Free Issue 83
The man marathon Ditching the city One hit wonders
What next for Leith?
Politics | Music | Fitness | Reviews | London | Food | Humour | Cinema
2 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Editor at Large
Cramond Island Discs
Protempore is even angrier – no really – than usual. The object of his venom? Ms. Emma Harrison of Action for Employment notoriety
Meantime the politicos, Messrs Munro and Munn, vied for the unlikely title of ‘Coolest Councillor of the Evening’
ff to the Citadel Youth Centre for Chips, Tunes and Chatter, a sort of admixture of pop-up restaurant and Desert Island Discs (wittily rebranded Cramond Island Discs). Cost? A pro rata amount to cover the chef’s expenses, your correspondent gave a secret donation of 50 QUID. Fellow Leither scribe, Gordon Munro, was seen counting some coppers from his change. The complimentary Mojitos that greeted us were mixed from a bottle of rum called, I swear, Strong Rum – surely not bootleg moonshine on council property Mr Barr? Notable absentees included Mr Tam Dean Burn who ‘could not be contacted’, no surprise there then, as he often can’t be contacted when he is standing right in front of you. The reassuring figure of (Mrs) Phil Attridge was behind the ‘all you can eat’ buffet. The last time I broke bread with him, he was hacking slices from a highly illegal Iberian ham haunch, smuggled into the country by veteran STV correspondent Bob “Dirty Digger” Cuddihy. Tonight he presided over a feast of West Indian tucker, ably assisted by Chef Carson. “Mind blowing, slavering, feasts of flavour,” it says in my, ahem, shakily written notes. On the musical front, redoubtable mine host William Barr had a shocker. I seem
Air guitar with Carson and Barr
to recall his choices being three different live versions of the anthemic rocker Freebird, the shortest of which came in at a whisker under 18 minutes. Meantime the politicos, Messrs Munro and Munn, vied for the unlikely title of ‘Coolest Councillor of the Evening’. Munro attesting that he used to spend all his pocket money buying ‘bootleg albums’ (or illicit recordings, as Her Majesty’s Constabulary would have it. Expect a visit sir!). Whilst Munn’s edgy, “all the records in my local record shop were shite,” kept the contest simmering nicely. Munn sneaked it by playing a wondrous, jangly, – Postcard Records era – Orange Juice track, thus effortlessly aligning himself with ‘The Sound of Young Scotland’. Dave Carson, one half of the legendary DJ duo Itchy & Scratchy – I don’t know which half but, as he’s the only one still with us, I’m assuming it’s the mouse – effortlessly won the ‘Coolest Playlist’ title by the simple expedient of playing three tunes no one had ever heard of. ■
stoppress>>> AVALANCHE! We are shocked to report the death of Moncur the Monkey in an avalanche…more pictures at:
It wisnae me!
Bishop's Newsagents 30 Constitution St
Lawrence from Leith FM argues that 1962 is without doubt the most important in cinematic history
Tracy Griffen contends that you don’t need luminescent fluorescent aerodynamic Lycra to jog, after all her granddad did it in 3 holey jumpers and his underpants
Our girl in London goes for a gruelling month long trip on the online dating roundabout. Does she fall off?
Leither Published by: Leither Publishing Editor: William Gould ( 07891 560 338 firstname.lastname@example.org Sub Editors: Dot Mathie, Shelley Smith and Stephanie Malcolm Design: email@example.com Photography: Ryan McGoverne firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Shelley Smith ( 07908 550 118 email@example.com Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org 8 leithermagazine.com Cartoonist: Gordon Riach Illustrators: Bernie Reid Printers: Arc Printing Ltd ( 0131 555 5459 email@example.com 8 arccolour.co.uk © 2012 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.
Edinburgh EH6 6RS
If you have an interesting story we should know about, contact William Gould on tel: 07891 560 338. If you would like information on advertising or sponsorship opportunities with the Leither email: firstname.lastname@example.org
0131 554 6594
Victoria Dock (and Antony Gormley No6), Leith – Ryan McGoverne Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 3
Protempore Modern day workhouse bosses I
’m going to apologise from the outset of this article. I’ve been accused many times in the past for writing articles which focus on the negative aspects of political life and for failing to show that amongst the slippery, deceitful, and downright odious throng of bad politicians, there are genuine, honest, decent and good members of the political class, striving to make things better for those who need their help most. Well here it is; I’m sorry. Those of you who have complained about the never-ending diatribe of misery and poison which graces these pages are right. And in response to your requests for some good news as we approach another Leith spring, I decided to change my ways. But guess what? In my quest to find all the good news stories that you crave, I honestly couldn’t find one worthy of your attention. (In all honesty, was I looking hard enough? Probably not.) So here we go again. But remember as you read this, that all of the decent people out there fighting for their constituents and trying to keep public libraries and hospital wards open are up against a political elite in the UK who don’t care how their poisonous ideology is realised as long as the job gets done. And its jobs we’re focussing on here. For as long as I can remember, the Tory party in this country have clung on to the belief that anyone who is unemployed is a scrounger. That there is fecklessness at large in the country which must be beaten out of the lower classes by forcing them into work regardless of whether that work pays enough for a decent living or not. And not long ago, under the direction of Chief Lizard, Peter Mandelson, the Labour party also adopted the “Welfare to Work” mantra so beloved of all those Tories who must get an unbearable hard-on whenever Downtown Abbey comes on the television. What could be better, they muse, than a society where the oiks know their place (i.e. ‘downstairs’ – also a 4 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
euphemism much beloved of those Tories with a penchant for sham marriages); and the toffs sit upstairs sipping tea and watching small boys clamber up chimneys. They can’t countenance the thought that perhaps it’s their barking mad economic policies which have destroyed millions of jobs in the country, which in turn leads to people relying on welfare in order to make it through every week. No, what they do instead is employ “back to work tzars”, modern-day workhouse bosses who force people off benefits into scam employment schemes to reduce the unemployment figures. Step up Ms Emma Harrison.
Pigticians illustration by Bernie Reid
A downright threat
Emma Harrison was, until she stepped down this week following what she called ‘intense media focus’, the millionaire chairman of A4E, a private company which has won more than £200 million of contracts to run welfare-to-work schemes since May 2010. (May 2010 – wasn’t that when the Tories took over the running of the country?) What Ms Harrison failed to mention when she was wittering on about “intense media focus” was that last year, she paid herself a dividend of £8.6 million despite the fact that the company she owns had failed to meet its targets on finding jobs for the unemployed. Something else which slipped her tiny mind was the fact that her company has been investigated nine times since 2005 by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and that four former employees were recently arrested on suspicion of fraud. A dossier of complaints about the company given to Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, has been described as ‘horrifying’. One such complainant, from Leith, said that their encounter with A4E resulted in their benefits being withheld. More than willing to work, they attended
What Ms Harrison didn’t mention when wittering on about ‘intense media focus’ was, last year she paid herself a dividend of £8.6 million
an appointment with the company in June 2011 but did not take part in the interview when they were told that their adviser would not be allowed to sit in on their interview. (Given the malpractice that has been pursued at the company it’s not surprising that claimants would want advice when they have to meet the company). A4E then informed the DWP that the individual had not turned up for the appointment. A downright lie. After making a formal complaint, the individual had their benefits reinstated and were paid £50 by the company because of the ‘exceptional circumstances’ of their complaint. You can be sure that these ‘exceptional circumstances’ are in fact, common practice at A4E. Another victim of A4E’s dodgy dealings complained that when she asked for written details of a job that was being offered, the company refused, stating that her benefits would be “sanctioned” if she didn’t simply accept the post. A downright threat. A former employee of the company has stated that fraud at A4E was “systemic” and “common practice”. In addition to the contracts with the DWP, A4E currently has contracts with the Cabinet Office, the Department for Business and the Ministry of Justice – nice work if you can get it. So there you have it folks. Emma Harrison is just one example of the slimy, unscrupulous, greedy bastards who are quite happy to line their own pockets by preying on the vulnerable in our midst while the UK Government pats them on the back for being the packhorses of their poisonous and divisive ideology. And I have to say that I think it’s only right to shine the spotlight on them whenever and wherever we get the chance. However, now that the crocuses have poked their heads above winter’s fading parapet, I promise that the next article will be colourful and inspiring for a change. Maybe. ■ Protempore
tennerfest is back! ✺ £10 for 3 courses of restaurant quality food Ð the best value in leith menu changes weekly Ð check our website www.isobar-leith.co.uk or visit us on isobar, 7 bernard street, edinburgh call: 0131 467 8904
free private dining room available see website for our brand new express lunch ordering service
Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 5
This just in! Food Extra Edinburgh tapas pio neer all round character) Luis Letelier, (and former of Tapas Tree, has pitched up at The ly Parlour on Duke Street. On a Tuesday tea time the familiar smiling face delivered Ast uria chorizo, patatas ali oli and tortilla n style to my table. All were three quid or under and top notch. Specials, curiously, included beef stroganoff! Can’t recommend highly enough …Serving times? A kindly local offered; “Tu e/Sat till 8ish and they do Sunday roast.” 5 Bu provecho, ole, ole, ole…(it says her en e).
Wise Words “There has to be division… Reli a gio power and it shou n loves ld always be denied power.” C hief Rabbi Lor d Sacks
All Good Things ine e of y Are F er Wilson, h e h T s r EMA: Past Life D) d d u ts Colo irable Alexan Business an th I (C s int Sa ed yr rt h Ma m ei it The ad ud to be a Le urn of the L e re Fi ll Te Go f: t Wu Ly the Pro gn for the Re rms us that th the i o a f p To The Mountain (CD)hing n i m ed in , Ca iatives eed be unfurl and that t i n i g Wells Tower: EverytBurned a , d Fl ould in ime in March urrently h g s hin yt r er Ev e d, t ge va t c Ra t la rt some sses are auld po Leith busine ag posts in tement. (Book) Tom Franklin: Crooked) Letter, varioitueswashing thtesircflolourful reinosntyaat our fi em wh Crooked Letter (Book ation o fo on the cer azine.com p i c i t n n g ) a i Project Nim (DVD ut for w.leitherma Look o w
ter, singer songwriwrite d se ba th ei L s , Music Matter s taken time out to record Kim Edgar, ha ith the magnificent Burns and perform w album Side Show is wor th e Unit (the 2010) as well as working with Th for your attentiona multi-choral commission n io it on u Big Project ions, which comes to fr Celtic Connect all on March 21st. Now she m, at the Usher Hthe beautifully wrought albu returns with . Ironically, given the title, . The Ornate Lie e filled with a still honestych Edgar’s lyrics arlove’… Indeed. The CD laun ch ‘What is left is ark’s ArtSpace on 24th Mar will be at St. M
What Jerry Hall’s Mother Should Have Said It’s easy to keep a man; You need sport in the living room, Music in the kitchen And Radio 4 in the bedroom. Rodger Evans
age: w homep
Ar t For Ar t’s Sake est here, Mr. I have to declare an inter tance of mine, MacDonald is an acquainntry, his Herring but heck that is raw pedaDundas Street Lassies exhibition, at the th to Saturday Gallery from Saturday 10 your perusal on 17th March is wor thy of its own terms. to recreate Davy says: “The idea was d camaraderie and capture the spirit an ousands of of the herring lassies. Th girls from the Scottis islands worked in thh Highlands and Curiously, they alwaye herring industry. knit crew of three.” s worked in a tight More info – and yes whilst checking thei, I’ve just realised, know the owner of th r website, that I footballer) quite wel e gallery (terrible More info: www.dm l – no matter, go. acar t.com
6 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Rosie Bond’s Charity Cycle … …Starts in Vietnam and ends, 500 kilometres later, in Cambodia. She wi ll pa expenses and hopes to raise y all her own upwards of £2000 for Parkinsons UK. To kic k things off, Rosie is hosting a rock night at, erm , the Jazz Bar on Chamber Street. A mere £7 entitles you to wig out to the musical stylings of Sh Pullo and Who’s Edna (eh arpshooter, Titus ?), all cause. If you are ‘otherwise for a good, good enga pretty please, contribute at ged’ please, the dedicated charity page…www.justgiving.c om/rosiebond
Noise Ab atemen t Society B lues At the en d I ask i f I can call him Ivor. Mr. Cutl er draw ls: “You could I suppose But I’d h ave to cr awl all the way down The pho ne line a punch y ou on th nd e nose”. Rodger Evans
LEITH LYNX Green & clean 2 course set lunch Mon - Fri 12pm-5pm only £4.95
A wide range of chemical-free cleaning products for you, your family and your home
2 course early dinner Mon - Sat 5pm-7.30pm only £7.95
Every Sunday in March and April our Sunday roasts are £5 Watch out for special deals on our website or Most dishes gluten free... including traditional fish and chips!!
