Free Issue 94
Leith Festival: Fun For All
Birth Pains of A Novel | Lee Miller Icon | Economics of Happiness Scottish Albums Of Year | Leith Jazz & Blues Festival
New Comer of The Year: The List 2013
“A perfect storm of brilliance…straight to the top of the Leith bar charts.” ★★★★★ Arthur “Went to the Vintage for lunch and was blown away by the quality.” ★★★★★ Sharkey
“Oh Vintage I love you... Happy days.” ★★★★★ Grace S
“Amazing charcuteries. I mean OMG!” ★★★★★ Neil J
“If you love beer, you’ll love this place, if you love wine, you’ll love this place, if you love great food, you’ll love this place.” ★★★★★ Callum Robertson
“The real stars of the bar are the craft beers …I’d love to keep it a secret but the secret is already out. ” ★★★★★ John H
Reviews from members of the public on Tripadvisor and Yelp
The Vintage, 60 Henderson Street, Leith T: 0131 563 5293 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.thevintageleith.co.uk 2 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
Editor at Large
Protempore excoriates a certain (dead) former prime minister for her relationship with a couple of notoriously sadistic Generals
Leith Festival: The Diary of a Madman ©callumalden.com
ary Moriarty deals the cards to the four corners of the globe and then resumes talking. “The Lord Provost is going to assume the mantle of (mock) Lord Provost of Leith for the day, he’ll lead the pageant down Leith Walk to the Links where he’ll make a wee speech.” (And, if Mary has her way, spend some serious Edinburgh money on the gala day stalls.) She lays a five of diamonds and somebody wins something. “Will he be leading the band in place of the late Bill Mein?” I ask. “Oh no, no, he’ll be in the limousine which Marshall Bain loans us every year.” Later she pops over and regards me with that gently quizzical ‘over the glasses’ look that proved so effective for Miss Marple. “Did you ever mention all the lovely people who helped make last year’s Leith Festival such a success?” I squirm in my seat and reply, “Damn, our conversation completely slipped my mind!” Mary favours me with a wonderfully radiant smile – when she would have been perfectly entitled to batter me about the head with a carrier bag full of frozen hedgehogs – and repeats that conversation verbatim… “I asked you to thank Leith Docker’s Club, Leith Athletic FC, and Lorraine Rourke – who won the Elizabeth Wardlaw award for fundraising – all the local businesses and individuals, and…” she finishes with a flourish “the people of Leith.” As she left, I had a momentary lapse of reason (also known as a moment of journalistic integrity) and grabbed a bookies slip and pen from the bar counter before hotfooting it after her: “Mary, who would you like to thank this year?” She gives my searching question due consideration... “Oh! The same people as last year.” So there you have it, if you could just reread the last paragraph and replace 2012 with 2013 my job as an investigative journalist is done. For, handily, the same kind benefactors, contributors and
An introduction to the frontrunners (including Errors above) for the upcoming Scottish Album of the Year Awards from Dave McGuire
Never tried fine dining in an industrial estate in Leith? Let Marie-Joële Schmidt tempt you!
volunteers are still in place. Stay with me while I check something… whoops, I knew it; I forgot to mention sponsorship readies from Scotmid and the Royal Yacht Britannia – although the latter prefer the more refined ‘donation’. (Wonder if Her Majesty had a word there?) The Leith Festival committeepolitburo-magisterium-quango, or whatever else they are calling themselves these days, have yet again made canny use of the monies at their disposal… We know all about the big hitters – the Pageant, Gala Day (pray for sun) and the Tattoo. But the marquee production this year is surely a brand new musical based on Frank Sinatra’s last hours, The Final Curtain, produced by Kingdom Theatre Company – commendably, as a social enterprise with all profits going to charity – written by John Murray from Castle FM and directed by Leith Festival’s Tony Delicta. So it has ‘Made in Leith’ stamped through it like a stick of Blackpool rock if, erm, Blackpool rock was made in Leith. But please allow me to indulge myself by invoking the spirit of the (never) bettered Travelling Vacuum Flask Museum from a few festivals back in offering up a few lovingly chosen leftfield choices from the 2013 programme which, I hope, tickle your fancy.
Dance? Surely the promise of ‘Cairo on Duke Street’ meets all your terpsichorean needs? A Hafla (get together), hosted by the wonderfully, if improbably, named Elspeth Swishandhips, cries out for a well-choreographed stampede to the ticket office. Film? A screening of a ‘very good independent Scottish short film with a Hippie Disco’ cannot help but whet the appetite, unfortunately I can tell you no more as the links on the website don’t work. Worth a visit though… Walking tours? Why the guided visit to Seafield Crematorium has long been on The Leither’s list. No, seriously. ‘Find out what happens during and after a service with refreshments provided’. If that doesn’t include a schooner of sherry and vol-au-vents, I’ll want to know why. Art? Under the big A we find: VAPORIZED… Try before you buy! Enticing, you will admit? ‘We are hosting a day of tasterings, come along and try an electric cigarette for the first time or try new flavours’. I, and I suspect half the population of Leith, am firmly onboard. So there you have it, my Festival Diary. Yours, no doubt will come from many different angles. Therein lies the beauty of the thing: something for everyone. ■ ÊÊ Info: www.leithfestival.com
Innes Reekie gets down and dirty in Krakow before high falutin’ it in the Tatra Mountains
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Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 3
Protempore … Thatcher’s slithering progeny & the wooing of the Generals… I
’m pretty sure that most of you who search out this esteemed organ will have guessed well in advance that the focus of the column in this issue would be the (not so recent) death of Margaret Thatcher. Well, who am I to disappoint? First of all, I should perhaps preface the tirade by setting out my qualifications and absolute right to comment on the demise of one of the most poisonous, hateful human beings ever to inhabit the earth. Put simply, I was there. And before anyone dares to turn the page as they think it’s all going to be about the miners’ strike, let me assure you, it’s not. There is so much more to talk about when discussing the life and crimes of Thatcher. But as I was 22 years old at the time of the strike in 1984 and stood on picket lines along with fellow trade union members from all over the movement, I hope you’ll bear with me. Prior to announcing the closure of 20 mines and putting over 20,000 people on the dole at a stroke, the Thatcher government stockpiled coal and converted some power stations to run on heavy fuel oil in order to prevent a repeat of the 1974 strike which saw blackouts across the country and forced the then government’s hand. Clever move, I hear some of you say. Perhaps, but then maybe you didn’t know that forcing people to strike for their livelihoods meant that thousands of families who couldn’t afford to heat their homes had to rely on scavenging for coal on what were known as “spoil tips” which contained waste material from excavations but could be used to provide a small source of heat. Spoil tips were notoriously dangerous as they were prone to slippage and in the 4 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
winter of 1984, three teenagers died when the tip they were on collapsed. Funnily enough, in all of the cloying eulogies from Thatcher’s acolytes, this is not mentioned.
Pigticians illustration by Bernie Reid
Neither is her relationship with General Pinochet. Remember him? That’s right, the Chilean military dictator whose government clamped down on trade unions; privatised hundreds of state-controlled industries; murdered thousands of its political opponents (many of whom were thrown out of planes while still alive); interned 80,000 citizens who were deemed to be antigovernment; and tortured more than 50,000 citizens, including women and children. When he was under house arrest in London following an attempt by the Spanish Government to extradite him in connection with numerous human rights violations including the murder of 12 nuns, Thatcher visited him and stated that she was a great friend and was ‘grateful to him for bringing democracy to Chile’. Or General Suharto. Remember him? That’s right, the former president of Indonesia, another one of Thatcher’s closest friends. Another monster with absolutely no regards whatsoever for human rights. But Thatcher and her cabinet of moral cowards saw nothing wrong in colluding with another tinpot dictator in order to secure multimillion pound arms deals. In the year after President Suharto took control of the country, between 500,000 and one million alleged members of the Indonesian Communist party were killed; 500,000 of his political opponents were arrested, only one thousand
of whom were ever brought to trial. Between 1989 and 1993, two thousand civilians in Aceh, including children and the elderly were unlawfully killed. The ethnic-Chinese were targeted and his soldiers raped an unknown number of ethnic-Chinese women. In the midst of all this, Thatcher visited the genocidal maniac and told the assembled press: “Trade brings us together and identifies our interests, and I am sure that trade between Indonesia and Britain will increase as a result of the very friendly and warm atmosphere created by my visit here. We are clearly the best of friends and there is no sounder basis on which to construct future collaboration.”
