee muckers! How yis doin’? Mind ahm aye telling yi aboot ma wee mate Luke Deekin? He’s still goat yon hearing problem…aye slingin’ me a deafie. So ah took him along tae ma doctor tae hae a bit look. The doc says tae him, “now then Mister Deekin can you describe the symptoms?” Sharp as a tack, Luke says, “of course ah kin… Homer’s a yellow, fat guy wi four fingers and Marge hiz goat big blue hair.” See whit a mean? Anyway oan tae this month’s recipe. A nice wee dod o’ stodge fir the last o’ the cauld weather. Now wit yi’ll need is… 175g flour 2 eggs 150ml milk 150ml water 8 streaky bacon rashers 800g sausages 2 red onions in wedges

Now wit yi dae is…

Pit flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre, mix eggs, milk and water and pour intae well, stir wae a widen spoon til yi hae a smooth batter. Pre-heat oven tae 220 degrees or gas mark 7. Grease a roastin’ tin and pit in oven. Wrap bacon roon sausages and place in roastin’ tin, add onions and pour in batter. Pit back in oven fir thirty minutes. The batter should be light, golden and well risen. This’ll serve four or six depending oan yir appetite. Enjoy! ■ Ching, ching! The Laird

P.S. The editor accused me o’ being logorrheic. How very dare he!

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18 | | Issue 63

Sorry Laird is this no whit yi meant?

5 of the best – Scotland on film Alan Bett takes a look at realistic representations of Scotland on screen


hen Mel Gibson roared “Freedom!” to an army of kilt wrapped Scottish extras in Braveheart, almost to a man we became armchair warriors. What we should be freeing ourselves from however is the stereotyped Scotland as viewed through Hollywood’s distorting lens. So, let’s raise our whiskies and say slaand jivaa to more genuine representations of Scotland on the silver screen. Walter Scott isn’t the only one responsible for wrapping us Caledonians in tartan and force-feeding us haggis. True, the propaganda drive originated with him but we’ve embraced it. This fictitious reality has been our saint but has also sinned against us. Tourists flock to this beautiful country each year in search of falsified folklore, life as depicted on a shortbread tin. We know it’s a bit of a sham but we play the game because it’s fun and it’s profitable. But for every William Wallace there’s a Groundskeeper Willie. Our stereotype stares at us in the mirror as we raise a glass to it and to self-fulfilling prophecies. Film and literature reflects this, as it does all aspects of life and culture. The representation of Scotland on screen has all too often followed the international consciousness of what the country is, of glen roaming and caber tossing. So, let’s look past that and think of more genuine slices of Scottish life, from kitchen sink reality to surreal dark humour. Let’s wander down from the picturesque mountains to street level and look at how we see ourselves rather than how others see us. Here then is my rundown of five wonderful Scottish films. It’s a bit of a rogue’s gallery and a very different reality from the Hollywood dream machine ideal of how we Scots live. Brigadoon has been wiped off the map and the haggis has been deepfried. Your favourites may be very different, so feel free to add more to my blog at: www.cinematheque. Just a Boy’s Game This Peter MacDougall Play for Today

The Ratcatcher and Gregory’s Girl

screened in 1979 and picks at the scab of the hard man persona so ingrained in Scottish life. The game of the title is the juvenile posturing which goes hand in hand with the tag of being a hard man and how this can spiral into shocking violence. Frankie Miller gives a gritty and authentic performance as Jake MacQuillan, a man trapped by a reputation handed down through the generations. This is a tale of modern day gunslingers of the west (of Scotland). ÊÊ watch?v=Zr6RPTE7CU&feature=related

Let’s wander down from the picturesque mountains to street level and look at how we see ourselves rather than how others see us

My Name is Joe Whisky, the water of life is very much part of our culture, too much at times. My Name is Joe looks past the comical drunken Scot and focuses on the grim reality of alcohol addiction. This task brought a worldclass filmmaker to Scotland in Ken Loach (Kieslowski once claimed he would happily be his runner) and teamed him up with screenwriter Paul Laverty, a particularly fruitful and ongoing partnership. Peter Mullan rightfully won the best actor award at Cannes for his lead role. ÊÊ watch?v=28BnzyN1VJ8

Gregory’s Girl The romantic side of us Scots was captured perfectly in Bill Forsyth’s 1981 classic Gregory’s Girl. We were given the famous comparison between love and indigestion and were introduced to youthful versions of John Gordon Sinclair and Claire Grogan. Forsyth expertly managed to capture the

awkward naivety of puppy love and set it against the backdrop of a Scottish new town, an interesting combination. A hilariously inept performance on the football park is something that links this film to My Name is Joe, and to the reality of Scottish public parks every weekend. ÊÊ watch?v=aG545vIYkQA Restless Natives Restless Natives rode the Rob Roy story into the 20th century on the back of a motorbike. Never taking itself too seriously it tapped into our outlaw heritage and sense of equality. Our wee country is shown in all its splendour, soundtracked by Big Country, as the Clown and Wolfman carry out their Robin Hood activities. Ned Beatty plays the American villain and is seriously shafted (in a very different fashion to his Deliverance character) by our plucky fugitive’s quick wit. ÊÊ watch?v=PSPghiSW32U