Free delivery for online orders over £15
Leith Lynx Restaurant 102 Constitution Street, Leith, EH6 6AW. Tel: 0131 554 9996 Email: email@example.com www.leithlynx.co.uk
Shop online at www.realfoods.co.uk 37 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3JU 8 Brougham St, Edinburgh EH3 9JH
Natural healthy ethical shopping
Bar and kitchen Food served all day, plus... Grab a burger and a cocktail every Wednesday for £10 Weekend all day breakfast Sunday roasts
Mondays: Movie night - check our website for listings Tuesdays: Pub quiz Fridays: Live music Saturdays: AmbiDECKstrous DJs Sundays: Open mic night
Private parties: Free hire plus party packages to suit all tastes and budgets 133 - 135 East Claremont St, Edinburgh 0131 556 5662 www.elbowedinburgh.co.uk Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 7
When all else fails Jaco Justice fulminates against the ‘car crash’ artistic twinning of Leith with Camden
8 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
’ll be honest, when I came across the headline – Is Leith really the Camden of the future? – I wished for a Paolozzi-sized palm to come slap me on the forehead, literally. Geographical cultural comparisons, in this context, do my nut in. Granted, Camden is Amy Winehouse’s former manor, however our argument is not best served by individual (if tragic) heroines. The article in question - posted as a video-log in the Scotsman by Roger Cox sought out the denizens of the plethora of galleries and self-run artist studios that have latterly materialised in and around Leith. I was familiar with many of the interviewees. Indeed my overriding impression was that their ability to represent themselves as conscientious and positive forces in Leithʼs art ‘renaissance’ was entirely laudable. The offending headline is cribbed from an interview with Leith Lateʼs Morvern Cunningham: “I envision Leith to be a Camden of the future… I think it could become a really cool place, a place that tourists come to – and not just because there’s a ship moored somewhere near a shopping centre.” Her observation, if you take out the first ten words, is something I believe in and support. However, under Mr Cox’s pen, the quote has been hung on a question mark, do we engage with it sceptically or rhetorically? Or is the reporter taken aback by the bold comparison to one of London’s more boho neighbourhoods? Morvern, of course, could just be making a contextual comment on Leith’s perceived progression. Comparisons, and the need for them, aside, are we being asked to presume that Leith is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Camden, an Emo-ridden flea market full of misaligned celebrities? Comparing, contrasting and collating are all part of the deal for a species that, remarkably, betrays similar traits throughout its near 7 billion units. Take one of the 21st Century’s biggest success stories, Google, which is born from our need for structure. In Scotland too we have differing examples of the ‘Bilbao effect’ emerging on the east coast. Dundee has seen its long investment in creativity rewarded with a breathtaking waterfront development predicated on teaming up with the Victoria & Albert Museum. Aberdeen, conversely, careens towards civic planning disaster - both financially and culturally - as an oil-services
tycoon, Sir Ian Wood, encounters far less opposition and scepticism than is strictly healthy as he tries to implant his vision of downtown Americana on historic Union Terrace Gardens. Closer to home, I’ve never heard arts rich Glasgow being compared to anywhere else. It’s a confidence issue. They have it in spades. Conquering music’s global compass whilst providing a conveyor belt of Turner Prize winners. Glaswegians simply wouldn’t dilute their potent creative brand by issuing comparisons – give or take the odd ‘Glasgow’s Smiles Better’ from the 80s. Undoubtedly it punches way above Edinburgh in the sheer quality of its cultural and arts offerings throughout the calendar year (August not withstanding). Is this then the nub of Cox’s message? That Leith has the potential, albeit through recession, to provide a more sustainable and affordable backdrop for artists to galvanise themselves and produce exciting creative work throughout the calendar year rather than the one trick pony that is an Edinburgh August?
And lets not forget the many businesses that have suffered and/or will continue to suffer due to interminable, and inexcusable, council floundering
Do we dare remain confident that, despite arts venues such as Cabaret Voltaire and the Bongo Club teetering on the brink, Leith and its environs will provide a safe haven for creatives in these beleaguered times? After all it has been said before of Leith that somebody took a bite out of Glasgow and spat it out on the Firth of Forth. If comparisons must be made let them be with our cousins along the M8 rather than some spurious association with a hipster hangout 400 odd miles down the A1. Curiously, The Leith Agency, rumoured to be opening an office in London’s uber trendy Shoreditch, have proved themselves more than willing to embrace and interact with the Leithness of Leith. From their eponymous record label to live shows and club nights on the old Mary of Guise barge in the Water of Leith basin. And Leith’s Nautical College, albeit spuriously, enticed one Paul Reekie across the water from Fife. His, much missed, DNA is all over Rebel Inc’s seminal publishing (Leith in spirit), Irvine Welsh’s chutzpah (Leith in fact/ or fiction), and bolshie newcomer Neu! Reekie! (Leith, in deed). Alas the tram will not be (was never) disembarking anywhere near Leith. So, although commercial rents would surely have risen as a consequence of increased connective and touristic activity, it’s a tough blow on the sterling work the likes of Superclub, Such & Such, Rhubaba and Leith Late have already endeavoured to create. And lets not forget the many businesses that have suffered and/or will continue to suffer due to interminable, and inexcusable, council floundering. As you walk The Walk, with the likes of The Proclaimers peering down at you from their flagged perches, be sure that you wonder at what makes this part of the world special to you. It sure as hell won’t be an imaginary cultural twinning with Camden. After all, Bill’s Tattoos (Elm Row) leaves a lasting impression whilst Winehouse’s anchor has long since sunk. ■
Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me? L
Running along the canal in the dark and risking assault might be good for my speed work but I’d rather not take the risk thanks
ast night I spoke to an old friend of mine who is a personal trainer and nutritionist. If you have ever read my column before you’ll know there are two things I’m really interested in: food and fitness. I’m no saint, but I like to eat well and with health very much in mind. Which isn’t to say I’m not prone to a piece of cake, and anyone who knows me knows only too well about my love for Nutella. But it’s this partiality to cake and Nutella that led me to my conversation with Simon last night. I am in no way overweight, but I want to decrease my BMI. I work hard at toning my muscles and I’d like to see more of that tone. I want to strip the layer of fat from my stubborn areas (stomach and thighs) so that I’m able to see some definition and I knew if anyone could advise me on this Simon could. It’s easy to kid yourself that a little of what you fancy does you good, but not if you’re trying to tone up and that little of what you fancy is stopping you from seeing results. Exercise is a big part of my life and without it I’d go mad. I can’t wait for the evenings to get lighter so I can start running home from work again – running along the canal in the dark and risking assault might be good for my speed work but I’d rather not take the risk thanks. I train five or six times a week. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I get up at the crack of dawn to do resistance training with free weights, Tuesdays and Thursdays I do an hour-long power yoga class, and at the weekend I do a mixture of resistance and running. Why am I telling you this? Some of you probably balked when you read what I do, didn’t you? Some of you probably wondered how I can be arsed, some of you probably thought I should get a life, and some of you probably think it’s really boring. And I bet there are some of you who felt a little twitch, and secretly thought you should really do more yourself. I know many people who eat nothing but crap and who are, to be frank, overweight, lazy, unhealthy and look like shit. Do I tell them they’re overweight, lazy, unhealthy and look like shit? No. That would be rude and it’s none of my business. Why is it then that these very same people think it’s ok to comment on what I do? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told I’m mad for taking the stairs instead of the lift. The number of times I’ve been told with real disdain that I’m so boring because I don’t want
Apparently Carine got a Body Mass Index Barbie for Christmas
a biscuit. I’ll tell you what’s boring – listening to YOUR opinion on what I do with MY body. If I want your opinion I’ll ask for it, just like I did last night with Simon. This culture which exists where women comment on other women’s bodies is unacceptable – particularly when it’s done with a massive dose of hypocrisy. Think her thighs are big? When’s the last time you exercised your own? And then there are the women who bring biscuits and cakes to work, and they’re not happy until you’ve eaten one in order to alleviate their own guilt for doing so. There is something seriously wrong with this picture. This morning at work I was talking to a colleague and fellow-runner. I was telling her that I want to see some definition in my abs when another (female) colleague piped up: “That’s gross. And I’ve never met a man in my life who likes a woman with defined abs.” 1) I don’t give a shit what any man thinks. What I do with my body I do for myself and no-one else. 2) I’m talking about a little tone and definition, not about doing a Jodie Marsh and turning into a bodybuilder. But even if I was, what gives you the right to comment? 3) WHO THE HELL ASKED YOU? How dare she comment on my body? Do I
comment on her muffin top? No. It’s interesting that it’s always the unhealthy, sedentary types who do this. Are they trying to make themselves feel better? Because I can be bothered to be active and they can’t? Because I’ve got a flat stomach and they haven’t? Jealous, much? So ask yourself, if you automatically decided I’m a dullard when you started reading this: when’s the last time you took the stairs or shunned a biscuit? Hit a nerve did I?
This month I've been mainly…
…seeing more art than you could shake a stick at: Damien Hirst, David Shrigley, Lucien Freud, David Hockney; mastering table tennis in my lunch break; making more use of the Royal Mail; doing a stellar job of staying very calm despite thoroughly disliking someone in my office; trying to wangle a free minibreak in Cornwall; embracing my ridiculously-big-butmost-excellent-new-headphones; feeling sad to hear of the closure of Cabaret Voltaire; loving a book called 84 Charing Cross Road (read it!); trying not to be frightened of the gap – not The Gap – but the GAP. ■ Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 9
Madness, alcoholism & sex Leith FM presenter Lawrence Lettice on how 1962 changed everything
released in ’62 that would challenge TV western clichés and the status quo by looking back with a nostalgic and bitterly regretful eye on the passing of the traditional codes and values of the old west. ‘When the legend becomes fact, print the legend’, went the cynical catchphrase from John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. And it was never more apt as John Wayne and James Stewart, fought over not just the girl they both loved, but how the American West would be remembered in future years. At the same time you get the feeling of a torch being passed from one singular filmmaker to another as Sam Peckinpah, also working with two legendary veteran western stars (Joel McCrea & Randolph Scott), directed Ride The High Country, to great acclaim. Stanley Kubrick probed an area that few filmmakers would dare enter when, with the backing of Hollywood’s most prestigious studio MGM, he made a film of Nabakov’s controversial Lolita, which would emerge as the most talked about film of the year. While Britain’s most acclaimed director David Lean subverted the conventions of the epic spectacle in Lawrence of Arabia. The last great release of 1962.
earned film critics and historians generally accept that one year is a paradigm for cinematic excellence. 1939. Which gave us the likes of: Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, Mr Smith goes to Washington and Of Mice and Men. It isn’t just coincidental that as the world was about to be engulfed in the horrors of WW2, cinema was enjoying its most productive year. Producing work that would endure for many years to come. However, my contention is that 1962 (now enjoying its 50TH anniversary) not only rivals that year, but could very well have surpassed it. Whilst researching a radio programme profiling some of the most significant films released during the 1960s, my attention kept returning to 1962, a year that possessed its own unique importance in film, political and cultural history. Just like 1939, 1962 was a pivotal year, one that shaped and altered not just the movie business but modern history. The Cuban Missile Crisis – which brought two great super-powers to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon – was in full swing. Once again, with the world hovering over an unthinkable precipice, cinema offered up major artistic works that would leave an enormous legacy. Why 1962? During my research, I became acutely aware of just how many immense, thought provoking, groundbreaking and enduringly entertaining films were unleashed upon the movie-going public during those twelve months. Just look at some of the titles: Lawrence Of Arabia; To Kill A Mockingbird; Cape Fear; Days Of Wine And Roses; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; The Manchurian Candidate; Ride the High Country; A Kind Of Loving; Lolita; Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?; The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner and Jules et Jim.