General Pinochet, who was prone to throwing political opponents out of planes while still alive, was, said Thatcher, “a great friend”
Putting aside the unnecessary deaths of freezing teenagers and human rights, which Thatcher did without blinking, the most sickening and dangerous legacy left after her demise is the present Tory government. David Cameron, George Osborne, William Hague, Iain Duncan-Smith, Jeremy Hunt, Eric Pickles, Oliver Letwin, Theresa May, Michael Gove, Francis Maude and the rest, are all Thatcher’s children and are intent on carrying out policies which were fostered in the belly of the beast, the only difference being that they are far more rabid and poisonous than Thatcher ever was. Which, given the very small list above of the abhorrent tragedies that she colluded in, is terrifying. Am I glad she’s dead? Of course I am, but given her slithering progeny, I make no apology whatsoever for saying that I wish she’d never been born at all. ■ Protempore
Kings & Queens of Leith Sponsored by…
Interviewee Lindsay Corr, 28, is a marketing manager for the Scottish Storytelling Centre living in Leith
hat’s your favourite view of Leith? Standing on The Shore Bridge looking towards the water. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? My boyfriend tried to get me to watch the film ‘IT’ in some reverse psychological attack on my coulrophobia… I lasted about 5 minutes, with no sign of the clown and told him to turn it off. If you could be teleported anywhere, where would you go? I’d want to be sucked into the Tardis, like Donna Noble. Which actor would play you in the movie of your life? Annie Parisse, who starred opposite Kevin Bacon in The Following. If you had a magical power what would it be and what would you do with it? When I clicked my fingers time would stop for everyone but me – I’d finally get everything done to deadlines! Complete the sentence: “I love Leith because…”
…it reminds me of a little European village that escapes the hustle and bustle of the capital city. Which actor played plays James Bond best? Having not read the books (sorry!) my favourite Bond is Daniel Craig, except for his pouting robot run. Do you have any hidden talents? Irish Dancing. In another life what would you be doing? Performing in the chorus for a West End show Who’s your hero? Gene Kelly (see above!) Have you ever been told you look like someone famous? A computer software generator told me I looked like Jessica Alba… I’ll take that! Apart from that I don’t get told I look like anyone, which I like! What do you put in a toaster? Bread that’s too fat, resulting in an epic quest to recover it… What’s your ideal way to spend an afternoon in Leith? A stroll around the Quays followed by a sampling of delicacies in any of the great eateries there. ■ ÊÊInfo: Lindsay wins one free meal once a week for a month from those fine girls at Carriers Quarters. (Terms & Conditions Apply)
If you would like to enter, please send your responses to the questions above with your name, age, occupation and location to firstname.lastname@example.org
42 Bernard Street Leith T: 0131 554 4122 W: carriersquarters.co.uk Open 12pm to 1am, Lunch Mon/Fri 12-2pm, Breakfast Sat/Sun 11am-1pm Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 5
Daniel Gray’s Midget Gems No.11
In which Martin gets his head out of his arse S
ome people beg to be eavesdropped and Martin was one of them. I was sitting alone on the next table, in a pub. He had two accomplices and absolutely no intention of letting them speak. His voice made the beer mats shake, the half-pint glasses rattle and the pool table balls roll. When Martin went to the bar he sonorously ordered ‘something triple-hopped and zesty’ like Paul Robeson in CAMRA: The Musical. Back with his captives, Martin took a sip and then rolled the beer around his mouth, preparation for a coming soliloquy akin to licking a finger before turning the page. “Well, that was some trip,” Martin said, imploring someone to say “Oh aye, where were you?” They didn’t, which he took as a stamped permit to continue. “We stayed right out in the countryside, and just hung around reading about Far Eastern spirituality. I really think I’ve found a new sense of being, a oneness with nature. It just made me so aware of everything around me. I’ve begun to accept the world and see it for what it is.” “Ye mean,” said one of the captives, finally speaking up, “yiv goat yer heid oot yer erse, Martin?”
Rubbish directions A van man hurtles his vehicle to the wrong side of the road, winds down the passenger side window and leans across, elongated seatbelt almost scything off his ear. “Scuse me pal, is there a building site around here? My gaffer just said Easter Road.” I try and think about building sites but instead notice he has a Dolly Parton CD on his dashboard. “Erm,” I say, to reassure him. Then I remember that there’s quite a lot of mud and some yellow signs with ridiculous housing estate names near the Hibs ground, so send him in that general direction. When he goes past me again ten minutes later, I hide in a bush. While there I start to wonder about all the other people to whom I have given rubbish directions. Everywhere
I’ve lived and spent time enough to look like I know what I’m doing, there must be people still walking about going “I’m sure he said left at the lights.” In Middlesbrough, I imagine, there are Ipswich Town fans from 1991 trawling the streets from behind desert island beards. In York, a family of Japanese tourists who only wanted to visit the Minster have ended up playing statues at the Jorvik Viking Centre. As I leave the bush I think: ‘how did I end up in Leith, again?’
To wave or not to wave I’ve always liked the way bus driver’s wave at one another. In more romantic moments, I see it as an act of high solidarity. Mind you, it’s even more likeable when they don’t wave; I enjoy
wondering what happened back at the depot and concluding it involved someone failing to replace the last of the staff kitchen milk. Bus drivers are real human beings like you and me, you know, regardless of how they’re portrayed in Tatler and Readers’ Wives. I like the way they ignore rival companies too. Imagine if we all did this – we work for Tesco so at a party we refuse to talk to a Sainsbury’s checkout girl and go out of our way to be rude to her Farmfoods equivalent. I noticed recently – on telly, obviously; I don’t actually leave the house in case anyone asks me for directions – that train drivers also do ‘the wave’. I now wish to see it extended, though not along lines of vocation. Yes, we should wave to people we feel a kinship with, even if it baffles them slightly because they know not the reason. They might be left-handed or ginger-haired like you. Or, you might just fancy them, and how’s a friendly wave across the street for a perfect chat-up line? You can have that one for free. Just give me a wave next time I see you.
Not all jokes are one-liners
When someone corners me in a pub with a long joke, I lose the will to live never mind laugh, thinking longingly back to a simpler time before the joke began
Are you still reading? Have you followed the page all the way down? I was watching the marvellous Old Jews Telling Jokes the other night. Not all of their jokes are one-liners. Some are 56-liners. Endurance tests. Listening, I began to get that familiar feeling of losing the thread. This is worse when someone corners you in a pub with a similarly elongated ‘funny’. My concentration lapses so quickly that I laugh at completely the wrong parts. I lose the will to live never mind laugh, glancing over the teller’s shoulder and thinking longingly back to a simpler time before the joke began. How did these ridiculously lengthy jokes come about? Were they designed by committee, or are they embellishments of true stories? I’m off to ask Martin. ■ ÊÊTwitter: @d_gray_writer ÊÊWeb: danielgraywriter.com
This month Dan’s paying £4.20 for a pint of local ale, a betrayal (that sounds like a line from a very Yorkshire rap record)… dotting the i’s and removing the libellous bits from the new book…watching a cinema screen reflect in Wee Blue Eyes
6 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
Spirit of enterprise fighting fit at Capital Cartridges!