Ratcatcher Lynne Ramsay’s amazing debut film paints a picture of childlike virtue mired in the poverty of 1970’s Glasgow. As the dustmen strike and rubbish builds up around him the young protagonist struggles to hold onto innocence. Ramsay frames each shot like a painting and shows skill and subtlety so seldom seen in British film. The bleak setting is counterbalanced with dark humour and at times surreal imagery. ■ ÊÊ v=j0PDalxB1dg&feature=related

Issue 63 | | 19

FoodReview The Editor

Welcome to the ultimate recession busting meal The Alan Breck 159 Constitution St Edinburgh ( 0131 467 2581


erek, popular mine host of the Alan Breck – when he’s not ‘something in credit ratings’ with Experian – has been giving me dogs abuse about the restaurant reviews in this lowly rag. His problem is not with the opinions expressed; rather it is with the pricing. He suggests, with no little humour and a great deal of tubthumping, that £100 is an obscene amount to pay for a meal and that no true Leither could afford or would countenance such wilful extravagance. And he may well have a point. However, I would argue that it is up to the individual to decide how they wish to fritter away there hard won or ill-gotten readies. For instance Derek’s generosity is such that he probably spends more than the price of a meal for two in a Michelin star restaurant buying people drinks in his pub. However in a craven attempt to curry favour and bring the percentage cost of a meal that has been reviewed in The Leither down to an ‘acceptable’ level, I have decided to review Derek’s gaff – or, more accurately, that of his better half Elaine. Derek is fond of pointing out, “It’s my name on the door.” To which Elaine replies, “It’s your name on the outside of the door.” I do like that distinction. On the day of my visit the Breck had lately had a makeover and the 20 | | Issue 63

place was as clean and tidy as David Cameron’s hair. Derek (mercifully) was on the golf course and Elaine’s reassuring presence at the tiller was a godsend. I’ve had occasion to sample the Breck fare before on domino duty (17 appearances, 16 defeats), which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a remarkable statistic given that the game is predominantly about luck. So I have fond recollections of Mason’s mince pies, none of that grey, gristly, mulch here, when you bite into these boys the gravy pours down your chin. A minor complaint has to be lodged though; the opposition always get the condiments. But today was to be different, we were promised the full finger buffet upon the return of the battle scarred Hibs faithful from the stadium up the road. A glass of Merlot (£2.50) and a pint of Tennent’s (£2.60) were purchased to, as it were, wet the whistle before the final whistle. Green rhinoceroses Decoration is utilitarian and practical, a few chairs scattered hither and thither, some bench seating. The ‘mellow sage’ painted walls are peppered with copies of antique prints depicting Edinburgh scenes, which A Quiet American – a Leither blogger – insists are “Genyooowhine!” A notice board reveals the domino team flirting, yet again with the prospect of relegation (except we can’t be, we’re already in the lowest league), thanks to the atrocious selection policies of the vice-captain. A quick glance at the same board shows that the whole

I have fond recollections of Mason’s mince pies, none of that grey, gristly, mulch here, when you bite into these boys the gravy pours down your chin

conniving lot of them are conspiring against me to make sure I don’t win the lottery game thingy that I pay £1 a week for, and don’t understand. My dark thoughts are interrupted by what sounds like, and indeed looks like, a herd of belligerent green rhinoceroses stampeding through the door… that’ll be the Hibees. Silver foil platters, laden with scran, start appearing as if by magic, from a hole in the floor. Cajun spiced chicken wings are very toothsome indeed but, be warned, you’d be well advised to eat these naked, as the residue of viscous orange oil on your fingertips means if you touch any of your clothes, they are fit only for the incinerator. At this point Derek, if he weren’t busy racking up a score of well into three figures on the golf course, would be heard to say. “Nae self-respecting incinerator would accept any o’ your clothes, and dinae go encouraging people to come in here wi’ nae kit on.” Plain chicken drumsticks, also on offer, are a safer bet for the more sartorially minded amongst you. Sand-

A LOCAL EATERY On Leith Links New Grab & Go Menu Tasty Things To Take Away New Faster Lunch Menu (examples) Med veg & mozzarella ciabatta Bijou blue cheese burger Chargrilled chicken BLT Bijou fish & chips

Damage – £5.10 (Inc drinks) Freeness


Grumpiness (Derek)


Conviviality (Staff)