A certain spy
If glancing through that list isn’t enough to wet your appetite, towards the end of the year, a certain spy would make his explosive screen debut in a low budget thriller called – Dr No. How did so many films of calibre and complexity, come to light in that particular year? By the beginning of the 60s, cinema was delving into areas that had frequently been thought of as taboo, controversial, or, at best, politically charged. As well as fodder for the masses, filmmakers wanted to make people think about the world they lived in. 10 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Ignoble virtues And so, by 1962, risky subject matter such as madness (Whatever Happened To Baby Jane); alcoholism (Days Of Wine & Roses) and sexual violence (Cape Fear) were tackled through the avenue of commercial cinema. Not to be ignored, The Civil Rights movement, then gathering momentum in the USA, brought to light the racial divisions still suffocating America. To Kill A Mockingbird, based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prizewinning novel, spoke eloquently and prophetically, about the need for racial harmony in a divided nation. The screen version of Richard Condon’s dark political satire The Manchurian Candidate, dealing with the edgy subject of Communist brainwashing and political assassination – at the time America was coming out of the alienated darkness of McCarthyism – received the green light at the insistence of JFK, as well as the participation of a major star, Frank Sinatra, far removed from the cosy ambience of his Las Vegas kingdom. By the close of the following year, in the city of Dallas, many of the fanciful notions predicted in this scenario played out on TV sets around the world, blurring the distinction between art and reality with shocking results. Two distinctive westerns were
Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick in The Leither’s favourite from ‘62: Days of Wine and Roses
In Dallas, many of the fanciful notions predicted in the Manchurian Candidate proved all too real
In place of a questing warrior on a noble cause to free a subjugated people, screenwriters Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson put this mythic character under the cinematic microscope, exposing more ignoble than noble virtues. Even as the public marvelled at the sheer scale and spectacle of the desert cinematography and atmospheric score, they were left in no doubt as to the unsettling and disturbing neurosis of the central character. 1962 saw the death of Marilyn Monroe; her tragic and mysterious demise closed a chapter in film history and ended an era. Four mop headed lads from Liverpool called The Beatles would shake up the foundations of modern pop culture when they released their very first single. America stepped up its military involvement in South East Asia and the Space Race would capture the imagination of the world, as astronauts and cosmonauts vied for supremacy beyond the earth. As I researched 1962, I came to an understanding of how it came to shape the world that we now recognise, and by drawing comparisons with 1939, it made me think that great art and entertainment can emerge and flourish with distinction when conflict and the abyss threaten to engulf us. ■
leith advert:Layout 1 01/03/2012 11:13 Page 1
NEW FOR 2012 - EVERY SUNDAY CRAIG SMITH & FRIENDS 5pm-Late Every week local/international dj hero Craig Smith hosts a musical journey joining the dots between old school and new school music, covering all styles and tempos and touching on his musical influences.
NEW MENU £4.50 Cocktails from om £5.95 Main meals fr
PUB QU IZ EVERY T
HURSD AY from 9 pm wit h
DR PAU L
5-11 Leith Street t: 0131 557 5830 firstname.lastname@example.org
£50 CA SH PRI ZE!
Mark Lazarowicz MP Constituency Office
5 Croall Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh
Weekly Surgeries Every Friday 4pm Stockbridge Library 5pm Constituency Office
(No appointment required) Other Surgeries throughout constituency...
Antique and Decorator’s Sale SATURDAY 24th MARCH 2012
For details Tel: 557 0577 email@example.com www.marklazarowicz.org.uk “Whaddya mean we ain’t eatin’ in”...
Weekly Sales Every Saturday at 11.00am General Household, Antiques and Collectables Viewing Friday 9.30 until 5.00 and Saturday morning from 9.30 am Every Thursday at 11.00 am Traditional Lane Sale Viewing on morning of Sale from 10.00 am Free Pre-Sale Valuations
deli/cafe 29 Haddington Pl t: 0131 652 3880 w: embodeli.com
Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers & Valuers 15/17 Jane Street, Edinburgh EH6 5HE. View Auction Catalogues Online at www.ramsaycornish.com
Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 11
And for a bonus point, this question… As the financial system teeters towards existential crisis, why do some people still think fat cat bonuses are acceptable?
was playing ‘shops’ with my daughter the other day when it became apparent she was destined for greatness. Well I say greatness, but perhaps attaining a senior position in global finance is more accurate – not that I equate such supposedly lofty standing with achievement or success as such. Anyway, back to the novelty sleeping bag, plastic chair and collection of trinkets on her bedroom floor/shop. She’d just charged me £87 for a small hair clip. I feigned outrage. But she was having none of it. In fact, she immediately jacked the price up to £204 – presumably as a punishment for my attempt to do down her quite blatant retail racketeering. And ‘pour discourager les autres’. At that point it struck me that you could barely slip a mini-statement between her whimsical self-regarding rewards culture and the near-feral avaricious narcissism that passes for banking talent in this glorious isle’s corporate realm. In other words, the self-regarding financial elite has much in common with a four-year old girl with a seemingly fantastical understanding of ‘the market’ and how that corresponds to personal gain. I didn’t give it much thought after that because, to be honest, I’d be a shit dad if I ruined a good game of shops with a lecture about the mendacity of the central contentions of the Chicago School. I was to re-heat the observation later, as I was scraping up the remains of my jaw after the Stephen Hester bonus was announced. The unruly mandibles were just about back in place when they yo-yoed again as some apologist for City spivvery came on and wheeled out the preposterous dessert trolley of an argument that is ‘the going rate’. I think it was Tory MP Mark Field. A.K.A a patronising toss. I despise the going rate argument because it’s no better than my daughter’s arbitrary decision to charge me £204 for some gewgaw from a Christmas cracker. “But we need talent like him to generate value for the taxpayer, so we have to offer them an attractive compensation package,” bleat the usual suspects. 12 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Banker illustration by Philippa at philipparandles. blogspot.com
Bollocks. The taxpayer needs nurses, firemen, teachers, road-sweepers, policemen, ambulance drivers…oh, a whole bunch of people. But we don’t have to pay them telephone numbers. And besides, if restoring the bank to a position of financial stability involves slashing jobs why not bring in a – very ‘andy wiv a Stanley knife – hooligan? On the subject of slashing, I can already hear the massed ranks of Tory trolls and amateur economists sharpening their knives to turn my leftist rant into idealistic ribbons. Carry on. If you wish to apply a convoluted logic to defend obscene inequality founded on nothing more than corrupt self-governance, go ahead. For anyone else up for an alternative, here’s my best shot at it so far – in 3 easy steps.
1. Sever the City’s ties with the UK. In every sense
I’d be a shit dad if I ruined my child’s game with a lecture on the mendacity of the central contentions of the Chicago School
Ever since the massive trump and follow-through that was the 2008 crash and subsequent credit crunch, I’ve heard The City defended as a wealth generator. But increasingly the activities of the anointed square mile appear to bear little relation to anyone else in the UK. After all, that wealth hasn’t really filtered down to say, Toxteth or Haringey or The Murray in East Kilbride (home to the Robert Owen centre – Robert Owen, now there was someone with vision.). Even true blue MP Jessie Norman has been heard singing the praise of Edmund Burke and muttering that not all activity that generates profit is good activity in the interests of the collective whole – so we shouldn’t countenance it. Time for tough love. I suggest we uproot The City, float it off into the
Channel and replace it with something better like the whole of Mull – or a giant bouncy castle. Only when it resolves to start pulling its weight will we let it return. Maybe.
2. Replace George Osborne with 2 monkeys and a Casio scientific calculator
The old adage has it that if you crammed enough monkeys and enough typewriters into a room, you’d get the works of Shakespeare. Or was it the works of Cannon and Ball? No matter. I want to refresh the experiment to challenge the chancellor’s claims to economic competence. But given his track record so far – high on smarm and finger pointing, low on objective fact and honesty – I reckon we could get away with fewer monkeys. A couple of Diana monkeys (beautiful tails, always flicking through The Wealth of Nations) and a cheap Japanese calculator should cover it. Actually maybe just the monkeys with an abacus would suffice.
3. Open the world’s first ‘hollow argument mine’ and corner the market
Forget diamonds, gold, coal, oil, copper and all the rest of that old hat (although I hear the trilby mines of Liechtenstein are going great guns). The only global commodity worth a damn these days is empty waffle. Eton play-actor Cameron is a genius at it. So instead of ruining our economy for a generation, he could use his powers for good and help Blighty corner the market in meaningless tosh. I suggest they start digging at Westminster. There’s waffle in them thar houses! ■ Colin Montgomery
Interview (™Andy Warhol)
Afterhours with Rev-Ola and Poppydisc J
oe Foster, founding member of the Television Personalities and Biff Bang Pow, and sole member of Slaughter Joe, went on to become a legendary producer and senior executive of Creation Songs Publishing, as well as a co-founder of Creation Records. He now runs his own publishing company, Sterling Songs and the Rev-Ola, PoppyDisc and Afterhours imprints. Tuesday Foster grew up studying classical music, eventually finding her way to Fine Arts. Since completing her studies, she has continued a visual arts practice, inspired by urban sprawl, generic cities, and half-imagined landscapes. Michael Pedersen: Talk us through the different elements of PoppyDisc Records, an overview of the artistic team, and the different arms of the label? Joe: PoppyDisc is primarily a label for new and innovative artists, Rev-Ola reissues interesting work by artists from the past to the present day, and Afterhours reissues exceptional artists from the beginnings of recording to the early 1960s. The team consists of myself and Tuesday, Andy Morten and Donald Soutar who provide the luxurious cover designs, the wonderful Nick Robbins at Sound Mastering as well as Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) and Sterling ‘Rosco’ Roswell (ex-Spacemen 3 and Darkside) who handle the mastering and re-mastering. A number of friends write liner notes for releases – the likes of Kevin Pearce, John Cavanagh, and Ian Greensmith. Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre) is a valuable consultant on many of our projects. Michael: Is it curiosity, criteria or compulsion that draws you to an artist? Joe: COMPULSION! Ha ha. Artists find their fit through a love of music, art and themselves producing exceptional work. The odder the better Tuesday: A bit of all of the above. Artists can become more (and sometimes less) interesting to us as we get to know more about them, both as people and as artists. A band finds their fit at PoppyDisc by having distinguished something about their work that we find irresistible at whatever point in time. I’d say it’s essential that they fit into our own personal zeitgeist. Michael: What are the main challenges facing independent
Edinburgh School for the Deaf
Artists can become more (and sometimes less) interesting to us as we get to know more about them, both as people and as artists
record labels? Joe: If I sat quietly, I could probably know what was going to happen in the future, which would be handy because that is where we are going to spend the rest of our lives. At the present moment, as always, the problem is the medium and the formats. Have CDs been superceded by downloads as microgroove records, 78s and cylinders were all superceded? Logically, this should be a problem for the manufacturers who have invested vast amounts in their plants, and not for the artists…alas, artists have to pay attention to what is going on with these issues simply in order to be able to put their art out there and make a living. Tuesday: I’m concerned with what’s going on with the copyright laws, SOPA, PIPA, etc. As I suspect those issues could very well be game changing for record labels and artists of all types.
Master Musicians of Joujouka. We’re very excited about that. We’ve also got a brilliant new compilation in the works to be released in time for Record Store Day. The theme of this compilation is THE NEW PSYCHEDELIA, and it includes a number of our current favourite cutting-edge artists from all over the world. Joe: We’ll be experimenting with download only and vinyl releases this year, also putting on a number of shows by the artists who appear on the compilation. I’ll also be producing a few records this year by a number of exceptional bands, among them Little Buddha, Edinburgh School for the Deaf and Secret Ceremony, our new project. Michael: What, or whom, is the next big thing? Joe: Neo-Psychedelia, The Dead Skeletons, Secret Ceremony. Tuesday: Self-knowledge, selfreverence, individual liberty. Michael: What does avant-garde mean to you? Tuesday: It’s a marketing keyword at this point. Prior to the 60s it carried more meaning, so in the historical sense it signified those artists who were operating outside of that period’s mainstream culture. Now it is a term that is consistently misapplied to popular artists, writers and what have you, for the purpose of generating more sales. Joe: Everything we say and do is avant-garde. (Really Joe, what, including bursting a plook? – Editor.)
Michael: Then heck, to add a little flavor, what are the main joys of running a label at the moment? Joe: Discovering new and exciting music, whether it be absolutely brand new or something historical that the world has somehow overlooked, and giving it life through PoppyDisc. Tuesday: That’s nice. I also thoroughly enjoy deleting troublesome and not particularly successful artists from the PoppyDisc catalogue and never having to deal with them again.
Michael: What are the last film, album and book that touched you? Tuesday: I’m currently reading Wreckers of Civilisation, by Simon Ford, as well as The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall. The last film I watched was a documentary called The Lives of Lee Miller, by her son, Antony Penrose. Last album was Ouarda, by Andrew Liles. Joe: Last film was The Mask of Satan, by Mario Bava. Last book Secret Agent 666 by Richard Spence. Last album Sounds of Salvation (self-titled).