ortune favours the fighters. Dougie and Dee Pilkington, owners of Capital Cartridges Edinburgh, are proof that willpower and hard work can push a business to the top and build a loyal following. Ten years ago, Dougie and Dee worked for Marshalls of Newbridge. When the company closed, they found themselves out of work with no income between them. Many couples would have folded, but they grabbed the chance to take control of their own destiny and went into business for themselves, joining a franchise and opening Capital Cartridges Edinburgh. Determined to succeed together, they’ve spent the last decade working hard to grow the business and it’s paid off. They’re now the leading supplier of ink and toner cartridges in the capital, with shops
in Leith Walk, Stockbridge, Clerk Street and Bathgate. Dougie and Dee set themselves apart by understanding that not everyone is comfortable with computers and printers. Their experienced, friendly staff are always happy to answer questions and their encyclopaedic product knowledge means you get exactly the right product for your needs. (Whether you know which special ink you need or not!) By knowing precisely how best to help their customers, Capital Cartridges has built up a fiercely loyal and enthusiastic following of regular customers – small businesses, homeworkers, private individuals – in fact, anyone who uses a computer or printer! The free, same-day business delivery service and cheerful VW Beetles are the cherry on top. “We know we’re not the only
cartridge store in town, but we do our utmost to provide an unrivalled service to put customers at ease with their buying decisions and encourage them to come back to us again and again,” says Dougie Pilkington. Capital Cartridges built its reputation supplying quality guaranteed refill ink cartridges. As you would expect, as the needs of
customers have changed, they’ve kept pace. These days, the range has expanded and you can now purchase new, original cartridges and compatible cartridges, along with a host of other ink cartridges and office supplies. They even offer mobile and laptop accessories, paper, stationery, office equipment and continental plug adaptors! With a loyalty card offer for shop customers and a ‘15% off your first order’ offer for businesses, followed by a further three-month ‘10% off’ arrangement, now is the perfect time to pop in to your local Capital Cartridges shop. A warm welcome awaits you. ■
Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 7
We’ve packed a lot into the last 50 years Real Foods has been in business about as long as this chap so we know a thing or two about packing wholefoods. We pack all our Essentials and Organic products on site. This means we can pass on the savings of buying in bulk to you and you still get the smaller quantities you want, as and when you want them. The wholefoods we buy arrive vacuum-packed for maximum freshness. These are divided into smaller quantities for you on demand and remain fresh for longer in your home, retaining more of their goodness. You literally do get to weigh up all your options, with minimum wastage - we call it ‘pre-cycling’ - and cellophane packaging that is completely biodegradable. • Fresh - as the day our Essentials and Organic goods were produced. They arrive in your home packed with goodness.
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You Bright And Risen Angel © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS
Kennedy Wilson remembers Lee Miller, a remarkable spirit on both sides of the camera, and a blazing inspiration for many of the 20th Century’s iconic figures
ashion model, muse, adventuress, photojournalist, traveller and, ultimately, inventive cordon bleu hostess, Lee Miller, with her unflinching eye, hungered continually for new horizons. Born in New York State in 1907 she grew up to be a ravishingly beautiful young woman. “I looked like an angel, but I was a fiend inside,” she once said. Cocteau cast her as a Greek goddess in his outré art film, Blood of the Poet. Picasso painted her many times and became a lifelong friend, Man Ray photographed her and they fell in love. The first ever major museum retrospective (shockingly – Ed) of Man Ray’s photographic portraits is currently on show at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Becoming the doyenne of bohemian café society, Time magazine once reported that Lee Miller was ‘widely celebrated for having the most beautiful navel in Paris’. She ‘lit the art world like a kind of white-blonde flame’, wrote critic Paul Richard. Stories of Lee Miller’s days in Paris abound. It was rumoured that a glass manufacturer made champagne goblets modelled on her breasts. Beginning her career as a model at the age of 16, she was once saved from being hit by a car in a Manhattan street by none other than Vogue publisher Condé Nast who boosted her career by putting her face on the March 1927 cover. She later scandalised her friends and family by appearing in a Kotex press advertisement. Miller has long been a heroine to generations of women who’ve loved her sense of uninhibited adventure. She went to Paris in 1925 to study art. In 1929 she met Man Ray and announced that she had come as his pupil. Taken aback, the surrealist artist and photographer said that he didn’t take on students and, besides, he was going on holiday. Lee said that she would accompany him and the couple lived together for three years. According to author Patrick
Deedes-Vincke: ‘[Miller] became Man Ray’s favourite model, and he taught her everything he knew about photography. Their relationship was such a close and intense one that Miller would often carry out Man Ray’s commissions when he had more work than he could manage’. In man Ray’s famous surrealist painting a pair of giant lips float in the sky amid the clouds. This is said to be the inspiration for the poster for the Rocky Horror Show. The lips are Lee Miller’s. Man Ray and Miller together re-invented solarised photographs, which gives portraits an eerie halo effect. This was hugely influential for the surrealists and the method was, for a time, widely used in portraiture. In 1930 she opened her own studio in Paris specialising in portraiture and fashion (she regularly photographed the designs of Chanel and Schiaparelli). During the Second World War, when even Vogue was harnessed for the war effort, Miller abandoned fashion photography and, at considerable risk, travelled around war-torn Europe along with the Life magazine photographer
Solarised Portrait of Lee Miller, c.1929 Man Ray, The Penrose Collection
She grew up to be a ravishingly beautiful young woman. “I looked like an angel, but I was a fiend inside,” she once said
Dave Scherman who famously photographed her soaking in Hitler’s bathtub in Munich. She was a member of the London War Correspondents Corps, an accredited correspondent to the US War Department and became one of the earliest members of the prestigious Magnum photo agency. She recorded in words and pictures the London blitz, the liberation of occupied Paris, the discovery of Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps by allied troops and the destruction of Hitler’s alpine retreat at Berchtesgaden. Lee Miller’s concentration camp pictures have a ‘raw communicative power’ according to Jane Livingstone, author of Lee Miller Photographer. “There is a character of monumentality, and ultimately, a kind of unflinchingness, that separates these photographs from others of their kind. They are a summation of all their maker’s formal and intuitive artistry accumulated during the preceding 20 years.” Miller retired from photography in 1947 and married her second husband Sir Roland Penrose, theatre critic and chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. ‘Photography was her supreme (obsession)’,wrote her son, Antony Penrose, ‘and she deserted it only when after 30 years she had exhausted all its abilities to provide excitement’. Roland and Lee bought a farm in Sussex where she became an internationally known specialist in vegetarian haute cuisine. She died of cancer in 1977. Curiously, from the time she first photographed with Man Ray, she “rarely promoted or even showed her work to those who might help her in an artistic career” said Jane Livingstone. “In the 1960s and 70s she did not take photographs, nor did she demonstrate much interest in her own work – requests for loans or reproductions of her work were generally declined or ignored.” ■ Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 9
“In my opinion, Scotland has consistently produced some of the best music in the world and last year was no exception.” Neil Thomas Douglas
Scottish Album of the Year? The public are the real winners says Dave McGuire
epending on when and where you read this, we’ll either be looking forward to finding out who has won the second ever Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award or long since heard who the winner was. The inaugural winner was the rather fantastic Aidan Moffatt and Bill Wells album Everything’s Getting Older. This year’s line-up is an impressive who’s who of the current crop of Scottish musicians. “There were some great records released last year and the SAY award gives us another opportunity to celebrate all of them.” Errors The SAY Award was developed by the Scottish Music Industry Association to celebrate, promote and reward the most outstanding albums released by Scottish artists each year. SAY promotes a longlist of twenty albums which, in turn, is reduced to a shortlist of ten (including one album voted for by the public) at the end of May in advance of the award ceremony when the judging panel reveals the winner at Glasgow’s Barrowlands on June 20th. With a first prize of £20,000, nine runners-up prizes of £1,000 and an Art Commission valued at £20,000 these are high stakes, whilst 20 grand is small change to unit shifting nominees Emile Sande and Calvin Harris, most of those on the list are on home-grown indie labels. “It’s great that so many independent artists are being supported in a long list that could only begin to draw attention to the mass of ideas being bounced around within these far-reaching musical zones.” Dam Mantle The variety and scope of the albums included is hugely impressive, from the folk of Karine Polwart, RM Hibbert and Lau; to the electronica of Errors, Human Don’t Be Hungry and Miaoux Miaoux; there’s jazz by Konrad Wiszniewski (is he related to the artist Adrian Wiszniewski? – Ed) and Euan Stevenson, hip-hop from Stanley Odd, afro-dance by Auntie Flo, emerging indie favourites Meursault, Django Django, and Paws. You get the drift, quite the mix, and 10 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