Lose 3 stars for Danny Score :


wiches were cut into dainty equilateral triangles and, whilst lacking the Gentleman’s Relish and crisp slivers of cucumber one gets at the cricket club, I enjoyed them well enough… particularly the egg savoury. Tiny Cornish pasties were robed in a good cold-water pastry. Filo wraps yielded something sweet and sour, and quartered pies and bridies proved even tastier when not accompanied by a thrashing at dominoes. Pakoras alone disappointed, having the taste and texture of a ball of wool dipped in spicy sawdust. Late afternoon sun poured through the high windows, and all was harmonious, until the golf section’s mini bus pulled up outside. Derek’s demeanour suggested that my earlier prediction of slim returns on the golf course were bang on the money. He resembled not so much a bulldog eating wasps, as a bulldog eating wasps with a side order of razorblades and rattlesnakes. “Did you win?” I enquired. “Why aren’t you away reviewing one o’ yir £100 restaurants?” he bellowed. Then smiled sweetly. ■

New Dinner Menu (examples) Spring broad bean & asparagus risotto with parmesan crisp Sautéed calamari & king prawns with julienne peppers, red onion and rice wine dressing Confit duck leg with rustic coleslaw Food available all day Brekkie served ’til midday Fri/Sat/Sun ’til 2.30 Lunch 12-5 … Dinner 5-9 Tables and chairs going out soon so get your thermals on! ...because you can still afford time with your friends

0131 538 0664 Issue 63 | | 21

In a League of Her Own Jo Power on Millie Gray a debut novelist in her 70s


hilst the majority of the working world looks to retirement as the time to finally pack in the stresses of a career in favour of some easy living, this was not the case for Leith local, Millie Gray. Rather than knuckling down to knitting, migrating south, or taking up golf as many might, this Leith lady bravely embarked upon a new career as a writer. Now aged 75, Millie not only has five plays under her belt but two novels as well - In a Class of Their Own (2007) and sequel In a League of Their Own (out now). She gives talks and classes, does book signings and readings, and contributes her time graciously to community and charitable organisations. Her new found career is a remarkable feat by any standards. Millie makes time for all things Leith and so was glad to share with The Leither her thoughts on the past, the present, the possibilities... You’ve achieved success late in life. Is this the realisation of a life-long dream? Since thirteen years of age I wanted to be a writer. However, on leaving school, my mum asked me what I would like to be, when I responded a writer she replied, “Look, the luxury of writing escapist tripe is not us. The working class have to earn their daily bread. Forget your flight of fancy, go out and get a proper job!” And for the rest of my life, up until three years ago, I had to help bring home the bread one way or another. Being somewhat older than most up-and-coming novelists you are an inspiration to all, but particularly to older people. How do you feel about this? I love being an inspiration to older people. I am the ‘Arts Champion for Older People’ with the Scottish Storytelling Centre, which allows me to travel 22 | | Issue 63

the country and highlight what an amazing generation we have been. In the last sixty years so much has been achieved! I feel through me, older people regain a sense of achievement in this. It’s still not perfect but the country’s wealth is better distributed, education is available to all and if you have a dream it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you come from, or what your educational background is… with hard work you can get there. I was born in the condemned slums of Leith’s Admiralty Street and left school at fifteen where I had been taught not to have great expectations. We were the fodder for the factories, shops, offices and, in the boys case the, docks, bonds and shipbuilding. Although set in tough times your books are not all doom and gloom, the humorous side of life is ever-present. Is this a reflection of your experience of life? When I was young we faced abject poverty but with so much poverty around you didn’t feel singled out. Humour was always present because by laughing at the predicaments they somehow did not seem so bad. All my life I have been able to see the funny side. How could you not laugh at girls in the factory deliberately breaking biscuits so there would be enough damaged packets on sale for everyone employed there! Leith is clearly an integral element of both books. Is the Leith you paint, its people and places, a true representation of the area at the time? Leith was, and still is, a distinctive, supportive community. If the people had not helped each other the poverty and deprivation would have won. No matter what was thrown at you - you had to get up and get on. Neither I, nor my siblings, could have coped with what happened to us in our lives if we didn’t have Leith backbones. The book I am working on now

will again highlight the people and places as they actually were. My books are fiction but based on fact. I don’t know any other Leith than the one that I was part of, and I am grateful to the ‘giants’ of the place, like my mother, who steered me along and showed me you can overcome the odds. My success today is due to them.