Michael: What’s on the cards for the two of you and PoppyDisc in 2012? Tuesday: We’re going to travel to the Atlas Mountains to visit the legendary
Michael: And your favourite word used within the breaded sandwich of a sentence? Joe: Phantasmagoria. Tuesday: Meat. ■ Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 13
Dancing About Architecture No5
Unaccustomed as I am… Rodger Evans offers a, fate tempting, 13 tips on how to improve your public speaking
peeches have been central to public and political discourse since Aristotle was a boy scout or, for the modernists, Shakespearean soliloquies were first delivered in-house by the voices in Will’s noggin. Even in the age of 140 characters, they retain a hold on our imagination, and most of us will be obliged to make one at some point – be it the best man’s gig, a Burns night toast, or a few words at a public meeting. So don’t tell anyone but here are 13 secrets of speechwriting to help you on your way: A word to the wise: forget the eyes – write for the ear, you hear. Words should travel from speaker to audience with engineered precision and feline elegance. For a good speech should be more akin to music or poetry than lumpy old prose and like EE Cummings said: nor marvel if a thought should weigh a star. KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid. Otherwise known as the Kinky Friedman rule. Don’t wax cynical or smother the audience in the ownbrand peanut butter of policy jargon or corporate cliché. Say it with clarity and a little humility, leaving the listener to consider the merits of your Mensa application. Less is more. Keep to time. And think Motown classic rather than Rick Wakeman concept LP with bonus 3D gatefold ice rink. There was a reason those extra tracks were never released, Rick. Leave ‘em wanting an encore. Start with a hook, be it a gentle quip, local reference or personal aside, anything to help get them on your side. Treat the first thirty seconds as your sales pitch and make it as compelling as possible or the rest will take to infinity and beyond. Some will advise against raising expectations but you can wow them, Space Ranger, I know it. Bookend that beginning with a memorable denouement and shove all the messy detail stuff into the middle. Nothing to it. Let’s call it structure. Sounds dull I know but without it your oratorical stylings will draw comparisons with those sad souls who shout at pigeons or, worse still, the World Cup punditry of Ian Wright. Humour. Are you sure? Listen, not everyone can be Tony Hancock, true, but comedy is a broad church and the congregation includes bathos, self-deprecation, gentle anecdote, wry
JFK and Chancellor Willy Brandt after the “I am a jelly doughnut speech.” Watch out for that pesky indefinite article…
14 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
observation, irony (who never sits next to sarcasm for obvious reasons), mockery, and drollery. And it was Chesterton who said: the opposite of funny is not serious; the opposite of funny is not funny. He didn’t say laughter is the shortest distance between two people but I bet he wished he had. C’mon, give it a go and find your level. Try to be genuine. And thus credible. The Greeks called it ethos. And as Mae or was it Bette put it: once you can fake sincerity, kid, you’ve got it made. Better play it straight though because this crowd won’t tolerate off-Broadway. And be generous. Not only in the effort put into preparing and presenting but in every conceivable way. Give something of yourself, something tangible the audience can connect with. What am I havering about? Empathy, my dears, for verily it shall be returned with interest. Know your audience – research and understand who they are and why they’re there. Never pander nor patronise but neither underestimate. Do so and your crafted words will be but whispers on the wind. What’s the point? I’m not talking existential co-ordinates here but the purpose of the speech. Are you aiming to persuade or to reassure? Maybe you’re invited to speak on a specific theme, to celebrate an individual, or to embarrass the bride groom without humiliating the bride and
Some will advise against raising expectations but you can wow them, Space Ranger, I know you can
prompting an internecine feud that will take seven generations to diffuse. Focus, darlings, focus. And keep it method. If you’re writing for somebody else, get to know their personality, verbal ticks, reference points etc. Don’t put words in their mouth that they themselves wouldn’t ordinarily use and never deploy a Christopher Reeve quote as motif without first checking whether they may have a wee bit, however irrational, of a phobia of superheroes. Oh it’s just a random example... Hemingway said the first draft of anything is shit. He was cynical – and you would be if your mother sent you a runny chocolate cake along with the pistol your father used to kill himself – but correct. Write, rewrite, read aloud, edit, re-edit. Then do it again. Now reward yourself with a slice of that cake but put the knife away and hide the revolver. The second draft won’t be that bad. Rhetorical devices: repetition, variation, alliteration, metaphor, lists of three, puzzles and solutions, all the tricks of the scribe – as useful to speechwriters as to journalists and authors. These can enhance what you have to say and allow ideas and observations to arc through the air with the grace of tiny trumpet toting angels playing Donald Byrd for the audience. Well what are you waiting for? Go forth and speechify. ■
Malcolm Chisholm MSP Constituency Office
5 Croall Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH7 4LT
Saturday Surgeries 10am: Leith Library 12pm: Royston Wardieburn Community Centre 142, Duke street, Leith, EDINBURGH 0131 558 555 8358 3848 | Fax: 557 6781 Tel:
FREE WI-FI FIND US on Facebook
142, Duke street, Leith, EDINBURGH 0131 555 3848 FREE WI-FI FIND US on Facebook
EVERY WEDNESDAY FROM 8
PRIVATE BOOKINGS BACK AREA NO EXTRA CHARGE
Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 15
Leith: A Memorandum of Understanding Gordon Munro looks at possible futures for the old port
he news that Forth Energy has withdrawn its application for a biomass plant in Leith docks was greeted – excepting Forth Ports HQ at Prince of Wales dock – with universal relief. Mind you MD of Forth Energy, Callum Wilson, suggested, “we will re-assess the opportunity and industrial demand for renewable energy and heat at the Port.” Which implies that this is not fully off the agenda and will hinge on how Leith develops as a renewables hub. The designation of Leith as that renewables hub came in a surprise announcement – not least to local councillors – in the Scottish Parliament, that a Memorandum of Understanding had been reached between Scottish Enterprise, City of Edinburgh Council and Forth Ports in November 2011. Coupled with the delisting of Forth Ports after the takeover by Arcus it raises serious questions about the future of the docks. After all it was only 3 years ago that they announced the launch of the Edinburgh Harbour Masterplan (a name swiftly dropped after a huge outcry from Leithers) for villages 1 & 2 at the docks. So what has happened to the plans widely trailed since 2004 to develop the area? This was answered in part when it was announced in January that Resolution Property had bought Ocean Terminal from Forth Ports and that they would work together ‘on the development of the nine acre Waterfront Plaza site that fronts the centre, forming part of the wider harbour… allowing for development comprising over 1 million square feet of commercial, leisure, retail and Class 4 business space on the Plaza’.
Whilst a welcome commitment, the omission of any mention of the homes that were also planned for villages 1 & 2 raises doubts as both were seen as interdependent. To develop the retail without housing poses a threat to the historical shopping centres of The Kirkgate, Fit ‘o’ the Walk and Great Junction Street. If housing is part of the plans for Waterfront Plaza then any application presents an opportunity to change the current plans for 95% of these to be 1 & 2 bedroom homes to create a better balance, more reflective of the desire and need for families to remain and grow in Leith. Doubt is raised by the Local Development Plan, which posits that the loss of potential 16 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
sites on the waterfront could be made up for by incursion into Green Belt land – contentious not only for Leith but also for the environment. Why build there when there are brownfield sites on the waterfront that can be developed? The potential for Leith as a renewables hub has been evident since Pelamis, from their Leith base, tested, built and exported Europe’s largest wave machine, which is now in operation off the coast of Portugal. The Memorandum of Understanding aims to make Leith a hub for manufacturing and maintenance bringing much needed work and potential apprenticeships to the area. The trick will be to make sure that this does not impinge on what is planned and what is currently there. There is also a question about the future of the Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) scheme. Permission from the Scottish Government for the Council to draw down funding based on future rates for Leith Docks, in effect a mortgage, to build key infrastructure such as: a new road link between Seafield Rd and Constitution St; a public esplanade outside Ocean Terminal; a new finger pier for a relocated Britannia and visiting cruise liners and new lock gates to facilitate a marina and cross Forth ferry. This should ideally be in place this year. Yet a key plank of the renewables hub would be reduced rates to entice investment into Leith. Activating TIF in these circumstances would be akin to the
125% mortgages that took out Northern Rock. Who, what and where the funding for infrastructure comes from needs answering.
We must leave this city not less but greater, better and more beautiful than it was left to us
The final big question is the city’s attitude towards Leith. There were a plethora of press releases announcing ‘a big wheel’ for Leith. Yet it appears the city has diverted it to Princes Street Gardens. In Leith the view would have included the city, the Pentlands, East Lothian, Fife, the Firth of Forth, the Royal Yacht Britannia and, on a clear day, Ben Lomond. Uptown you’ll get the castle and Princes Street… Plans for a rock venue in Leith, venue of the MTV awards, were dashed when interested parties were told that the West side of the city was the preferred location for ‘this type of venue’. Lack of drive or leadership on the Tram project has seen Leith bear the pain without any gain. Positing the idea of building on the Green Belt rather than on the Waterfront (as mentioned above) is a good indication of this woolly thinking and it will be interesting to see, in response to the consultation, how Leith is positioned in the context of the city’s development. Earlier ambitions for Leith invoked an Athenian oath: ‘we will leave this city not less but greater, better and more beautiful than it was left to us’. This is an admirable ambition and one that we all need to strive towards as we work together on what is next for Leith. ■
Support the Next Generation As the Science Fest returns and schools programme get bigger and better, they need local help to inspire young scientists across Scotland…
2011 was the biggest year to date for Generation Science which was supplemented for the first time by two brand new activities – Atomise, based on the Festival's hit interactive chemistry exhibit at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Live for It! a series of workshops exploring healthy lifestyle and diet, developed with Diabetes UK. This highly successful and unique programme targets schools in areas of deprivation – funding hands-on activities on diet, cooking, digestion, diabetes and how the body uses energy – through support from corporate sponsors. And 2012 looks set to be even bigger as it marks Generation Science's 21st birthday. To celebrate, favourite shows
eith-based but city-wide, the Edinburgh International Science Festival is probably best known for its two week festival of events for all ages that takes place every Easter. But throughout the year this educational charity develops, tours and performs its science education programme in schools all over Scotland, bringing science to life before pupils' very eyes. Managed from its administration office on Mitchell Street, the Festival's schools outreach activities are performed by teams of science communicators who, once on the road, literally eat, sleep and breathe their shows and workshops for several weeks at a time. To get to that point however, they need rehearsals, lots of them, and as the programme gets larger and more diverse, the Festival is desperate for space to accommodate their performers before they head out on tour. The Festival's Business Director, Fiona Logue said: “Walking around Leith I see so many empty buildings and spaces that from the outside look like the ideal rehearsal space. We'd really like to hear from local schools, businesses and organisations that may be able to help us deliver our schools programme which is expanding over the coming year with even more great shows.”
Giant bee costumes
Schools offering rehearsal space will be given the chance to receive free shows and workshops, and local businesses or organisations who offer help will be able to nominate a local school of their choice to benefit from the experience. Reaching around 60,000 pupils every year, Generation Science, the main touring programme, visits classrooms from the Highlands to the Borders between January and May. Each performance is tied closely to the Curriculum for Excellence for its specific age group, delivering scientific principles through entertaining and memorable hands-on activities and demonstrations. Over a number of years, the Festival has built strong links with several Leith
Reaching around 60,000 pupils every year, Generation Science, the main touring programme, visits classrooms from the Highlands to the Borders
Dr Bunhead at 2011 Fest
ÊÊInfo: You can find out more about this year’s Science Festival and download a 2012 Generation Science prog at www.sciencefestival. co.uk/education
Primary Schools, notably Leith and Lorne Primaries, who receive free shows and workshops in return not only for rehearsal facilities but also for feedback from pupils and staff. Generation Science Manager Joan Davidson, who coordinates the programme, is proud of the relationships they have cultivated in the local area: “It's brilliant to watch the kids in these schools grow every year and see how their responses to the shows change. They're always a lively audience and never shy to give their opinions, which is exactly what we need to make the programme the best it can be. The staff are also a great source of feedback on how the shows fit with the curriculum and they let us try out all sorts of new ideas, from activities to experiments.”
featuring everything from giant bee costumes to teddy bear physicists will be joined by some brand new additions. Touring through May, Make a Move will unlock the inner workings of human limbs with the help of some cutting edge robotic technologies. As well as looking at some incredible elements of human anatomy, pupils will explore how these mechanical tools are programmed to replicate human movement providing a truly original and futuristic glimpse of where science can take us. In the summer, Power from the People will take place alongside Speed of Light, the site-specific project from innovative public arts company NVA and the Edinburgh International Festival which will be lighting up Arthur's Seat for three weeks in August. Pupils from P4-7 will explore the challenges the project presents and look at ways to generate the electricity that powers this unique display. If you, your business, your school or any local organisation you can think of would like to provide rehearsal facilities or know of any local venues that could help, contact the Edinburgh International Science Festival on 0131 553 0320 or email Fiona Logue on fiona@ scifest.co.uk. ■ Vikki Jones Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 17
FoodReview Leah Lockhart
Pop up food comes to Leith Burgher Burger
8 www.burgherburger.co.uk 8 www.facebook.com/burgherburger 8 Twitter: @BurgherBurger
urgher Burger is Edinburgh’s newest unique dining experience. Serving up three course meals to the city’s meat lovers, the monthly pop up restaurant takes a notable local chef out of their normal plush surroundings, plops them into a community café and puts them to work. Held at a different location every month and with a different chef each time the set-up is familiar to Burger Burgher organiser Aoife Behan, mastermind behind secret supper club My Home Supper. Bringing strangers together to share a meal is a wonderful experience but theming that experience around burgers is an extra special experience. Competition is fierce for a Burgher Burger ticket so when I landed two tickets to the first event in early February, I was a little surprised, and very excited. To have a chance of getting a ticket to the events you must register to an email list through the Burgher Burger website – once registered just sit back and wait for the email announcing ticket sales for the next event to ping to your inbox. Burgher Burger is using Twitter and Facebook really well so for the savvy ticket hound, connecting on social media means the ticket announcement could get to you faster. Ticket sales are all done online, first come first served. The first two events sold out well within ten minutes and I’m sure melted a server somewhere so you’ll have to be quick to get in to future events. The night I attended with my friend David, was held at Leith café Now Rest
on Bonnington Road and the featured chef was Neil Forbes, named Scotland’s top chef last year. The cafe was the ideal place for the American style greasy spoon atmosphere Aoife seemed to be going for, all slide in booths and our singular window bench looking out onto a quiet Leith night. A key characteristic of Burgher Burger is that it is an opportunity for strangers to meet and for connections to be made over good food and drink, but the venue was nearly full when we arrived and we could have either shared a booth with people we didn’t know, or sit at a small window seat alone. In the end we plumped for the window seat because it came with an offer of extra drinks (the ticket price includes four Innis and Gunn beers that have been paired with each course) and, well, David’s a darn sight more antisocial than I am. We liked our seats though and David said it was a bit like camping in that it’s the whole experience that’s exciting, the unusual setting as much as the food, though we did lose a little in creature comfort.