that’s not even including Admiral Fallow or The Twilight Sad. “The format of the awards is excellent in that it represents the quality and diversity of music being made across the country and provides a platform for this to be heard and celebrated.” Stanley Odd Having moved back to Scotland after many years working in London for a world music label, I felt out of touch with the local musical landscape and decided to use these awards as a launch pad to help me dive back into the Scottish music scene. I then found it interesting to note that an award set up to showcase home-grown talent that might be overlooked by the awards down South has actually brought a much more interesting shortlist than the likes of the Mercury Prize or Brits. “The music scene in Scotland is thriving. From hip hop to folk to rock to dance music, Scotland is producing great talent and it’s an honour to be part of an award showcasing that talent.” Django Django Actually, the thing I found most
Julian Corrie aka Miaoux Miaoux: “I’m obsessed with writing perfect pop songs”
striking was that after a decade down south when I picked up a copy of The Skinny, listened to Vic Galloway, or simply checked gig listings, I’d never heard of most of the Scottish artists folks here were getting excited about. So, I wondered, was having Scottish only awards a good and positive thing, or would it merely serve to further marginalise Scottish music. You know, the sort of thing where some awards bloke in London that’s never been further north than Milton Keynes has a colleague point out that they’ve overlooked Scottish acts and simply replies, “That’s OK they’ve got their own awards now, haven’t they?” “It is particularly pleasing given that the votes for this stage of the award have been collected from a great number of people within the arts in Scotland and further afield. There were some tremendous Scottish records out last year.” Admiral Fallow I appreciate the strange position of appreciating the desire to highlight what we do as a nation, but equally wishing that it would simply be acknowledged as great music universally without having to add the ‘Scottish’ label. What I found to be interesting is that when you ask the nominees themselves about these awards you get something a bit more than the generic ‘we’re chuffed to be included with all this great talent’ response, and the quotes throughout this piece are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s clear that there is a great deal of pride in the quality of music that’s emerged from Scotland. “In my opinion, Scotland has consistently produced some of the best music in the world and last year was no exception.” James Alexander, The Twilight Sad Scottish press and music retailers have got behind the awards, which even has an app and a website that streams a different album in full each day. Whether SAY Awards will help some of the lesser known acts break beyond Scotland remains to be seen, but I know that I for one have discovered some stunning works, which is surely what’s it’s all about. “For musicians like me, I think any opportunity that might get folk curious about music that’s new to their own ears deserves a wee cheer…” Karina Polwart ■ ÊÊInfo: www.sayaward.com
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Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 11
Dancing About Architecture No.16 Morar Gheorghita
Fear and Loathing on the shores of Loch Ness C
all it a highland unwelcome or Whisky Galore! with the choreographed mischief replaced by ‘square go’ hostility for anyone not of this parish. The ceilidh band is playing a reel but the Saturday night vibe is one of aggro – beer and loathing in Loch Ness. A young guy flicks us the V sign and the women folk seem none too impressed by the appearance of these city freaks. And just because we’re paranoid – which, by this point in the revelries, we certainly are – it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get us. Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Nor Lester Bangs. Or is that Leonard Bernstein? I’m as scared as the character in a horror film whose sympathetic qualities are not enough to survive the first ten minutes. We sit against a wall, smoking but not drinking (for that would involve a risky trip to the bar and anyway we’ve been in the pub all afternoon) and visit the loo in threes, trying to avoid eye contact with the tough-talking farmers boys and their tougher-talking girlfriends, soon hastening from the hall in the incongruous manner of a funeral conga; the nuclear whiteness of the accordionist’s socks radiating in our eyes. Somehow we make it back to the cottage, a car in front of us having been pulled over by the polis, and celebrate our welcome intactness with a game of five a side that lasts several hours, interrupted only by a mystical interlude and snacks. It’s a home international – England v Scotland – in which I, the Jockney, play on both sides. St George triumphs with
a disputed penalty – the night is made of dark stuff and we’re minus a ref. It’s not about the result though. What counts is participation in the halftime walkabout, that and enduring the onslaught of the vampire midges. Rob strides out in front, half-Moses half-Hendrix, shirt off and staff in hand, through hillside and blackness and nettles and insects. We seek some unspoken higher purpose. Someone falls in a ditch. I don’t smoke so I cadge ciggies off Colin but nobody warns you about the side effect of later-in-life alliteration or that smoke plumes fail to much deter the haemoglobin-thirsty no-see-ums.
put in an appearance now, I would give Nessie a hug – or a cigarette. Back at the cottage, I brave the challenge of a shower. I can’t tell if the water is hot or cold but it washes doubt and confusion away and I believe I may have sung a tune or two from South Pacific. I pat rather than rub myself dry, though the bites have yet to start to itch, and put the same clothes back on.
Chewing gum splats
Monet’s been busy
A post-match after-quest comedown convenes in the kitchen. Stu is eating muesli from the packet. I photograph the kettle, which is whistling a hymn I last heard in primary three. That smell is of burning toast. Doug is discoursing on the meaning of love and friendship and his plans to write a Trainspotting for Jambos. Non-sequiturs fly and Roger is telling a punch line which never knew its joke. My sides ache but the water nymphs beckon. Loch side at sunrise and Monet and Turner have been busy with the crayons. No hint of the local legend but one of Ritchie’s socks floats by. He’s not wearing it. I smoke and think and smoke and there’s conversation, or, rather, semi-synchronised mumbling, and one of us throws a pebble that skips five maybe six times on the surface. In the breeze of the morning, you can sense the promise of a summer’s day. If she
Rob strides out in front, half-Moses halfHendrix, shirt off and staff in hand. We seek some unspoken higher purpose. Someone falls in a ditch
Zipping down the A9 come morning, elated by survival and a semblance of normality, or at least the feeling of mere semi-detachment, I’m pale and tired and suspect the midge bites give me the look of a Georges Seurat canvas. Folding my limbs out of Roger’s car with inordinate care, I resist the urge to deliver Dundas Street a papal kiss. Splats of chewing gum and floating plastic bags seem less like detritus, in this moment of fragility in my 25th year of being, and more akin to snowflakes or confetti. Heaven can be found in a flower but in the gutter I see petals and on the new town wind fluttering astronaut tickertape and Amazonian butterflies. As Judy Garland’s voice pops into my head: there’s no place like home, I sense Toto yapping at my heels, or pursuit from one of them flying monkeys. I offer the lads a desultory wave and, clutching my One-Up bag of cassette tapes, sunglasses and polos, skip up the staircase and, before I can turn the key, my girlfriend opens the green door to a most piteous sight in a cloud of giggles. ■ ÊÊTwitter: @RodgerEvans
This month Rodger read Kafka’s The Castle (sex, beer dregs and selling your soul), took the 8-year-old to see The Hobbit (“Look, Dad, the
teacher man from the Nativity film!”), and was as pleased as a defunct satirical magazine to have his verse included in Poetry Scotland
12 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
How late it was, how late After spring decided to pitch up late, Colin Montgomery ponders other examples of potentially perplexing punctuality
’m writing this article very late in the day. By that I mean figuratively, not literally. Writing at night is for me forever tarnished by memories of my kamikaze approach to university essays in the early 1990s. In longhand, they were using Acorns, BBCs and Vic 20s in Appleton Tower back then, hardly worth the bother to my mind. Overnight. With whole pages rewritten sometimes five or six times thanks to a misplaced apostrophe. Tippex you say? Bah! Its whiteness was but liquid surrender for the weak. For me, it was error-free or not at all. Some would consider that a perverse addiction to literary attrition. I saw it as the lonely nocturnal vigil of the cloistered scribe, seeking a mystical enlightenment, nay, epiphany, through relentless rewrites under watch of the moon. Yes, you guessed it. I was a pretentious cock and deserved of a public scrotum stapling. Anyway, as you’re reading this, I evidently managed to haul this jumble of pish across the finish line just in time – much to the chagrin of some no doubt. Maybe the next 500 words or so will win you round. Actually, to be honest, I don’t care. You can always flick on to the Laird’s Larder. Stubborn, foolish or pretending you’re reading this in a vain effort to avoid eye contact with a smoking hoodlum on a bus? Buckle up. So belatedly back to lateness, starting with spring’s non-appearance in March. Besieged by the interminable cold, I’ve been wondering what excuse the supposedly most vivacious of seasons will hit us with, now it’s here. The trees in my local park report a variety of evasiveness – with spring’s outlandish and outré justifications ranging from a skateboarding injury in February through to the after effects of a bad oyster pie. I don’t buy any of that tosh. Whispered asides from autumn – on holiday until September – over an IPA in Smithies, say spring was out on the piss with summer (also on holiday, perhaps indefinitely) and woke up halfway through its own self. Given how groggy its springness has been, that makes sense. Plus I thought I smelt hops mixed with toothpaste on the wind the other day. Whatever the reason for spring’s lamentable late show, it seems as good a time as any to consider the deeper implications of bad timing. There are fundamentals governing our existence that, thanks to bad timing, have created
Referendum. If we are to subscribe momentarily to the internecine vitriol that flows through Francis Gallagher’s poem The Barrenness of Home, we would accept that, at the time, Scotland’s mood was insidiously index-liked to the sporting endeavour of its footballing sons. So although a little pathetic, it’s no surprise national confidence crashed in the wake of the bawbaggery in Argentina. Combined with the infamous 40% rule, it did for devolution. Yep, 1979 was not good timing.