We faced abject poverty but with so much poverty around you didn’t feel singled out

Millie’s new book, In a League of Their Own is out now. A sequel to her first novel it once again follows the adventures of the Campbell family. The setting is 1954 (roughly 10 years on from where her last book left off), and although the Campbell children are grown and the times have changed, the journey of life continues to be full of ups and downs for this Leith based clan. Millie’s talent for depicting such a credible family dynamic, for portraying authentic, unique characters and for capturing the magic and charm of a Leith past, breathes a wonderful realism into her work and makes this book a pleasure to read. ■


An ailing Carine hands over her column to Esther Rantzen (sort of) A

nd now for something completely different, there will be no mention of food this month. I spent two of the last four weeks struck down with a lovely sickness bug, which meant the only time spent in my kitchen was to repeatedly fill a glass with very cold water before collapsing into bed. I did however manage to spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. It started with an innocent sign-in to see what my various friends were saying for themselves. Then followed the obligatory look through everyone’s photo albums. Which subsequently resulted in my clicking through to the profiles of people I don’t, nor would I want to, know – then onto the photos of their friends. I was in full Stalkbook mode. There was even an afternoon when I amused myself no end by watching the time lapse of friend’s posts increase in two-second increments every time I refreshed my browser. Yes, I was THAT bored. Nevertheless, it kept me occupied and amused. But it also managed to rile me.

I amused myself no end by watching the time lapse of friend’s posts increase in two-second increments every time I refreshed my browser

Esther rants on I got myself into a spot of bother when I wrote a status update suggesting that Facebook is perhaps not the appropriate forum for grief. Two people deleted me and one person at least openly told me she thought I was out of order. But was I? I’ve had a gut-full of people displaying their so-called sorrow on Facebook. It’s tasteless and out of place. A friend of mine sums up my feelings in his brilliantly written piece Rest in Tweets on his blog Esther Rants On: “When it comes to Facebook, don’t give me grief. And I mean that quite literally. It’s not just the collective, trite, band-wagoning that follows the demise of a celeb that bugs me (the wonderfully original ‘RIP Alexander McQueen’ or the touching ‘Corey Haim, so sad’); these updates are not that offensive but still annoying. I’m talking about people actually mourning friends and loved ones via their Facebook status.

“I’ll concede that there are situations when a bereaved person has plenty of other things to do and to worry about, so a brief shout out on Facebook to thank everyone for their kindnesses is a painless and understandable thing to do. But the people who are Facebooking to inform the world of a loved one’s passing, or to trumpet their sadness at the loss of a friend – these people need to have a word with themselves. If I’d just buried a loved one or learnt of their death, the last thing I’d do is reach for my iphone. Facebook is great for all sorts of things. Tell us about the funny man you saw on the bus. Share your witty observations. But is it really decent, appropriate and right to pay tribute to someone’s life and convey the gutwrenching tragedy of their death on a social networking site? Woman carrying goose “It might be important for some to let the world know their every fart and squeak, but surely the line has to be drawn somewhere? The people that need to know that you’re hurting will surely be aware of your pain already. And those that don’t probably would rather you didn’t pump mawkish sentiment onto Facebook. What really irks and rattles me is the insincerity and attention seeking motives that I suspect lie at the heart of this. I can’t help but feel that many people indulging in this public grief are insecure individuals with depressingly

sad motives – they’re trying their best to attract sympathy. “Look at me,” they are saying, “See how much I feel, see how much I hurt, see what a wonderful sensitive person I am! Look at me, look at me, send me your messages of condolence!” What’s worse is that these expressions of grief will often be accompanied by that profile picture of you pissed and gurning, dressed as Austin Powers at a party. And it will be replaced some two hours later by “…just saw a woman carrying a goose – LOL!” or something even less interesting and more banal about eating crisps. “What’s the harm in it, you might ask, it’s not like anyone will die? This is true. Except that someone did, and you do them a great disservice if you pay tribute to the sum of their life via such a clumsy, trivial and public thing as the Facebook status. Who are you to tell people what to do with their profile, you might also ask? I wouldn’t dream of telling people what they can or can’t post on there. I think people should be able to do pretty much whatever they want, within reason, in the same way that you should feel free to leave the house dressed in welly boots, a silver wrap dress and a maroon glitter wig. But don’t expect people not to point.” I couldn’t have put it better. To read more from my friend visit his blog at: ■ Issue 63 | | 23

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SpringFitness Tracy Griffen

How not to run I

Once you’ve conquered one run at a snail’s pace take it up a bit higher, say to Chihuahua speed