Score: ««««« Price: £30 Per Person (Drinks included)
Hugh Grierson’s beef
After we sat down we were served a raspberry beer called Melville’s (but indeed an Innis and Gunn creation) that blew my mind and in fact I’m still dreaming about it. What makes it all the more amazing is that I don’t like beer and sweet fruit beer would usually be my idea of hell but this was fresh and smooth and so delicious, the perfect pre-dinner drink. We didn’t hang around too long before the starter was served up, a seafood cocktail. I was a little nervous about the starter because, after weeks of excitement about this dinner, the last thing I wanted to be offered is a
plain old prawn cocktail. I could breathe a sigh of relief though when my cup of creamy crab, mussel and juicy prawn flesh (whose disembodied shell had been sitting on top of the dish when it came to me) quickly disappeared. A blonde ale arrived with the starter but it was quite chocolatey so I finished it with the rest of the raspberry beer. Next up was what we had all been waiting for. Piled high on a deliciously glossy and chewy bun was The Burger. Made with Hugh Grierson’s finest organic beef, home cured pickles, crispy bacon and gloopy cheese I just didn’t know where to start. The onion rings and chips really threw me for a loop. Do I eat everything individually to savour each unique taste or do I follow my instinct and go in cave woman style? I’m sitting in front of a carefully assembled thing, shouldn’t I be civilised? Hell no, was the answer. I buried my face in that bad boy and took it all in at once, like nature and Neil Forbes intended. It was a delicious burger and I appreciated every skillfully crafted piece of it. The beer served with the burger was Innis and Gunn’s Original and it was a perfect match. That beer and
Port ‘O’ Leith Private Hire • Fast, efficient and reliable local taxi company • 18 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Paul Johnston, Coppermango
Now You Can Order Online! www.pierinos.co.uk
that burger finally brought home to me that beer can be appreciated just as much as wine or champagne with food. Where have I been? When pudding arrived, a warm chocolate brownie with a dollop of sweet white ice cream paired with Innis and Gunn’s Rum Cask beer, I was near bursting but I couldn’t stop. The brownie was extra velvety on the inside – runny the way I like it – and firm on the outside. The dark rum hinted beer was wonderful to take in small mouthfuls between bites of brownie. The perfect end to a wonderful meal. There are a lot of things about Burgher Burger that are outstanding: the fact the posh chef and his crew were using a strange greasy spoon kitchen for the first time, cranking out a meal for a full house, means the excitement around the event builds and builds; that it calls on a small community cafe to support it and that it brings together strangers to share time and a meal together is an added plus. Surely Burgher Burger is the saviour of humanity and the harbinger of peace and love? Keep calm and scoff a Burgher Burger burger. ■
• 0131 555 4030 • All Fares discounted
Serving Fish ‘n’ Chips to Leithers since the 1960s ~ Pizzas ~ Burgers ~ Pastas ~ ~ Kebabs ~ Fish ‘n’ Chips~ ~ Drinks & More ~ Delivery And Collection Available 17.00 till 23.45 Minimum Order For Delivery £7
0131 477 7727 11 Bernard Street, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6PW Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 19
The Elephant in the Room Slash & Burn? On the contrary says Pab Roberts, supporting the arts can help kick start the economy
a bad thing, but for it to be the numberone concern stifles creativity. And it has to be national investment: private investors expect financial returns; which is exactly the problem with speculative shareownership – rather than the train/energy/whisky companies having to be in the black at the end of a balance sheet, they have to make more and more profits every quarter to satisfy their investors dividends. Product and service standards plummet as costs are cut as the only means to generate increased financial return.
ecession happens when people don’t spend, thus it can be cured by people choosing to throw caution to the increasingly destructive winds and start purchasing goods and services again. It’s a psychological issue. A matter of confidence. And what better way to achieve this economic stabilization than to buy entertainment…culture…thought? The entertainment unions have long pointed to research indicating the economic benefits of entertainment. Live performance gets audiences out of the house. They pay for transport, drinks and meals out and, in many cases, they incorporate the show into a mini-break, giving business to B&B’s and local shops. All-in-all, aside from the significant 5% of Scottish workers employed in the snazzily titled Creative Industries, the act of putting real people in front of live entertainers invigorates a whole chain of supply and demand that puts money in pockets. A life spent moping at home worrying is never fun. Whereas an evening getting down at a break-dance convention, stroking your chin at an art gallery or laughing uproariously at a brand-spanking new piece of touring Scottish theatre for a tenner you might otherwise have meekly given to the directors of Ladbrokes PLC is fun. In fact, the very definition of ‘fun’ in Funny McFunster’s Funsome Dictionary of Funtastic Funs-to-do. What has the government done? So far, before the poop-flingers draw back their arms, the Scottish government have conceded the point. Their Government Programme agrees with the sensible cognoscenti. Unlike the Cultural Revolution of David Ca-Maoron’s purges in England’s green and desert land, funding in the cultural sector hasn’t completely collapsed North of the Border: One proof of benefit to the devolved area of Culture, (despite the geniuses at EH99 having twinned the Culture with External Affairs).
Envy of world
Wee Stories scrambled for votes in a competition run by RBS!
It’s not a complete bed of roses; the pungent pong passed-on by the cut to the Scottish settlement from the UK government is that cuts, though less severe than Doon Sooth, are still happening. And it remains to be seen what future SNP budgets will be en route to referendum. However their autumn document, ‘Renewing Scotland’, augured well for their intentions – though we all know what road intentions pave… 20 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
…penthouse jacuzzis bubbling with Third World blood
Let us hope that they follow through on these grand pronouncements. Scottish Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop, points out that, ‘The Arts Council in England had its budget cut by 30% whereas Creative Scotland’s budget is to be cut by 7.5% over the next three years despite the cuts to Scotland…the SNP is committed to putting culture at the heart of our plans to develop Scotland’s overall prosperity…the creative industries are worth more than £5billion per year to Scotland’s economy, it is a golden thread running through so much of what is good in our society’. New Cultural Funding has been earmarked surrounding the Commonwealth Games, promoting Scotland’s Festivals, cities and creative industries. Arm’s length sponsorship of the performing arts is a necessity if artists want to be able to take risks with their projects. Remove the funding and the first priority of every show will be to make money; not in itself
One huge elephant in the room is Creative Scotland. We still, two years since it replaced the structures of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen, have no real idea of its workings and nor, judging by their superficial pamphlets and website, do they. ‘Portfolio managers’ are being installed and we eagerly await the grand entrances from yonder Grendel’s cave. In the meantime many fine theatre companies, amongst them Ayrshire’s innovative Borderline Theatre and Pitlochry’s Festival Theatre have had previous funding whisked seemingly groundlessly away from them. The previously funded Wee Stories, that makes exceptional, world-class, theatre for young people, had to scrabble for votes in a populist funding competition run by ‘RBS Community Force’. Ironic, really, seeing as how the vast, world-straddling behemoth that is RBS was one of the key architects in the axis of corporate greed that allowed the pigs in Westminster to cut funding to anyone earning less than a million pounds an hour from their penthouse ivory Jacuzzis bubbling with Third World blood. But Scotland has a chance to right wrongs. Arts funding is currently far less than 1% of national spend yet accounts for 7% of income generation. Imagine if politicians increased that spend to just 1%. Imagine if we made a proportionate amount of TV drama. Imagine what we could be doing in 12 month’s time if we push for it. We would be the envy of the world. ■
The Lord Chamberlain & Censorship Kennedy Wilson on the ludicrous and hilarious censorship of theatre before 1968
foreign tour. It was clear that the Lord Chamberlain’s office was getting more and more out of touch. The history of theatre censorship is littered with examples of daft decisions. A licence was once refused because the play’s heroine was seen to enter a tent ‘nude under her clothes’. The Lord Chamberlain objected to the term ‘up periscope’ as too suggestive. Cole Porter was famous for his musical comedies and their suggestive lyrics. His song Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) had clear sexual overtones: ‘The dragonflies in the reeds do it/ Sentimental centipedes do it…’ His Lordship did not see the innuendo but congratulated Porter on the extensive research that had gone into the song! The post of Lord Chamberlain originated in the late 15th century. It was he who appointed the Master of the Revels, who supervised entertainment at Court. After the Restoration in 1660 the Lord Chamberlain began to intervene directly in the regulation of theatre and censorship (usually on political or religious grounds). His powers were formalised in 1737.
hen Wikipedia went dark in January it was an eloquent protest against what it saw as censorship. The theatre lost its censor, the Lord Chamberlain (a member of the Royal Household), in the 1960s. The Lord Chamberlain and his team – based at St James’s Palace – had absolute power over anything that appeared on stage. Members-only theatre clubs proved to be one way of staging provocative and controversial plays without his intervention – the most famous of these, the Establishment, was opened in 1961 in London’s Soho by the late Peter Cook. Edinburgh’s Traverse was another pioneering example of the theatre club which circumvented some of the absurd strictures of the Lord Chamberlain. In some ludicrous decisions many major plays of the mid-20th century were banned or cut. The Lord Chamberlain’s team of readers would vet play scripts before they were produced on the stage and advise on deletions of scenes and changes of wording. By the 1960s the whole edifice began to look ridiculous and the Lord Chamberlain was widely seen as representing a class whose place in society was looking more and more shaky.