mass panic and the breakdown of society’s bonds (well, either that or a spot of bother/discomfort). I probably should have written this bilge years ago. But better late than never eh?
Steve Nicol’s right leg, Mexico, 1986 Following the fortunes of the Scottish football team is a maelstrom of mistiming. Exhibit A: the 1978 World Cup campaign. That should have happened in 1178, sparing a nation the subsequent years of therapy bills. Although it’s likely a monument to the transplanted national shame of 1178 would no doubt have been erected on a knoll somewhere near Braemar. Anyway, turning away from the hubris and humiliation of steroids, missed penalties and whisky for breakfast, we arrive at Stevie Nicol’s right leg. 0-0 against a feral Uruguay (down to 10 men within a minute), we needed a tap-in from Steve from 5 yards to secure victory. Sadly, though he timed his run well, his right leg arrived slow and late. The tortoise fart of a shot was saved. The chance was wasted. The plane home beckoned.
The first Scottish Devo Referendum, 1979 In a spectacularly post-modern selfreferential example of bad timing within an article about bad timing, I will hark back to Scotland’s World Cup campaign 1978, having only just wished its obliteration from history. Why? It forms the preface to the ugly little denouement of Scotland’s 1979 Devolution
A passing UFO, somewhere near Hastings, 1066
Are you foolishly pretending you’re reading this in a vain effort to avoid eye contact with a smoking hoodlum on a bus?
This example of bad timing is a little debatable. Make that totally apocryphal. But as we have time to kill, let’s roll with it. The event? The Battle of Hastings. The protagonist? King Harold – the bloke that got the arrow lodged in his peeper. Widely believed to be the result of Norman accuracy, it was actually thanks to Harold’s gaze being directed upwards to a passing alien craft which was scoping out a landing site for the shooting of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Bad timing.
Russ Abbot’s career, 1972 – present When I was a kid I found Russ Abbot hilarious. Then my brain developed in line with the normal process of adult maturity (allegedly). So I contend that his oeuvre owes more to tragic timing than comic timing. And with that, I’ll stop the clock. ■ Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 13
Dressing the Imagination As degree students at Queen Margaret University prepare to go out and face the world, lecturer Polly Lister talks togs
rom the monosyllabic cave man to today’s metrosexual dandy, mankind (and womankind) has been dressing as much for the pleasure of showing off to each other as for any climatic compulsion. In fact, over millennia, homo-sapiens have donned the most extraordinary variety of feathers, skins, fruits and flowers, simply to make a statement – “I’m important!”, “I’m wealthy!” and “I’m gorgeous, fancy a bit?” being the most common motivations over the years. These days, we are so much more knowing. Indeed, from our lofty postmodern perch it’s possible to look back over the centuries of fashion moments and smile the smile of the sensible and enlightened. From the towering lice-infested wigs of the pampered aristocrats of pre-revolutionary France to the loon pants and painted bodies of 60s San Francisco’s peace and love crowd, it all seems so silly to 2013s smart crowd. Or does it? No, of course not. Today’s trendsetters and sartorial experimenters simply make up their own version of ‘silly’ for the here and now. So they should; a capacity for re-invention is the very essence of fashion. As someone who sees it up close every year in a professional capacity, I welcome both the daft and the dangerous with open arms. Creativity and imagination is what we should hope to get from the young. And to me, dress is the natural place for free expression. Creativity and imagination is what the students of Queen Margaret University’s Costume Design and Construction course have in abundance. But the costumes they create are not for everyday wear on the streets of Edinburgh. The students experiment in the safety of the costume department at the QMU campus in Musselburgh (a controlled environment where strangely shaped clothing is made under the guidance of experts!). And this year, their creations were on display in all their finery at the annual costume parade in Edinburgh’s Teviot Debating Hall The characters who wended their way down the catwalk this year were as varied as they could possibly be: Ganesh the elephant-headed Hindu god, in 14 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
sumptuous gold and red, accompanied Catherine the Great in blue silk and silver embroidery; characters from Pinocchio escorted the spider and grasshopper from James and the Giant Peach; corsets, bloomers, bonnets and bows added a bit of sauce and spice. And, to cap it all, a giant six-foot wearable puppet of Aslan the Lion from the Narnia tales brought proceedings to a suitably surreal close. The costume students make these marvellous designs as part of their degree, where the only limits to the student’s creativity are time and money. Of course, in these straitened times, it is important to keep the budgets down to affordable levels. But it’s also a useful reminder of the reality of the theatre and the world of work where these students will be making a career. With that in mind, it’s amazing
Uncompromising selfexpression through clothing should never be confined to the safety of the design studio
to see the standard achieved by our undergraduates with little more than imagination and hard work. But what is all the more impressive is that these creations represent only a part of the work that the students undertake each year. Most of the academic year finds the students working on a diverse range of performances in the wider community in Musselburgh and Portobello – from local pantomimes and productions of Brecht to site-specific short films – making costumes for characters of all ages, types, eras and backgrounds. Great connections have been forged with the local community through these collaborations and the students build up invaluable experience of working with ‘real people’ in the ‘real world’. In fact, balancing outré experimentation with a ‘reality-focused’ approach is an important part of the learning practice at Queen Margaret – it could rightly be said to set us apart in Scotland. That is why it is so thrilling watching the costumes coming together for our annual, early May, end of year show. It’s a chance for the students to do something with wow factor to show what’s possible with simply a glue gun, some inner tube and a heck of a lot of imagination (50 years of Doctor Who for a start! – Ed). Part of that involves using the fashions of the past to create fresh new ideas for the theatre, film and TV drama of the present. Something the students at Queen Margaret are more than capable of. Does this mean that they are expected to be ‘all buttoned down’? Far from it. Uncompromising, unbridled and even unruly self-expression through clothing should never be confined to the safety of the costume design studio. So, whether that’s the spectacular sweeping skirts of a crinoline lady on the stage or the pink beehive belle wearing acid-washed denim hot pants and sliver stack heels on a wintry Saturday night in Leith, I think it’s something we should celebrate. ■ ÊÊInfo: For more on the Costume Design and Construction Degree Course; www.qmu.ac.uk
AmericanGraffiti Jessica Taylor
The whatever-you-wantapproach to fashion If you subscribed to a style first time round can you subscribe to the revival?