was recently chatting with our esteemed editor, bouncing around ideas for this month’s fitness column; my original thought was an article on how to run. When I proposed this simple plan to him, he surprised me with a question, “Why would anyone read that, surely it’s a given?” I had to agree that it may hold limited appeal and conceded, “Well, I’ve had lots of personal training clients who have wanted to learn how to run properly. They know how to struggle along, but not how to run easily.” I pointed out the classic film, Run Fat Boy Run, comedic gold in how not-to-train-for-a-marathon, (Eddie Izzard, legend that he is, must have watched it as part of his Sports Relief preparation). After a few short minutes of debate I agreed to write a piece on how not to run. Now this goes against all of the neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) I’ve been reading about recently. “What the hell is NLP?” You ask. It’s basic dictum is that it’s easier to change habits through focussing on positives, rather than negatives. For example, if I say, “Don’t imagine a huge slab of moist chocolate cake dripping with chocolate icing,” what’s in your head? Not an empty space I would wager. Chocolate cake aside (literally), let’s get onto running. Or not. When many folk start, or get back into running after an extended break, the first thing they do is pelt up the road full tilt at the speed they think they should be running – this is far too fast. Think of Simon Pegg running in his underwear in the aforementioned film and you get the drift. To get into running, start slowly. Run slower than you think you need to, and you may get around Leith Links in one go at a nice easy trot. Once you’ve conquered one run at a snail’s pace take it up a bit higher, say to Chihuahua speed – the idea being to start slowly and build up. If keeping up a slow trot is a struggle, try jogging for a wee bit, then a walk and another slow trot. An easy

way to measure this for yourself is to jog/walk between streetlights. Again, Leith Links is a bonza locale for this. Keeping an exercise journal is a good way to stay motivated and track your progress as your runs get longer and faster. You can map your runs in a Google maps style at: www. This also gives you an option to log your runs – very satisfying. Beer is bad Whilst I don’t believe it’s absolutely imperative to spend lots of dosh on your exercise outfit, it’s important to have trainers with cushioning, especially if running on tarmac. Get a proper pair of running shoes, which are lightweight with lots of squishy sole and a wider base, so you’re less likely to twist your ankle. You can get a pair from £30 from a sports store. If you do have dodgy feet, ankles or knees, it may be worth you going to a specialist running shop to get fitted. A fast wicking top that absorbs moisture away from the body is useful in the changeable Edinburgh climate. For women, a well fitting sports bra is essential, truly essential. As I enjoy running, this article has ended up being about how to run positively (sorry editor!), so I will conclude in the negative plane. Do NOT run: ›› After four pints of beer. ›› After eating leftover takeaway curry (this is bad).

›› In a bouncy fashion on the balls of your feet, you waste too much energy going up and down and not enough going forward. ›› In dark clothes if it is dark outside. ›› Irregularly; three shorts runs a week is better than a massive run every now and again where you spend a week recovering. There has lately been an explosion of charity runs in Edinburgh, here are some of the most popular: Bupa Great Edinburgh Run Sunday 2nd May Run 10km around the centre of Edinburgh with a bunch of other folk. Edinburgh Marathon Sunday 23rd May Entries have now closed, however (at time of printing) you can still enter on behalf of a charity. If 26.2 miles seems a bit far, you can do a ½ marathon or apply for the relay with a team of four. Race for Life Sunday 13th June Ladies 5km/10km around Arthur’s Seat for Cancer Research, they also organise a mixed 10km run at Hopetoun House, in September. The Big Fun Run Sunday 25th July One of series of twenty-one different 5km fun runs across UK, the Edinburgh course starts at Holyrood Park. ■ Issue 63 | | 25

LEITH PLASTERing THURSDAYS ― Traditional Lane Sale starts at 11 am THURSDAYS ― Traditional Lane Sale starts at 11 am

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Key Point Building services All insurance work carried out. Free estimates. Mob. 07904 657899 Tel. 0131 555 2483 Email. Full body: £15 Half body: £10 e: 26 | | Issue 63



Ms Storie on British Summer Time and too much caffeine M

The result of an early start, too much caffeine and far more outdoor activity than my little lethargic body is used to

y Saturday mornings, for the past few months, have consisted of housework, sitting watching Jonathan Ross from the night before, or a recorded episode of ‘Brothers and Sisters’. So, I’m invariably laughing out loud or blubbing my eyes out, and nearly always exhausted by lunchtime. With the arrival of some spring sunshine, the thought of polishing or washing floors seems such a waste of time, even if the windows do look absolutely filthy in this light! I’m not reaching for the ‘shammy’ – not today. That can wait for one of those dull, grey mornings that will be along soon enough. There’s just no telling how long we’ll have beautiful mornings like these which literally fill you with the joys of spring! British Summer Time is upon us. Our sluggish, hibernating bodies know it’s time to start kicking into gear, to discard the winter coat, the woolly suffocating tights and thick socks, and all those layers – so many layers! We can start to breath again. Feel lighter? It certainly makes me turn my nose up at the hearty stews and thick soups we’ve been consuming over the winter months. I want to pull out my Jamie Oliver cookbooks for some inspiring new