Nude in wheelbarrow
These readers’ reports often look like theatre reviews written by some reactionary old duffer. One Lord Chamberlain had the habit of previewing plays from the royal box and some directors and stage managers made sure that anything risqué took place in the corner, way out of his view. Often plays were considered – for no very good reason – ‘not suitable for public performance’ and refused a licence. Producing a play without a licence could result in legal action. Themes considered taboo, even in the anything-goes 1960s, included homosexuality, artificial insemination and bad language (the likes of ‘piss’ and ‘arse’). Criticisms of the Church and the Crown were also considered beyond the pale. John Osborne’s A Patriot for Me was
“The Lord Chamberlain is not going to allow you to show Churchill’s prick on the stage.” Peggy Ramsay to Joe Orton (above)
banned yet went on to win the 1965 Evening Standard Award for best play. Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge was refused a licence, as was Tea and Sympathy although the latter proved one of the most popular American plays of the 50s. Even Look Back in Anger was sent back with a list of changes. In 1963 The Bedsitting Room by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus required numerous changes and cuts. One of the Lord Chamberlain’s injunctions was: ‘the mock priest must not wear a crucifix on his snorkel’. In 1967 the Lord Chamberlain foamed over Edward Bond’s Early Morning. Bond was one of Britain’s most shocking, uncompromising playwrights and his play portrayed Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale in a lesbian relationship. The British Council didn’t share the Lord Chamberlain’s view and was later to send the play on
Later he was responsible for pronouncing on matters of indecency, impropriety, profanity and sedition. He could withdraw a licence without giving a reason. Later still his office employed a team of readers to consider scripts and visit theatres to ensure that the amended scripts were kept to. At the tail end of the Lord Chamberlain’s story the subversive power of the theatre was being eclipsed by cinema and TV and the Lord Chamberlain’s office became obsessed with what it saw as ‘vulgarity’, a word (it must be said) rarely heard, or even understood, these days. In 1963 a letter from the Lord Chamberlain’s office read: ‘I can categorically say that the Lord Chamberlain would not allow a nude woman to be wheeled across the stage in a wheelbarrow’. When, in 1967, Peggy Ramsay, the celebrated theatrical agent, read the play What the Butler Saw by her client the controversial playwright Joe Orton she told him: ‘The Lord Chamberlain is not going to allow you to show Churchill’s prick on the stage!’ In September 1968 the Lord Chamberlain’s powers ceased. The next day the musical Hair opened in London complete with full frontal hippies. As they said at the time: ‘Let the sunshine in!’ ■ Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 21
SpringFitness & Health Tracy Griffen
Luminescent Fluorescence T
So, is fancy running gear necessary? I would say probably not. I don’t get into chef’s whites to cook dinner
ime was if you saw someone running along Leith Walk, it was usually away from trouble. Nowadays if you’re out and about on a weekend morning you can witness folks clad in various hues of luminescent fluorescent aerodynamic Lycra – with sports stripes and fancy embellishments – pelting along the footpath. They are a growing breed Leith runners. You could be mistaken for thinking that to run, one has to own aforementioned garb. That somehow the donning of brightly coloured artificial fibres metamorphoses an ordinary Joe (or Jolene) into a runner. What did we run in before such costumes existed? My eccentric Grandpa had his own unique approach. Cornelius, or Con to his family, used to run around Freeling, an arid South Australian country town, early mornings before it got hot. He’d don various layers of threadbare jumpers that were mainly holes (he lived on his own in a run-down bakery, with a junkyard full of rusting Peugeot cars out the back). On his legs he wore only his daggy underpants and the oldest pair of running shoes you’ve ever seen. He eventually threw them out when there were only shoelaces left. He was a character. And also a helluva runner. He maintained that as long as you were warm on top (three layers of jumpers) you could wear little on your legs. His secret running fuel? Spoonfuls of peanut butter mixed with prunes. Hmm. So, is fancy running gear necessary? I would say probably not. I don’t get into chef’s whites to cook dinner. As a personal trainer I do wear the obligatory black trackies. Well, they match everything. I did have some blue trews for a while, but I’ve developed a bit of a uniform, which is basically black trackies (weight and length weather dependent, I have both winter and summer black trackies), a Berghaus fast wicking technical T-shirt as under layer, usually in blue. Quite often this fashionable ensemble will be topped off by a hoodie. I’m a runner trying not to look like a runner. I eschew hot pink and mint green... On the recent pilot run of GoodGym Leith, fellow Leither contributor and GoodGym co-organiser Leah Lockhart and I were chatting about running fashion and whether fancy gear is
22 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
necessary. She made the point that fancy threads can give you a competitive edge. So true! Also she did look pretty snazzy in her running skirt. Apparently you can procure custom-made running dresses too. That way I could run to a cocktail party and back. One to investigate. We both agreed that it’s uber-important to be comfortable in what you’re wearing if you’re going to get all hot and sweaty in public. And for the ladeez that also means a good sports bra (scaffolding). What to do if you’re new to running and are not sure where to start, or even what to wear? I teach running as part of personalised fitness programmes, and have noticed that there is a growing demand for running groups in Edinburgh.
Show Some Love
So we’re bringing GoodGym to Leith. In conjunction with Greener Leith, we’re organising a monthly series of community events from April right through to when the weather gets awful. For the pilot session last month we met at the Leith Franklin cricket club and did a wee jog before helping with the Leith Links clean up. We were rewarded for our efforts not only with a warm glow of satisfaction but also a free lunch from Out of the Blue (yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch) transported to the Links by bike. Whilst litter picking (with a cool big grabby claw) I considered exactly
what we’re hoping to achieve with GoodGym. The prime purpose is to create a community group that does free exercise, and at the same time, does something good. As a runner that runs through Leith parks a lot, I notice the rubbish and disrepair. GoodGym is a way that we can make a difference, by helping with various community programmes, and combining it with exercise as the same time. Get a workout as you help out. The scheme is presently in its infancy here (the original GoodGym started in Tower Hamlet, London) and we are looking for volunteers. Whether you are new to running, or a seasoned plodder, we’d love to hear from you. We aim to make the runs suitable for runners new and old, and some folk may even like to walk. Further down the line we may even look at an outdoor exercise class as part of GoodGym. Our next date is 11am on Sunday 22 April, so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wear something comfy and bring some water, we’ll set the distance and route on the day, depending on what participants feel like doing. It’s free and easy, and a fab way to show some love. ■ ÊÊ Info: Tracy has recently published the Healthy Living Yearbook full of seasonal recipes and exercises ideas. Written in Leith, for Leith. Under a tenner at: www. healthylivingyearbook
Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 23
The Babylonian Lottery I
started learning Chinese a few years ago. Partly as a pretentious method of differentiation but mainly as personal insurance for the day the tanks roll down Princes St. My first point was shattered completely on hearing school kids chattering away in mandarin at the back of a bus one day. Surely the nation’s educational boards hadn’t conspired solely to belittle my meagre achievement, so why have Scotland’s youth been introduced to this language? The Chinese are not our geographical neighbours yet our next generation will reach over Europe to them for cultural exchange. This seismic shift towards the learning of mandarin in Scottish schools has huge importance on our national psyche. Language and culture skip hand in hand and linguistics holds the key to enlightenment. Unlike French and German, which qualified my generation to order a currywurst or state that the ‘monkey is on the branch,’ with Chinese there is a genuine end product, which holds far more significance than annual leisure pursuits. When the world’s next superpower turns and speaks to you, it helps if you can answer. Judith McClure is an instigator and architect of the learning of Chinese language within Scotland’s schools. As Head of St Georges in Edinburgh she was quick to introduce mandarin into the curriculum. “Even at that point people could see ... the size of China, 1.3 billion people, the need to learn the language, it’s very obvious that actually it’s our future.” This forward thinking resulted in Judith creating the Scottish Chinese Education Network (SCEN) in 2006. Its aim: to bring together individuals, national agencies and associations keen to promote teaching and learning Chinese language and culture in Scottish schools. This immediately got support throughout Scotland with sixty organisations, mostly universities, colleges and local authority schools, signing on. SCEN grew and in 2007 had a conference at the EICC with the First Minister in attendance. The political echelons were taking notice.
In the past three years particularly, the Scottish Government has taken a number of steps to extend the teaching of Chinese culture, history and language (panda rental being the most populist and public face of this). More importantly it has included the launch of 10 Confucius Classrooms throughout Scotland serving 15 local authorities and over 60% of the school population across the country. New qualifications in Chinese languages at Higher and Advanced Higher level have also commenced. I was informed of all this work by MSP and Education Secretary Michael Russell who stressed the key importance of communication in our 24 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Professor Gentz painted Confucius as a comprehensive institute, one that involves itself with cultural aspects of China such as calligraphy, kung fu and dance alongside language. There is also an aim to use history and current affairs to help comprehend the current significance of China, the middle kingdom to us. “The aim is to let people know about the relevance of China...I think it’s really important for people to see what role it plays in the world.” Since Deng Xiaoping dragged China from their rigid brand of Socialism to free market in the 80s, commerce has been on the nation’s agenda. Someone keen to sit at this table is Director and founder of Power of Youth, Adam Purvis.
modern world: “We see modern languages, including Mandarin, as key to achieving the overall purpose of creating a more successful Scotland...It is important for Scotland’s prosperity that young people are attracted to learning languages (and become) well equipped with the skills and capacities needed in the 21st century global marketplace.” China may be only one piece of the global jigsaw, but what a vital piece. “Learning Chinese languages is one part of learning about China, its history and its growing role in the modern world. This will help Scotland to strengthen its links with China. The need to do so is becoming increasingly more apparent in the current economic climate.” The Chinese government have more than matched Scotland’s enthusiasm, investing time and finance in promoting mandarin learning worldwide. The handwringers may claim a subtle attempt at Sino hegemony. Michael simply feels that they “are perhaps more proactive than others, however, this can be explained by the fact that they are an emerging, modern nation who are keen to promote their culture and language.” It seems only sensible; the US spreads its influence clandestinely through movies, music and popular culture. Is it not better to do so through a transparent academic and linguistic push? Their key apparatus is the Confucius Institute in Edinburgh, a national centre to promote educational, economic, and cultural ties between Scotland and China, set up with Sino-Scottish national backing in 2005. Its Director is Professor Natascha Gentz. Natascha invited me to her office at Edinburgh University where she has held the position of Chair of Chinese since 2006. Like Judith’s home, the office walls and shelves are adorned with Chinese art and characters. Maggie Cheung gazes serenely from a Cinema China poster, a wonderful event held in 2007 (and if Mark Cousins is reading, we are due another!).
ÊÊInfo: scen.uk.com & confucius institute.ac.uk
It seems only sensible, after all the US spreads its influence clandestinely through movies, music and popular culture
Power of Youth is an organisation set up to introduce young successful entrepreneurs from around the globe, a matchmaker for aspiring Richard Bransons. His first stop was China and the simple truth dawned that to do business we must communicate. “If there’s any language a young Scottish person should learn it’s Chinese…in about five years time if the state system doesn’t offer Chinese, it’ll be seen in the European community as seriously holding somebody back.” Private schools may have flexibility to adopt and finance Chinese classes but state institutions told me varying tales. Prioritising depended very much upon their local authority. Without developing the nationalised approach to the language there will be an income related disparity that a modern Scotland should not allow. Some proactive Edinburgh schools such as Trinity have organised Chinese clubs, but should the onus be on them? At a recent SCEN event an open letter was drafted to Michael Russell outlining the hopes of Scottish pupils and schools for the advancement of Chinese language. His earlier answers suggest that he’ll be on side. At this event former Governor of Hong Kong Lord Wilson of Tillyorn spoke eloquently about how his lifelong dream of an open China has been realised. Conversely his nightmare of conflict between us remains. China is the Babylonian lottery; a maze of realities and opinion of which Borges would be proud. Some in the west view it as a fresh and exciting future, others as a world of staid oppression. Those of either persuasion cannot deny that they are coming our way and we must understand them as a nation. Judith told me, “…it’s not just a case of their language but their history, their society, and I can understand that we don’t like some of the things they do but there are a lot of things that we do and have done which are not very appealing to the Chinese.” The dominance of the English language has never been challenged in our times; now that the world has turned we can only embrace the change. The tower of Babel can’t fall again. ■ Alan Bett
Of Mice and Women A fight against mice and (very) early spinsterhood threatens to engulf Stephanie Malcolm
reat intentions fill the months following January. Never is there a time where I have been more inspired to lose weight and exfoliate my way to goddess-like status. Thanks to unsustainable New Year’s resolutions, come the beginning of March I should be at my physical prime, walking with a stride only confidence can fuel. The fruits of my pouring sweat at the gym and unwavering commitment to yoghurt should be easily picked from my newly toned and athletic body. I should be positively radiating with self-empowered confidence and feel like I’d be able to take on the world in heels if I wanted to! With a healthy body comes a healthy mind so when I was told, “you should get a dog. It would be good for you”; I remembered this unashamed cockiness I should be enjoying was actually an unrealised dream. I should be all of the above but as the end of March approaches I am far from it. This rather acute observation from my laddish 21-year-old brother took me aback. He who notices nothing but Uni, sports, beer and birds, clocked on to an irrational insecurity of mine. [Before you turn away thinking you’re about to be led into the depths of a lonely girl’s psyche only to find out by the end of the article that, drunk on motivational phrases from Oprah’s Twitter feed, she re-establishes her self-confidence and actually believes she can take on the world in heels – you’re not.]