In Courtney Love’s heyday she did a great job screaming about what girls, and women, were fed up with
here I grew up – in the Bronx borough of New York City – we dressed in 80s/90s hip-hop style, but that was the norm, less a style and more the clothes that were there. Adidas and Nike sneakers weren’t a choice; we were practically born with them on our feet. The earliest style that I fully subscribed to by choice was grunge. Grunge was all pervading – it wasn’t just a music scene, it was a movement, a movement that a baffled by life pre-teen girl could understand because it was the movement that understood pre-teen girls. And boys. And teenagers; anyone who was angry really. Though Courtney Love is almost unrecognisable now, in her band Hole’s heyday she did a great job screaming about what girls, and women, were fed up with. Sure Hole were a watered down version of many Riot-Grrrl bands, but their popularity made them accessible, not something you had to struggle to find out about in the days before the internet explosion. Though Courtney Love is probably liked less now than she was in the early 90s, her, and the rest of Hole’s, style is worth mentioning. While they were not the only band that wore clothes between 1990 and 1995, they are a good example of the style, and highlight some important points. Grunge is a significant period because it’s the first time the whatever-you-want-approach to fashion was acceptable (acceptable might be pushing it, ‘took place’ is perhaps more apt). If you wanted to be the girl with the most cake, you could, and you could wear that torn slip and your grandfather’s sweater and what the hell it’s cold out throw on those combat boots. I think my daily uniform consisted of baggy jeans, a bowling shirt and platform converse sneakers (made so by a hole in the wall cobbler on St Mark’s Place who existed purely to add rubber platforms to people’s shoes, thereby making them what is now called a flatform). We’d practice head banging in the schoolyard, and crowd surf and mosh as soon as we’d bitched and moaned our parents
into allowing us to go to concerts. All normal teenage fair I imagine, but the clothes helped us think we were doing something different, sticking it to the man, breaking away from the sickly pop (or whatever the music of New Kids On The Block can be called), that had taken over the charts. A feeling youth often associates with whatever the style of the time is.
Grunge was this for me. Grunge is the first style I experienced in its original form that I am around to see the revival, and reclaim, of. I first realised this recently in a trendy shoe store when the shop assistant tried to sell me a pair of flatform sneakers. My immediate response was, “No, thank you, I wore those the first time round.” What an eye opener. Before this I had no problem dressing in and admiring the clothes of other decades – I have many 60s mod dresses in my wardrobe – but I never realised how odd these clothes might look, out of their original context, to their original wearers. How odd indeed! I wonder what old hippies must have thought when kids suddenly started walking round in bell-bottoms and flowing cotton blouses (though I don’t remember when that revival actually started). Or what octogenarian women think of those ladies who choose to dress in full 50s garb daily, complete with victory rolls. If you have not yet experienced the feeling, mine went a little something like this: they’re getting it all wrong!
Someone has cherry picked pieces from my teenage years and combined them with some other things and called it Grunge! But everyone wearing Grunge clothing now looks so cute, so sexy; when I was Grunge the object was to look unkempt, unwholesome, to not bother necessarily with looking good because the music was more important. How can you have fun in a mosh pit when your hair is beautifully kept and you’re wearing an oddly shaped beanie hat? Well you can’t, you’d lose the hat in seconds. But being able to smash into fellow grunge heads in a pit is not the point of revival grunge. I’m not quite sure what the point is. I guess that’s part of the mystery of getting older. Despite all of the above, what I’d really like to know is whether those of us that subscribed to a style the first time round (be it music based or not) are allowed to subscribe to the revival. As much as I’d like to buy a leather jacket and wear it with layers of plaid t-shirts and hole-ridden jeans, it feels wrong. Instead of lusting after the new colour Dr Martens, ill fitting short dresses in shades of brown, or overalls (what?), I’d be better off trying to figure out what the next style revival will be, so I don’t feel like my time has passed. I’m guessing Electroclash will be next. Think big, plastic earrings, sequins, and geometric face paint. Another first: the first revival I won’t be sentimental over. ■ ÊÊTwitter: @redotbluedot Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 15
FoodReview Marie-Joële Schmidt
An industrial revolution in eating out… Ginger Snap Pop-up Unit 3, Corunna Place, Leith 0131 554 4475 ginger-snap.co.uk
op-up restaurants – places where food is served briefly, often for one night only – appear in some unusual places but I think it’s fair to say an industrial estate in Leith is a first. The concept is rather similar to inviting friends for dinner except you don’t know any of them and they don’t know you. It was time to experience Edinburgh’s flourishing underground dining scene, I got off to a good start with a fabulous 6-course fine dining meal cooked by a young chef in a Granton flat. Equally exciting yet totally different was an event hosted by cult chef Tony Singh who cooked a generous 5-course meal representing everything between Indian and Scottish street food to share. My latest experience was organised by Ginger Snap a very successful catering company run by Tania Dixon. She first opened her commercial kitchen to host a pop-up event in November 2012 and has carried on doing so once a month. Inviting only friends and family initially, tickets are now all sold to the public through social media. I asked Tania for some info on her night as soon as the date was announced and got an immediate reply containing info about the location and price (£35 per person) – the menu was posted on their facebook page shortly after I booked. It was a cold, rainy, dark evening when I arrived at the rather sinister industrial estate to meet my other half; who had waited in the rain for me. Unit 3 is not a normal address for a restaurant and sounds more like an Open University module. But as soon as we passed through the heavy steel door, a mouth-watering smell hit us. Diners were sat at a single 16 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
large table in the centre of the room – an arrangement that encourages social interaction (or inventive ways to avoid it). I was delighted to be sitting right next to the kitchen so that I could catch a glimpse of what was going on behind the stoves. The menu was a ‘Celebration of Rhubarb’, which I thought not a bad idea, given it was the season of (forced) rhubarb and I love rhubarb! Our BYOB bottle of Spanish red opened, the celebration started with an amusebouche of a refreshing pink rhubarb and ginger shot, in which the rhubarb came through nicely, and a rather sweet, tiny, tomato tatin biscuit. Though individually well done, they made for an odd pairing. Next the starter – textures of rhubarb and foie gras. My heart jumped for joy when I saw foie gras on the menu, as it’s not something one eats every day, especially in an industrial estate off Bonnington Road. A pan-fried piece of melt-in-themouth goose liver was served with a deepfried ball of the same that was, in truth, predominantly breadcrumbs, together with a slice of foie gras paté. Chutney was served alongside and, in keeping with the theme, a piece of poached rhubarb. Everything was beautifully decorated and nicely seasoned. Next we had partridge breast – cooked very slowly, sous-vide style, in a water bath – which was moist, tender and delicious. Accompanied by a very lightly smoked potato fondant and an excellent sauce called gamekeeper’s jus. Unfortunately, this was served alongside a few drops of bland pea and rhubarb puree, which seemed to be there to serve the theme rather than add anything intrinsic to the dish. The dessert however hit the spot, accompanying a rose petal marshmallow and salted chocolate caramel was a fabulously smooth and creamy rhubarb ice cream, which had bags of flavour compared to a rhubarb sorbet I sampled