recipes, and fill our cupboards with brighter, lighter food. Rummaging through my wardrobe to find something to wear, I realise it’s time to pull the rucksacks full of summer clothes from beneath the bed. Jeans, shirt, a light jacket and my Converse, I’m ready to hit the streets of Leith... Weaving between cars Bernard Street seems busier than ever. Couples with arms linked, strolling towards the Shore, kids tearing past on scooters, people chatting outside coffee shops...The sunshine brings everybody out of their centrally heated homes to wander, explore, stretch their legs and experience Leith in the sun. You can’t help but smile. I run across to Flux, weaving between the cars – even the drivers seem friendlier than normal! I buy a pressie for a friend, then onto Relish for a mug of coffee. I can easily pop back up stairs for a cuppa, but it’s about being out and about, watching the world go by – no dirty windows or piles of washing to distract you. I sit in one of the armchairs in Relish’s window, perfect for quick glances out onto Commercial Street. The coffee is strong and sweet – just how I like it. My head bobs up and down from the pages of my book

to the door with the arrival of each new customer; a mother with her sleeping baby in a buggy settles down with a sugar-dusted croissant. It looks as though it’s the first time she’s had the chance to relax all day. She looks happy. Sadly, my coffee is coming to an end. So, I text Norman to suggest lunch on the Shore – I’m not ready to go home yet. A wind is whipping up as I wander back across the bridge. Pushing my hair back off my face I step into The Shore Bar and Restaurant. Norman arrives, less wind-swept (no hair!), and we order ham hash cakes with a soft poached egg on top for me, and game pie for him. Still hearty food for the arrival of spring, but we’re getting there. I have a green salad on the side! In a few months time, we’ll be able to sit outside in the warm summer sun, hopefully. Another latte, then back to the flat for a wee lie down – the result of an early start, too much caffeine and far more outdoor activity than my little lethargic body is used to on a Saturday morning. I kick off my shoes, and climb wearily onto my bed, carefully positioning the pillows so that the rays of late afternoon sunshine fall across my face. As I slip off to sleep I know I’m going to dream of summer holidays, and all things good. ■

Issue 63 | | 27

What’sOn entertainment

Autobahn 17 Iona Street Edinburgh’s krautrocking, synthpopping, new waving, electronically weird. social returns to the Strathie’s bunker bar on the last Friday of every month. 8pm-1am

highlight of the month

Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967 Copyright © 1971 The Estate of Diane Arbus LLC

Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk  0131 553 5900 Last Wed of the month: Craft Guerilla Nights To exhibit in Boda contact Carrier’s Quarters 42 Bernard Street  0131 554 4122 Sun: 6.30pm Jammie Devils Dalriada 77 Promenade, Portobello  0131 454 4500 Thurs: Quiz Night 8.30pm Fri & Sat: Live Music 9pm Sat & Sun: Live Music 3-6pm 24 April: Irish Night Elbow 133 East Claremont Street  0131 556 5662 Tues: Pub Quiz at 8pm Live Music: 1st Fri of every month 9pm Espy 62 Bath Street, Portobello  0131 669 0082 Mon: Mad Mexican Mondays Tue: Stitch & Bitch (local knitting circle) Wed: Open Mic Night Sun: The Night Quest with Quizmaster Si. Guilty Lily 284 Bonnington Road  0131 554 5824 Thur: Open Mic Night from 9pm Fri: Live Music or entertainment from 9pm Sun: Sunday Session Roast all day & Quiz at night (8.30 start) Classes for ladies: Mon: Stretch and Tone with Agathe 6-6.45pm Tue: Hafla Belly Dancing 7-8pm Wed: Zumba with Fiona 6-7pm Sapphire

Artist Rooms, 13 March – 13 June 201 Dean Gallery, Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DS;  0131 624 6200  Admission free.

The striking and profoundly original work of legendary American photographer Diane Arbus is the subject of a major exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh this spring. Artist Rooms is the new national collection created by the curator and collector, Anthony d’Offay, and acquired by Tate and NGS in February 2008.

Music Club @ Guilty Lily: Last Thursday of the month: From 7.45pm £5 entry

Metropolitain Hotel 4-6 Picardy Place  0131 556 6629 Jazz Sundays 7-10pm top vocalists/musicians

9pm Sun: Afternoon Jazz Session, Kenny Ellis & Brian Kellock 2pm-5pm. Evening Folk Session, Nuala Kennedy 7pm-10pm

Iso Bar 7 Bernard Street  0131 467 8904 Wed: Quiz Night 8pm. Thur: Live music 7.30pm

Roseleaf 23 Sandport Street  0131 476 5268 21 April: Landlady Lyn’s Birthday 23 April: St. George’s Day festivities

Joseph Pearce’s Bar 23 Elm Row  0131 556 4140 Tuesdays: Jogging Club 7pm-8pm. 1st Monday of the month: The Paintbrush and the Sewing Needle art & craft circle at 7pm. New events: Cinnamon Wednesdays and Sunday D.J. nights

Sofi’s Bar 65 Henderson Street  0131 555 7019 Monday Film Night 8pm: Oscar Winners Scot/Swede Society: last Monday of month Tues: Knitting Group 7.30pm Thurs: Acoustic Open Mic Night with Sylvian 20 April: Clothes Swap

The Village South Fort Street  0131 478 7810 Leith Folk Club  13 April: New Talent Night £6 20 April: Johnny Dickinson £8 27 April: Tokyo Rosenthal & Charlie Chamberlain £6

Kitsch Coffee Bar Bistro 36 Bernard Street  0131 553 7046 Thursday live acoustic music from 7pm Check website for artists & promos.