Matrix of traps
The insightful suggestion came as my brother and I were standing in deathly silence in the hallway of my flat. My body, ever so slightly hunched with tension, was listening with fierce intensity for the noise of mice. A recent infestation has realised one of my greatest fears and since occupied my every thought. Every noise or disturbance is attributed to the sound of an imminent rodent attack. My fears are regularly conveyed to friends, family, colleagues – anyone who will listen, and it was my brother who identified (whether he meant to or not) that the state of anxiety I am experiencing is less the sole cause of mice and more the complete absence of rationale. I know mice are small and cute and their means of survival is to look for food to take back to their many hundreds of babies so they can make many hundreds
eith eK enc Ter
more. But they can piss off. I get one unit of solace a day: Hollyoaks and, whilst enjoying a state of wild euphoria at the hint that Nancy might once and for all be written out of the Hollyoaks script, I do not appreciate the shocking sound of a trap making a fatal snap in the kitchen – perfectly timed with Nancy’s surprise reappearance on screen. Not only must I now deal with a squashed and dead mouse but Hollyoaks has failed to purge the cast of its most intensely irritating character. Clearly, after ridding my flat of any accessible food and setting up a rudimentary matrix of traps, sonar repellants, barricades, steel wool and poison, I was not doing enough to deter the mice. I needed to take a more practical approach. Even though I initially envisioned the ending of this chapter in my life as a hoard of mice feasting on my dead body, I am entirely aware that I am letting these tiny visitors get the better of me. Living alone and not having a knight in shining armour to call upon at a minute’s notice made things a little harder but I definitely do not need a dog to improve my quality of life. Now I was not only fighting a battle with mice, at the age of twenty-four, I was fighting to shed my status as a spinster. So in a newly invigorated attempt
Steph, if you go to: foxtopia.blogspot. com, you’ll find this foolproof mousetrap
to cleanse my flat of mice I went about the extermination in stages. The first stage was to rationalise the situation. I made myself believe the mice were as afraid of me as I was of them and it was unlikely they would attack me in the night. With that out of the way I was free to embark on the more practical stages of extermination - I needed to determine the wider context of the problem. Stage two was to speak to the neighbours.
Not only must I now deal with a squashed and dead mouse but Hollyoaks has failed to purge the cast of its most intensely irritating character
Advised by property management to tread carefully when broaching the subject of mice I instead rather clumsily cornered one neighbour in the car park. After a few minutes of awkward sparring and crudely investigative open-ended sentences, I got the dirt. There was a mouse in the flat upstairs. The problem was clearly not mine alone. With this information the third stage was obvious. Hire professionals. Despite a friend suggesting that “therapy would be cheaper”, the reassurance of, “our poison is 10 times stronger than what you’ve put down”, was therapy enough. So I may not be exiting March with the sculpted body I first hoped for, I have instead spared myself – with thanks to my intuitive brother – a life of unbeknownst spinsterhood. ■ Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 25
Laird'sLarder ARC Colourprint ‘I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.’ – Robert Louis Stevenson
Pork ‘n’ Bacon Burger T
his is whit a hud fir mah tea last night, (instead of 10 pints of Guinness, Laird?) and very nice it wis tae, a kin tell yi! Wit yi need is…
450g pork mince 2 rashers lean bacon, finely chopped 2 teaspoons of spiced granular mustard I wee onion, grated 3 sage leaves, chopped
Now whit yi dae is… Mix aw thae ingredients tigether and beat wi’ a wooden spoon tae mix well. Form the mixture intae 4 flat burgers and refrigerate fir 30 minutes before grilling fir aboot 7 or 8 minutes. It didnae half cheer me up eftir a crap comedy show last night. They say laughter is contagious…but this guy had the antidote. ■ Ching! Ching! The Laird
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
arc colourprint ltd 12a bonnington rd lane edinburgh eh6 5bj +44(0)131 555 5459 tel +44(0)131 555 1028 fax email@example.com www.arccolour.co.uk
26 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Here’s a couple The Laird made earlier, they look braw
(The Laird doesn’t mention it but you could serve the burger on a warm sesame bap with a meltingly soft blue cheese, I’ll get pelters for that! – Ed) ÊÊInfo: The Laird’s website is, http://sites.google.com/site/ lairdslarder/
Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow leethompsonphotography.co.uk
Dave McGuire on one hit wonders, some of which are deserving of more respect than Joe Dolce’s Shaddap You Face
purred on by a recent discussion about guilty pleasures, where I proclaimed my love for 90s R&B classic I Love Your Smile by Shanice, I got to wondering whatever happened to her, for such a cracking tune she appeared to simply vanish without even a follow up single, at least that’s how it appeared to me. As is the way with the Internet though, one thing leads to another, and I ended up looking up a load of one hit wonders. My own favourite is Sly Fox’s Let’s Go All The Way; a classic slab of mid-80s electro pop-funk, with it’s oddly catchy ‘bum, bum, zingy, gingy’ intro, was my favourite 7” until a decade ago when my mate played me the 12” with bonus rap: seek it out, it’s great. I was pleased/ embarrassed to learn that the group consisted of Parliament/Funkadelic stalwart Gary ‘Mudbone’ Cooper and Puerto Rican vocalist Michael Camacho. After the debut hit they were marketed as teen idols and they bombed, Mudbone is still bringing the funk to this day, including an album with self-styled ‘crippled by his own talent’ numpty, Dave Stewart. 1970s funk and soul was very much an album genre, but there are a few notable (stunning) exceptions. Jean Knight burst onto the scene with the classic Mr Big Stuff her first and only hit on the legendary Stax label. Knight fell out with her producers and she disappeared just as quickly. Carl Douglas’s Kung Fu Fighting from 1974 is one of the best selling singles ever, re-released – sampled and remixed multiple times. Douglas is arguably the definitive one hit wonder, and is still making a tidy living from that one song. Minnie Riperton started as a receptionist then backing singer for legendary blues label Chess, moving on to become singer for experimental rock/funk group Rotary Connection. Her smash hit was Lovin’ You in 1975. In January 1976 Riperton was diagnosed with breast cancer and was given about six months to live. Refusing to be beaten, she became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, and was officially recognised by President Carter before her death in 1979. The track resurfaced in 1990 sampled by ambient
heroes The Orb on A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld. Success for some one hit wonders took a turn for the unexpected: Terry Jacks’ first single, Season in the Sun, was a #1 hit in multiple countries. Successive hits weren’t forthcoming and Jacks withdrew from music, becoming involved in the environmental movement where his work was recognised by the United Nations. Bill Bartlett turned Leadbelly’s minute long ditty Black Betty into a hugely influential rock classic, which became a smash when producers built the group Ram Jam around him. Bartlett went on to have a career in interpretive dance and in recent years has become a boogie-woogie pianist.
Carl Douglas in 2010, when a club singer was arrested for racism after covering Kung Fu Fighting
Five Easy Pieces
Toni Basil started as choreographer for films such as American Graffiti and musicians like David Bowie and Talking Heads. She was also an actress, appearing memorably in cult classics Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces. In 1982, aged 39, she adapted the song Kitty by Racey and, combined with the memorable (certainly for a 9 year old yours truly) video featuring Basil as a cheerleader, Mickey was a worldwide smash. Basil continues to work in music and film choreography and, as a founding member of The Lockers, was instrumental in bringing street dance to prominence. Another ‘young Dave fave’ was German singer/actress Nena. She scored an unlikely international hit in ‘83 with the strangely catchy German New
My own favourite is Sly Fox’s Let’s Go All The Way; a classic slab of mid-80s electro popfunk, with it’s oddly catchy ‘bum, bum, zingy, gingy’ intro
Wave song 99 Luftballons. In 1984, she re-recorded this song in English as 99 Red Balloons, the widely misunderstood political commentary was lost on many and became a #1 pop smash. Nena’s following releases failed to trouble the charts beyond Germany. 20 years on, her baffling English-German (who’d have thunk it) duet with Kim Wilde, Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime, was a #1 in a number of European countries. MARRS was intended to be a collaboration between A.R. Kane and Colourbox. The collaboration went tits up so they agreed to each do a track. Pump Up the Volume, a Martyn Young track constructed largely of samples, including one of A.R. Kane’s guitars, was a shot in the arm for lazy 80s cheese pop. The track was a big #1 in several countries, although the US release saw problematic samples removed and replaced. This was MARRS’ massively influential but only release, it was the first UK chart topper to contain samples from other songs, and was Grammy nominated in 1989. Finally, it turns out that Shanice was more than a just one hit wonder, she was actually a child star, appearing in a KFC ad with Ella Fitzgerald as a kid, and was a regular on kids TV shows. Her 1991 debut album featured the hit I Love Your Smile and also Minnie Riperton’s Lovin’ You. Her multi octave range and virtuoso whistling skills (true) didn’t make the charts until she sang backing vocals on a track on the ghastly – post death – Michael Jackson cash in album Michael… sigh. ■ Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 27
Bainbridge Music 10 Mar: It’s Better in Leith @ The Granary, 3234 The Shore, 7pm-midnight, £5. 16 Mar: A Free Gig in Leith @ Nobles, 44a Constitution St, 7-10pm. 30 Mar: Your New Favourite Band @ Sneaky Petes, 73 Cowgate, 7-10pm, £5. 31 Mar: Bainbridge Music Showcase @ Henry’s Cellar Bar, 6-20a Morrison St, 7-10pm, £5.
highlight of the month
Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk 0131 553 5900 Every Monday: Boda Bar Chan Bang. Join in the jam session Rocktail Thursdays, Meze Fridays and Soul Sundays Carrier's Quarters 42 Bernard Street Sun: 6.30pm Jammie Devils The Constitution 48 Constitution Street 0131 538 9374 25 Mar: Prize Comedy, 8.15pm, free. Headliner Michael Redmond, MC Steven Davidson, special guests & free gifts! Dalriada 77 Promenade, Portobello 0131 454 4500 Thu: Quiz Night 8.30pm Fri & Sat: Live Music 9pm Sat & Sun: Live Music 3-6pm 31 Mar: Beatles Theme night 9pm & All Day Spring Artisan Fayre Elbow 133 East Claremont Street 0131 556 5662 Mon: Movie night, 8pm Tue: Pub Quiz, 8.30pm Fri: House band ‘The Hanley Tree’ Sat: AmbiDECKstrous DJs, 8-1am. Sun: Open Mic, 8.30pm Espy 62 Bath Street, Portobello 0131 669 0082 Mon: Film club 8pm Tue: Stitch & Bitch (knitting circle) Fri: Live music 9.30pm The Granary 32-34 The Shore Acoustic Sets: Wednesday 8-10pm, Thursday 10-12am, Saturday 10-12am & Friday Pianist 5-7pm Guilty Lily 284 Bonnington Road 0131 554 5824 Sun: Quiz Nite 8.30 Mad Mexican Mondays Every Thu: Film Night, wear pyjamas & get a free glass of wine! Open Mic on last Wednesday of month of the month 8.30pm
Jessica Kirkpatrick Recent Paintings The Parlour Bar 142 Duke Street Leith, EH6 8HR 0131 555 3848 theparlouredinburgh.com Exhibition Open All Day (Free) Throughout March
Jessica says: “In a series of urban night scenes, I press into limitations of my own seeing, where deep spaces shrouded in shadow entice yet elude the eye. Through a process of digital collage I attempt to build a pictorial
Iso Bar 7 Bernard Street 0131 467 8904 Wed: Quiz Night 8pm Sun: Open mic with Sylvain 5pm onwards Joseph Pearce's Bar 23 Elm Row 0131 556 4140 Tue: Jogging Club 7pm-8pm Tue: Massage Therapy with Paula Lee from 6.30pm 1st Monday of month: The Paintbrush and the Sewing Needle 7pm Cinnamon Wednesdays and Sunday D.J. Sun: The Random Selector with Annie Cavanagh Leith Folk Club @ the Village 221 Ferry Road OI3I 454 2060 New Venue – The Victoria Park House Hotel 6 Mar: Sheena Wellington 13 Mar: Gren Bartley 20 Mar: Kirsty McGee 27 Mar: Jackson Donahue Morter Nobles 44a Constitution Street 0131 629 7215 Every Mon: Epic Quiz Every Tue: Open Mic w/Carmelo Fats & Packets O’Shea Every Wed: Jack ‘o’ Diamonds Scrimshaw Shanties Thur 8: Lewis Gibson Sessions Sat 10: Eclectic Mud DJs Sun 11: Amy MacDougall & Davy MacGregor Thu 15: Rossco & Alistair (and 22nd)
space that refers to real world structures yet relies on its own logic. I sample from art history, often inserting characters from past painting to represent the transmutation of experience into art.”