Our girl enjoyed a 4 course rhubarb feast
recently in one of Edinburgh’s Michelin starred restaurants. All three components were lovely but the additional brandy snap was, though tasty, more of a brandy chew. To finish the meal, we were served good quality coffee and stunning pink macaroons, which came from Manna House Bakery on Easter Road (a top tip and Tania was happy to point out the provenance). All in all we were served a luxurious meal that was cooked and presented beautifully. The food rather reminded us of a typical wedding breakfast, which comes as no surprise since weddings are a major part of Tania’s business. Albeit not normally served in a fully operating kitchen in the middle of an industrial estate! In our opinion the menu was often used in service of the seasonal ingredient, rhubarb, rather than the actual dishes but the food was uniformly tasty. My other half unfortunately left still hungry, which kind of lowered the value of the £35 per head price tag. However, from past experience, I know that he’s frequently so hungry that he could eat a horse (which is, of course, increasingly easy to do these days). The evening was rounded off with a pleasant and informative chat with Tania – on sourcing ingredients – and her two young waiters, who were extremely polite and attentive throughout the evening. Would I recommend the pop-up event at Ginger Snap and pop-ups in general? Yes, I would. They provide an unusual experience that is worth having, combined with a great chance to meet interesting people, as I did. ■
Bloody Mary Menu £8.95
David ‘Barnesy’ Barnes on a grand excuse to go on the lash
have it on good authority that Mother Nature is not a fan of jazz and blues music. In fact, she hates both genres. Apparently, she’s more into her prog rock, and when she is feeling particularly frisky she has been known to indulge in a bit of thrash metal. So, when the Leith Jazz & Blues Festival came back to life last June, after a hiatus of over a decade, the old girl directed the full force of her wrath towards the event – with rain, sleet, snow and gale force winds buffeting the old port mercilessly for three days solid. These attempts at sabotage proved futile. A total of 14 bars hosted 31 gigs over three days, and the unanimous conclusion amongst publicans and punters alike was that it was a resounding success. “Like a phoenix rising from distinctly soggy ashes, the Leith Jazz Festival was revived over the weekend after more than a decade. And even the damp weather didn’t rain on the parade of the publicans who found their establishments packed out for the daytime gigs which ranged from hardcore blues to 1920s classic jazz. For those who remember the old pub trail of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, nipping from one hostelry to another, often catching the first set in one pub before zipping along the road to catch the second set in another,
this was a lovely nostalgia trip,” said Alison Kerr in The Scotsman the following week. The weather outside might have been truly frightful, but the music inside was definitely delightful – with the likes of Martin Kershaw, Stevey Hay and Aki Remally creating a great vibe and happy memories. Buoyed by the success of 2012, the festival will be back this year (between 14th and 16th June) and another magical weekend of song, drink and laughter beckons. Fourteen of the best places to eat and drink in the Shore area are signed up to host gigs. They are: Bond No9, Carriers Quarters, Compass, Constitution, The Galley, Isobar, Malmaison, Malt & Hops, Nobles, The Pond, Port of Leith, The Shore, Sofi’s and The Vintage. Performers this year include: The Jensen Interceptors; Diplomats of Jazz; Mario Caribe & Kevin MacKenzie; Angie King Trio; Cathy Rae & Graeme Stephen; The Johnson Brothers; Wendy Weatherby Trio; Tom Davis; Ed Kelly and many more. A new edition to the schedule this year is a gala evening at the Queen Charlotte Rooms on Sunday evening, which will feature Sophie Bancroft & Tom Lyne, a Fionna Duncan, Forrie Cairns, Brian Kellock, Ronnie Rae, Tom Bancroft ensemble and more. ■ ÊÊInfo: Tickets from Isobar on Bernard Street and Malt & Hops on the Shore. Call David on 07772695154 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Treat yourself to Soup, unlimited Hors D’oeuvres from the the ‘Chef’s Table’, a freshly prepared Roast or a choice of 8 other Main courses followed by a variety of Desserts and our Artisan cheeses for just £19.95 per person (£7.95 for kids under 12) at… Malmaison Leith Brasserie Book now to find out what all the Pick Me fuss is about! Up Menu www.malmaison.com from £5 08446 930652 Sundays 12 - 4pm Join CLUBMal for exclusive offers unavailable elsewhere - invites to VIP events, menu tastings, launch parties, secret gigs & screenings - register at www.malmaison.com The Malmaison, 1 Tower Place, Leith, Edinburgh Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 17
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Al Dente Restaurant, a little piece of Italy on your doorstep, expect a fabulously warm welcome and select seasonal ingredients prepared by our native Italian Chef. “Across the board the quality is superb, you’ll find distinctive and unusual delicacies here.” Look out for our monthly regional theme nights W: www.al-dente-restaurant.co.uk AlDenteItalianRestaurant 139, Easter Road T: 0131 652 1932
How To Murder Your Darlings and Other Stories “Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.” Flannery O’Connor
lannery O’Connor speaks the truth. For some of us, writing a novel is a terrible experience. You sweat blood and tears getting it down and then when you are finished you feel aged and exhausted. You have no friends left because you’ve been locked away for so long that everyone thinks you’re dead, and you’ve started talking to yourself. In fact, you are often so incoherent your family whisper about you behind your back – your sister is even thinking of getting you certified. BUT it is all worth it because at last you have finished writing your novel. Yes, you have! You push yourself away from the desk and watch as the printer you got free with the computer spits out your completed manuscript, gleaming page after gleaming page. It is about now that you wish you’d gotten a better printer because it will take hours to print out all 435 pages of your manuscript, but it doesn’t matter. You are finished! While you wait you decide to have a bit of a clean up. You start on the kitchen floor and find yourself singing a Kool and the Gang number you’d forgotten you knew the words to, “Celebration time, come on...” Swish, swish, swish, you mop. “There’s a party goin’ on right here...” Clunk, clunk, clunk the printer chucks out the pages of your manuscript. “It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure...” You dust. You wipe. You polish. All done. Time for a cup of tea. And another. “Come on!” You refill the printer paper
again, and again. “Ce-le-bra-tion!” The printer whirrs to a stop. It is done. “Yipee!” You tidy the loose sheets together into one lovely delicious stack of pages. You place them in the middle of the kitchen table. A smile stretches across your face. You laugh out loud. Then, for no other reason than you want to make sure the ink from the printer hasn’t smudged your words, you pick up the first page of your manuscript. Little by little the smile disappears from your face. The voice of imperfection screams, “You are not done!” You grab another page of your manuscript. The words jump out at you. They are turgid! The plot is pathetic! The characters are flat! You scream silently. No! It is not done! It is not done! You throw yourself back into your chair and sob. But the voice of perfection is also the voice of oppression – only God can make things perfectly and, anyway, striving for perfection is not the same as being perfect. Yes, there is always more you can do but sometimes you need to know when enough is enough. And when is that? Enough is when you have done the following: You have weeded and pruned and rewritten all turgid language. You have, as William Faulkner famously advised, “murdered your darlings.” You have taken away everything that isn’t your story. As Michelangelo said when asked how he created such beautiful works out of unformed blocks of marble. “All I do is carve away everything that isn’t the sculpture.” You have got in at the right place. You have got out at the right place. Your novel is the best it can be can be stylistically, conceptually and dramatically.