The Shore Bar The Shore  0131 553 5080 Tues: Infinite Trio 9.30pm Wed: Folk Session 9.30pm Thur: The GT’s or Kevin Gore from

28 | | Issue 63

Diane Arbus

Victoria Bar 265 Leith Walk  0131 554 5706 16 April: Fundraising night for Cancer Research organised by the Joseph Pearce’s Jogging Club. 24 April: Singles Night Also an exhibition of David Paterson’s globalphotography from 1 April

the arts

Concrete Wardrobe 50A Broughton Street  0131 558 7130

April Maker of the Month: Ceramic Artist,

Jenny Pope

Corn Exchange Gallery Constitution Street 12 March/13 May: Arthur Steward & Richard James Moat Elsewhere Tues-Fri 11am-4.30pm Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop 25 Hawthornvale, Newhaven  0131 551 4490 9 April: Dialogues 2010 Exhibition opens at Patriothall. Hatchings - new work by Karen Lyons & Rachel Maclean. Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street  0131 555 7100  10 April: Puppet Animation Festival Rumpelstiltskin’s Fairytale Laundry: 11am Also Children’s Circus Day from 11am 8pm – Contempory circus theatre 12-24 April: “Some like it Hot” exhibition The Scottish Storytelling Centre 43-45 High Street 13 April: Cafe Ceilidh 14 April: Storytelling Cafe 17 April: Workshops: Celtic Fairy & Folk Tales 10am-1pm/The Weft of the Song, the Warp of the Story 2-5pm.


Malcolm Chisholm MSP for Edinburgh North & Leith Advice surgeries every Saturday morning  0131 558 8358 Mark Lazarowicz MP for Edinburgh North & Leith holds advice surgeries for local residents every Friday.  0131 557 0577 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 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 Margorie Thomas City Chambers t: 0131 529 4988 Leith Ward Lib/Dem advice surgeries:1st & 3rd Wed of each month at Fort Community Wing 5.30-6pm and Leith Academy 6.307.30pm Deidre Brock Leith Ward S.N.P advice surgeries:1st & 3rd Mon of each month at McDonald Road Library 6pm, 2nd Mon of each month at Broughton Primary School 6pm. (During school terms.) Fort Food Co-op Fort Primary School.  0131 467 7326 Every Tuesday morning

Leith Community Centre Kinsfolk carers drop-in support group Thursday10am-noon. Crèche & Café available  07990795635 Leith Library 30 Ferry Road  0131 529 5517 Computer Club: Under 13’s Tues.4-5pm Craft Time: For ages 4 to 11 Fri 2.30pm Info on clubs & events contact Leith Library. The Stroke Association Links House 15 Links Place  0131 555 7245 Fundraising Step out for Stroke Campaign are organising a walk along the Water of Leith on the 16 May Volunteers or participants needed

Lisa’s Little Angels Professionally dog grooming in a friendly environment for pampered pooches

T: 0131 538 1259 M: 07834 439 397 173 Constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 7AA

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

W: NE Deck l a m y Ro Roo Tea

Registered charity: SC028070

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

Issue 63 | | 29


Monday - Thursday. Subject to availability. To book a table please call 0131 468 5000 and quote ‘Leither Magazine’

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

Deportment of silver in horror movie (8) Short part crab returned (6) Freedom of information? Eventually (6,4,5) Ex-pupils smoke! Strange (7) Feathered depressed breast (4,3) Got beast perhaps in these (4-4) Brush swept woody plant (5) x (5) Bit of fluff in US (8) Old teasing, spies back (7) Collects gun for females (7) Team fresh, keep together (9,6) Underdone chop, pity lost head strange thing? (6) Short pawn broker like afterthought unfastens (8)

down 1 2 3 4

6 7 8 9 14 16 17 19 21 22 24 25

Bed, heavy plant (6) Artist at home with Holy man or man in this (9) Not invited under it, confused? (7) Cloudy grey collects a thousand in cracked pavement (5) Square “B” vessels adrift (7) Bright topped dark (5) Examined underground found in the lab (4,4) Criticize poet a saint secular first (8) Abide act badly and give up throne (8) Stream alien tested, half pate (9) Sieve art rinse perhaps (8) Ocean sailor condiment (3,4) Chewed on gangster, sing sing (7) Like march in play (6) Bovine queen get down! (5) A form of energy cut short weird (5)

crossword prize Two courses for two people at Malmasion Edinburgh


Mrs Meg Thomson, EH4

Supplied by:

answers: crossword 37 across

1 Lakeside 5 Mercat 10 Cholecystectomy 11 Emitted 12 Austria 13 Raindrop 15 Spate

18 Rolls 20 Cadillac 23 Gentile 24 Recycle 26 The British Isles 27 No Side 29 Eyeglass

down 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9

Locket Know-it-all Sweeten Dryad Encases Choir Toymaker Strapped

Email your answers to:

Watch this space for details of upcoming offers and events at Malmaison... 30 | | Issue 63

14 Recreate 16 Acalculia 17 Brighten 19 Stirred 21 Lacking 22 Teases 24 Needs 25 Rusty

Leither in London Carrie Mitchell

Carrie finally gets the approval she’s always wanted…her own I

He had no zing about him and when he told me he had dreams of being a DJ and liked ‘really filthy electro’, the final nail was in the coffin

’ve never really bought it when my thirty-something friends claim their thirties to be so much better than their twenties. Gaining a few wrinkles and a whole load more responsibility doesn’t sound like that much fun to me. Particularly when you haven’t found someone to share those responsibilities with or tell you that your wrinkles are cute. Funny thing is, it’s only been a month since my 30th birthday and already I know what they mean. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been so desperate for everyone else’s approval that I’ve never really thought about how I feel about myself. But somehow, in the last few weeks, I’ve become a lot more comfortable in my own skin. And, as it turns out, now I’ve finally learned to accept myself, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Take that date I mentioned last month. I’d known the guy for a good few months, in fact I met Sam at the very same singles night I met John, but due to circumstances (i.e. me kissing John, and Sam kissing my flat-mate) I didn’t think there was anything on the cards for Sam and I. That would be breaking the rules, I know. Saying that, when six months down the line, Sam was still getting in touch and suggesting he and I met for a drink, I thought, well why the hell not? Liv wasn’t interested in him. John was long gone. Truth be told, I’d quite fancied him that first night we met. So when he asked me out for a third time, I finally accepted. “I’m going to be good though,” I told Rob, when I broke the exciting news that I had a date. “I’m staying off the wine and I fully intend to be home – alone – by midnight. It’s the new me.” “Yeah, right,” was his response. “I think I know you better than that.” And I sort of feared he was right – particularly when I found myself shaving my legs, slipping into my best undies, and having a super-huge pre-date gin and tonic.

As soon as I arrived at the pub and sat down with Sam, I knew I wasn’t into him. He was nice enough and not bad looking but he had no zing about him, not even an ounce of throwdown, and when he told me he had dreams of being a DJ and liked ‘really filthy electro’, the final nail was in the coffin. Despite all this, I have to admit that the twenty-something me would have decided that the best way to get through the evening was to get plastered. I would have accepted when he invited me back to his for a cup of tea, woken up in his bed the next morning hating myself, yet still agreed to see him again – then spent the next few months trying to get myself out of it. All because I was flattered that he liked me. No freaking out The new improved thirty-year-old version of me took a different tack entirely. I was pleasant enough, stayed for a few hours, had three or four drinks (politely declining the offer to make them doubles), then made my excuses, gave him a peck on the cheek and sent myself home with this subtle brush-off: “It’s been really nice catching up. I hope everything goes really well with your budding career. See you around sometime maybe.” And why did I do this? Because finally I realised I didn’t need some random guy to make me feel good about myself.

Frankly, I’d be much happier on my own. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun sometimes. When I met a very funny, very charming, very tall Texan the following weekend - I didn’t think twice when he invited me back to his. He was a sweetheart and we had a great time together but he wasn’t really my type so the next morning, when he took the liberty of saving his own number in my phone, I never made any promises to call, I didn’t give him my number, and I didn’t feel bad at all knowing that I’d never get in touch with him. What’s the point in pretending? And perhaps most impressively, when John got in touch out of the blue a few weeks ago, I didn’t freak out, throw my phone across any rooms, or start wondering ‘what it all meant.’ I just replied – I was friendly, he was friendly, and it was all very grown-up. Of course then Laura had to ruin it all by giving him a right grilling when she bumped into him at another of those singles nights. “Weren’t you the guy that was dating my friend Carrie? Didn’t you say you didn’t want a girlfriend? So what you doing back here then, eh? Eh?” “Er, having a night out with the boys…” he responded. “Just because I’m out, doesn’t mean I’m looking for a relationship. We’re just having fun.” And you know what? Finally, I think I get what he means. ■ Issue 63 | | 31

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Leither - 63  

There you are, welcome to issue 63 where Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe are Just Kids, Paolozzi is a Leither, Vince Cable talks sense,...

Leither - 63  

There you are, welcome to issue 63 where Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe are Just Kids, Paolozzi is a Leither, Vince Cable talks sense,...