Fri 16: Bainbridge Music Presents… Sat 17: Fraktured DJs Fri 23: Cera Impala Sun 25: Austen George in Session Thu 29: Fraktured DJs Fri 30: The Dead Beat Beat Club
All other dates to be confirmed
The Parlour 142 Duke Street 0131 555 3848 Every Mon: Acustic Jam 8pm Every Wed: Quiz 8pm Every Fri: 60s Obscuro DJs! 8.30pm Saturday Night Beaver 36 Blair Street 3rd Saturday of the month, 10.30-3am The Shore Bar 0131 553 5080 Tue: Infinite Trio 9.30pm Wed: Folk Session 9.30pm Thu: The GT's or Kevin Gore 9pm Sun: Jazz - Ellis & Kellock 2pm-5pm. Sophie's 65 Henderson Street 0131 555 7019 1st Wed of month: Coup Red – SELECT – monthly artist gathering. 6.30-8pm 1st Thu of month: Sing Songwriter's night, 9-11pm The Street 2 Picardy Place 0131 556 4272 Wed: Pub Quiz, 9pm Thu-Sun: Club DJs Sponsored by
Chop Chop Leith, 76 Commercial Street Tel: 0131 553 1818 www.chop-chop.co.uk Now 28 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
The Waterline 58 The Shore 0131 554 2425 Every Thur: Pub quiz from 9pm! The Yard 2 Bonnington Road Lane 0131 554 2425 Every Sun: Jazz Sundays, 3-6pm, with The Ritz Trio Every Fri: Poker: NUTS poker only Friday night Scottish venue. All skill levels welcome
Concrete Wardrobe 50a Broughton Street 0131 558 7130 March Maker of the Month: Chris Donnelly with his new range of ceramic tableware called Starcloud. Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street 0131 555 7100 outoftheblue.org.uk 10 Mar: Bruncheon! Featuring The Sound of Muesli, 11.30-3pm 17 Mar: Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, 11-4pm, £2/£1 From 10 March and then 2nd Sat of every month: Drill Hall Food Market, 10-3pm
Talbot Rice Gallery Old College, South Bridge 0131 651 4784 From 10 March till 5 May: In the White Gallery Alison Turnbull in the Georgian Gallery James Cummings, Tue - Sat 10-5pm
Malcolm Chisholm 0131 558 8358 MSP Edinburgh North & Leith Advice surgeries every Saturday morning. Leith Library 10am, Royston Wardieburn Community Centre 12pm Mark Lazarowicz 0131 557 0577 MP for Edinburgh North & Leith Weekly surgeries every Friday (no appointment required) 4pm Stockbridge Library. 5pm Constituency Office, 5 Croall Place
Wed. of each month at Victoria Primary School 5.30-6pm and Leith Academy 6.30-7.30pm Deidre Brock Leith Walk Ward S.N.P. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month at McDonald Road Library 6pm and 2nd Friday (during term time) Leith Walk Primary School 12:30 Louise Lang 0131 529 4019 Leith Walk Ward Lib/Dem Advice surgeries: 1st Monday of month at Broughton Primary School, 6pm and 1st Wedneday of month at Lorne Primary School, 6pm Aerobics Classes Lianne on 07779064991 firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesdays at 6pm Pilrig Church, no need to book. £3 per class, £2 concessions. Have fun and get fit Leith Library 28-30 Ferry Road 0131 529 5517 Tue: 4-5pm Under 13's Computer Club Fri: 2.30pm Craft Time: (ages 4 to 11) For info on other clubs contact Leith Library. The WW1 Leith Roll of Honour that was exhibited in Leith Library at 2008-2009 is now available in page-turner format at lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/exhibits/Leith_ROH.htm McDonald Road Library 2 McDonald Road 0131 529 5636 Craft for kids: Every friday, 3-4pm (ages 4-9) Bookbug Sessions: 2nd friday of month,11.30pm; Last friday of month, 10.30-11am; 2nd sunday of month, 2.30-3pm Polish Bookbug Session: Every Tuesday, 10.30-11am Urdu Book Group (women only): Last monday of month, 2-4pm Book Group: Last monday of month, 6.30-7.30 Greenbank Scout Group Annual Jumble Sale Greenbank Church, Braidburn Terrace. Saturday, 14 April, 9.30-12noon, £2
Rob Munn 0131 529 329 Leith Ward SNP
Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraising Event 0131 561 3963 Edinburgh to Dublin Cycle Challenge, 12-15 July 2012. Looking for 60 keen participants to sign up and take on the challenge.
Gordon Munro Leith Ward Labour. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd Monday of each month at Leith Community Education Centre, 6.30-7.15pm. 2nd Tuesday of the month at Victoria Primary School, 6.30-7.15pm. Last Saturday of each month at Lochend Y.W.C.A. 12noon-1pm.
Ramsay Cornish 15 Jane Street. 0131 553 7000 Thu: 11am Traditional Lane Sale Sat: 11am General Household Auction.
1st & 3rd Mon of month: Leith Library 6pm 1st Fri of month: Leith Community Centre, 1pm 2nd Wed of month: Hermitage Park Primary, 6pm
Marjorie Thomas City Chambers. 0131 529 4988 Leith Ward Lib/Dem. Advice surgeries: 1st & 3rd
Stockbridge Market 0131 551 5633 stockbridgemarket.com Kerr Street Every Sunday, 10-5pm. All sorts of goodies for sale. ■
w delivering (inc. Business Lunches) to EH6, EH7 & EH8
Send your new and updated listings to billy@ leithermagazine.com
Key Point Building services
All insurance work carried out. Free estimates. Mob. 07904 657899 Tel. 0131 555 2483 Email. email@example.com CREDIT CRUNCH DISCOUNT 10% OFF TO LEITHER READERS Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 29
CrosswordNo.58 Edin Club Mal Ad:Layout 1
Dining deals go digital at the Edinburgh Mal. Next time you dine. Play your ace.
No smartphone? Simply register at
DIGITAL DINING DEALS
www.malmaison.com/clubmal Redeemable at any Malmaison hotel
1 Tower Place, Leith EH1 7BZ To book a table 0131 468 5000 firstname.lastname@example.org
across 1 5 10 11 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 27 28
Moulded a plastic in Edinburgh or Cardiff (8) Writings yes, SAS smashed (6) Left arm Neil, Miss Mynx confused (7-8) Game resurgence in the country (7) Pot for new kill possibly (7) Books inciting rebellion from first to last? (8) Coward loses first and gets the bird (5) Unit of heat in bother, my God! (5) Places in position theatre seats (8) Exotic regalia in country (7) Keep apart from being with love and death (7) Non-stop plane with motor tie up out (9,6) Stop out Di and Tess (6) Impressive manner before scene break (8)
down 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 14 16 17 19 21 22 24 25
Shot maker in scam erased (6) Divide upland for hunted bird (9) Journey allowed for one of three (7) Plum puree with unknown sea swell (5) Bounder to be held in disrepute by Queen (7) Incidental remark by A-team (5) Testing a politian during launch (8) Language signification of half love half sister (8) Herb to have with a rum or gin perhaps, not right! (8) A lav out in broken estimation (9) Tied and beaten (8) Promotes old German currency, set out (7) Desire Italian capital back, with love of America (7) Pinto that is hat (6) Reg returns with MS because of these (5) Riled idiotic loafer (5)
crossword prize A bottle of Malmaison house wine
winner no.57 Rupert Jenkins, Edinburgh
Email your answers to: email@example.com
Supplied by: www.leithlinks.co.uk
answers: crossword 57 across
1 Puffball 5 Screws 10 The Water of Leith 11 Arrears 12 Yardarm 13 Snootier 15 Elton
18 Upend 20 Repotted 23 Trollop 25 Snow pea 26 Portobello beach 27 Eldest 28 Blue Eyes
1 Pitman 2 Free range 3 Bravado 4 Leeks 6 Calorie 7 Erica 8 Scheming 9 Body wrap
14 Irrupted 16 Theophany 17 Multiple 19 Dollops 21 Trouble 22 Pathos 24 Oared 25 Salal
Malmaison Mothers Day Afternoon Tea, 12-4pm, Sunday 18th March. £10.95pp Traditional (£15.95pp w/glass of Prosecco). Or Dare to be Different ~ mini Fish ‘n’ Chips & Mal Burgers! 30 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 83
Leither in London Carrie Mitchell
The Man Marathon
Your correspondent tests her stamina with a month of non-stop dating…
The fact that ‘Tusk’ had chosen his username from a Fleetwood Mac album title – immediately appealed to my obsession with all things 80s
eez, am I glad that month’s over. I’ve been on what seems like a gazillion dates and I barely had time to catch my breath. As I’d only signed up for one month’s membership to the online dating thing, I figured it made sense to cram in as many as possible. But inevitably what started out as a little fun turned into a seemingly endless task. When I left you last month, I’d just been approached with the strange chat-up line: Selleck, Guttenberg or Danson? You might recognise that dramatic trio as the stellar line-up from 3 Men and a Baby. The fact that ‘Tusk’ had chosen this as his opening gambit – as well as a username inspired by a Fleetwood Mac album – immediately appealed to my obsession with all things 80s. But what was the right answer? Deciding Selleck was too obvious and Danson too oddball, I replied with confidence, “Guttenberg, of course.” As luck would have it, I was right and it seems my reward was a date. I had high hopes for Tusk. He might not have been my usual tortured artist type (in fact, he was a London bobby!) but his photographs looked promising, his chat was entertaining and we seemed to have a few things in common. Unfortunately the moment I laid eyes on him I knew none of that mattered. I didn’t find him remotely attractive and no amount of red wine seemed to be able to change that. Dammit. When he texted the next day to ask for the all-important second date, I politely declined explaining that though he was a lovely guy – for me, there was just no
chemistry. He graciously wished me luck and that was that. Quick and painless – I was getting good at that part. Next up was Ade. Now with Ade, I felt like I was on safer ground. He was Northern, he had good banter, he worked in the music industry, heck he’d even worked with one of my best friends. When we met – for a quick drink before he had to head off to a gig – things looked promising. Admittedly, we’re not talking chiseled good looks and irresistible charm but I figured he might be a grower and with this in mind, I happily accepted his offer of a second date. Big mistake. While Ade and I may have had enough: ‘So you work with this band? So you know that person? Wow, that’s a coincidence, me too’ chat to see us through the first short meeting. A full-on evening of fun seemed to be beyond our grasp. Conversation faltered, there were painful silences, I realised I didn’t find him all that attractive. And then the worst possible thing happened; he lunged in for a kiss. Stunned, I somehow found my way through it then spent the rest of the evening trying to dodge any further assaults on my face. I felt terrible when I had to break it to him that the date he assumed had gone so well, was actually enough to put me off seeing him ever again. Vowing not to make the same mistake of misleading my next date if I wasn’t interested in him, I found myself signing up for a Saturday night out with a nice Irish chap called Mikey. The fact that we’d arranged to meet on a weekend might suggest we both had high hopes – you
don’t give up an evening at the weekend unless you’re keen. Only in this case, it was more a matter of scheduling. We’d been trying to arrange a date to meet for three weeks and this was the first night we were both free. With such a long build up, the pressure was really on and I was willing it to go well. My determination might explain why I ended up staying out so late, drinking so much, and trying so hard to convince myself I liked him. But in the sober light of day, I knew I wasn’t really feeling it so it wasn’t long before my well-practiced ‘thanks but no thanks’ text arrived in his inbox. By now, I was reaching the end of my tether (and my subscription) so I threw caution to the wind and accepted a date with a boy who was about as far from my type as I’d ever gone. He was too young (27), too innocent (fresh from the countryside), too wholesome (just back from building a school in Ghana), and from the sounds of it, too honest (“I know I really shouldn’t admit this on a first date but I’m not really all that into music”). Yet despite all of that, he had me completely smitten. Walking me to the tube at the end of the evening, he told me he’d had a really lovely time and said he’d be in touch. He was true to his word too. A few days later, his much-anticipated text finally arrived in my inbox, I recognised it just a few words in: “Thanks for such a fun evening but I don’t think meeting up again would be right…blah, blah, blah.” It was my perfectly formed rejection text practically word for word. I guess it was only ever a matter of time. Sigh. ■ Issue 83 | leithermagazine.com | 31
Bistro La Garrigue Le Menu du Patron 2 Courses £8.50
Available: Lunch 12pm~2.30pm (Tue/Fri) Dinner 5.30pm~9.30pm (Tue/Fri) And 12~7pm (Saturday & Sunday) Full Bistro Menu ~ All Above Hours Sample Menu: Creamy Green Leaves Velouté Chicken Rillettes Steamed Mussels with Saffron and Garlic *************** Pan-fried Coley, Fennel & Squid Compote Marinated Pork Chop, Ratatouille, Mash Potato Vegetable Gratin served with Wilted Spinach *************** Chocolate Terrine with Crème Anglaise Your Views on Menu du Patron:
“Definitely a taste of France…great panache” – David Drew “Delicious food…3 courses & coffee £12.75!” – Aileen Hall “If you haven’t been you must try it.” – Douglas Culross “Fish excellent…portions great.” – Patricia Phelan Some Specialities of the Bistro...
Bouillabaisse, Mediterranean style (local seafood) casserole with saffron, spicy dip & cheese £15 Le Cassoulet from the Languedoc. Pork, duck, Toulouse sausage, lingots beans and more £16 La Tartiflette, a gratin of potatoes, bacon, and Reblochon cheese (Veggie option available) £11.50
Bistro La Garrigue, 88 Commercial Street, Leith EH6 6AJ T: 0131 553 5933 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.lagarrigue.co.uk