The voice of perfection is also the voice of oppression, only God can make things perfect and striving for perfection is not the same as being perfect
You’ve cut the bullshit because your Ernest Hemming ‘built-in bullshit detector’ was switched on. “It’s often the case that the most strained moments in books are the very beginning and the very end – the getting in and the getting out. The ending especially: it’s awkward, as if the writer doesn’t know when the book is over and nervously says it all again.” Robert Gottlieb (Editor) You’ve given yourself a ‘cooling off’ period, reread your novel afresh and then check you’ve done all of the above again. “That cooling-off period is essential to revision.” Ursula Le Guin Your novel is as well laid out and presented as possible – meaning there are no typing errors, it is presented on good quality standard white A4 paper, typed on one side only, using a simple 12-point font (like Times New Roman), with consecutively numbered pages; double-spaced with clear width margins and with your name and the title of your novel in the header or footer of every page. If you have (finally) ticked off the dos and don’ts in this article it is time to dry your tears, take a deep breath and move on…to the next thing. Yes, to your next novel. And why would you repeat such a terrible experience? Because, while it may not seem like pleasure, you come to realise that it is. As Alice Munro says, ‘for some of us there is nothing more pleasurable in the world than telling our story as wholly as we can tell it, of finding out, in fact, what the story is, by working the different ways of telling it’. It is worth every lost clump of hair and decaying tooth. ■ Marianne Wheelaghan ÊÊInfo: Where to buy Marianne’s books and lots of other lovely stuff: www. mariannewheelaghan.co.uk Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 19
From Krakow to the Tatra Mountains H
aving recently landed in Edinburgh after a lengthy tenure in London and a two year stint in Glasgow, I was fascinated to find my locale in Abbeyhill was a bit of a Little Poland – 7 fryzjers (hairdressers/ barbers), numerous delicatessens (including a White Eagle) and various coffee shops were in the immediate vicinity. Subsequently I took an interest in the language. Well, dzien dobry (good day), dobranoc (good night) and czesc (hi or hey). It was a start. Further inspection suggested a somewhat unfathomable tongue with far too many consonants, many of which are not pronounced. When the option of visiting Poland on a working holiday with the Angloville teaching programme arose, it was a case of crack on, or crack off, I chose Krakow. I prepared as best I could, re-watching Schindler’s List, The Pianist and, tellingly, Andrzej Wajda’s Katyn (which came up in conversation on several occasions). I researched the city thoroughly, being well aware this place had a history that, from the Middle Ages onwards, had been turbulent to say the least. Arriving at Krakow Airport, in the dark, in the snow, in desert boots…I headed for the train station, no train for the next 2 hours. I took a cab – the driver wouldn’t converse, bad omen, charged me thirty quid. I’d been ripped off, and I’d been here less than an hour. Things improved. The Old Town (Stare Miasto) is where it’s at. I had booked my hotel online and had little idea of where it was. As luck would have it, I was staying on Florianska, two minutes from the Main Square in the Old Town. I had a twin room to myself for £17 a night and a shared, all marble, bathroom with full breakfast thrown in. 20 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
Florianska was built in 1257, and is one of the most important streets in the city – No. 41 was the house of Jan Matejko, the most celebrated of all Polish painters, and apparently is where all visiting foreign dignitaries were greeted by Polish royalty in the distant past. Now it has the tawdry honour of being the street where violinist Nigel Kennedy bought a house over a decade ago. Still, it does lead onto the largest medieval market place in Europe. Having checked in and dumped my bags, I fought off the tiredness of having risen at 7am and strode down the dark, cold, cobbled streets in my sheepskin jacket and Hunter S Thompson trapper hat…Inadequate sodium lighting, passing Mexican, Spanish, Italian restaurants, Jazz bars, Lap-Dancing bars, numerous foreign currency exchanges, bar after bar after bar. Where to start? I took a chance, shaping a sharp right up a shifty looking street, working a curve at the end where lots of worse for wear Poles were standing smoking outside a bar with no name, which was surrounded by churches on three sides – I’m a sucker for anonymity, religion and debauchery, so all appeared well. I can only describe it as the sort of ‘dive’ bar you’d get in New York City’s Lower East Side, or Berlin’s Kreuzberg circa the 1980s, which is to say it catered for locals, no pretence, back to basics. The walls were covered in newspaper articles from the old Communist pre-1989 days and the décor left a lot to be desired. Above the bar a 12 inch black & white TV streamed news reports from the ‘old days’, another colour screen showed MTV rap crap – two cultures colliding badly. Which was just what I needed, to immerse myself in a culture that I lacked any knowledge of, alone in this city without a
A man feeding swans: Zakrzowek Lake, Krakow
language. In the past, visiting cities as a journalist, I always had a rudimentary understanding of the tongue and the back up of an accompanying photographer here, in Krakow, I had none of that. Regardless, this bar with no name felt like home. I needn’t have worried. The staff were long suffering and cool. It turned out this bar changed clientele-wise, depending on the hour (did it ever shut?). A beer was 4 zlotys, so was a shot of vodka, let me think…5 zlotys to the pound… so we’re talking 80 pence a drink. Friday night people-watching is mostly what I did – lots of cool, elegant, couples came in, beautifully dressed, so yeah, I liked the place. As I was here to be functional and teach English on a voluntary programme I thought it wise to put my reasonable head on and head back to the hostel at a compromised 3am, after all I had an early start and a city walking tour to deal with the following midday.
9am danger time
Saturday morning, I rose early, drank coffee and paid for another night at Brama. Walking out into the cold, morning sunlight, I was struck by a fascinating piece of architecture I had completely missed the previous evening. The Florianska Gate, 50 feet from the Hostel’s front door. Built in the 12th Century, with a Baroque style roof constructed in 1660, the gate was the main entrance
to the city through the medieval walls, built to protect the city from hostile enemies. On walking through the arched gateway you are met with The Barbican, built between1498 and 1499. This building was the most important element in Krakow’s defence of the walled city throughout the Middle Ages, surrounded by a 6m deep and 26m wide moat, with 3m thick walls. Today, it is the largest and best-preserved building of its kind in Europe. So far I’d hardly ventured out of Florianska yet I had been confronted with a myriad of architectural styles, predominately Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. I set out to acquaint myself with this new city before hooking up with my teaching colleagues on the planned historical city tour. But first I decided to swing by the ‘dive’ bar. It was 9am. As suspected, it was open, but the clientele differed radically from that which I’d observed the previous evening. Everyone was smashed, loud and argumentative – I wondered if I was in the same bar. Girls were slumped on bar stools, guys spilt drinks everywhere, and one even hit himself in the face with the glass door whilst attempting to leave for
I’m a sucker for anonymity, religion and debauchery, so all was well
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Punctual, efficient and excellent value for money a cigarette, his beer glass shattering whilst blood trickled from his nose. His response – a hearty laugh, and the ordering of another beer, with a vodka shot! I drank up and left. I had the feeling 9am was a potentially dangerous time in this place, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t be back…I wandered around the Main Square, and its many restaurants, bars and market stalls before meeting up with my colleagues for the coming week. The buildings, particularly The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) – originally a Gothic construction that was destroyed by the fire of 1555, was rebuilt in Renaissance-style by Italian architects living in Krakow in the 1800s – were simply awe-inspiring, dominating the Main Square. Eventually I met Sascha, my programme coordinator, and the other 14 volunteers with whom I would spend the next five days in the Tatra Mountains, by the huge ‘head sculpture’ in Stare Miasto – we wandered the city for three hours, finishing at The Royal Castle on Wawell Hill, complete with the fire-breathing dragon sculpture defending its cave, and of course, the Royal Castle. For me the most interesting part was the walk through Kazimierz, the Jewish city within a city. A walk into the past with many shop fronts recreated as they were before WWII. The Remuh Synagogue and cemetery dates back to the 16th Century and hosts the final burial place of the original Rabbi – all the rest of the graves were destroyed by the German army,
but the soldier who attempted to break the Rabbi’s headstone was struck by a lightning bolt and, so the story goes, the Germans never approached it again and here it remains. Inviolate. Schindler’s factory was, of course, in this quarter. Kazimierz today is a hotbed of creativity, similar to London’s East End (think Shoreditch or Brick Lane with cheaper rents and cheaper studios), a gathering point for artists, writers, painters, actors and filmmakers. Most of its bars and venues are kinda modernist, politically astute and, culturally, forward thinking. The 3 hour walk in bitter cold exhausted me – I yearned for the ‘dive’ bar – but first, I had an appointment near Zakopane, a thousand feet above sea level, to contend with. It turned out to be a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable experience. Five days in a luxury hotel in the most beautiful of mountain settings with wonderful company and an intensive 11 hour a day teaching programme thrown in. Thanks are due to my new Polish friends and English speaking associates for this recommendation. Angloville Poland? Go. ■ Innes Reekie ÊÊInfo: Angloville.com run a voluntary teaching English programme in Zab near Krakow in the winter and Warsaw in the summer. All meals and accommodation, in a beautiful hotel in a wonderful location, are covered during your stay
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There Will Be Blood Imagine Lord of the Rings crossed with The Sopranos. That would be Game of Thrones, reckons Mark Fleming
ave you ever watched Game of Thrones? Like many slick (usually American) TV series the level of appreciation often spirals into fanaticism. Whole swathes of the internet community have been feverishly speculating how well the third series, which started on Sky Atlantic on 1st April, will adapt and use the source material from George R. R. Martin’s novels. I’ve also been counting-down the days, but with a Scottish sense of warm anticipation rather than drooling mania. (Don’t expect to see me at any fan convention wrapped in an IKEA sheepskin rug to approximate a ‘Wildling’ – for the uninitiated, that’s a barbarian tribesman). Thrones captivated me from the moment I borrowed the box set of series one. In the opening scene, a band of horsemen scour a blizzard-blasted forest for signs of mystical beings known as ‘White Walkers’. (The grizzled troopers bear as much similarity to the polished knights of BBC’s Robin Hood as Lemmy does to Cliff Richard). Their search party heads deep into the frozen landscape after said Walkers have massacred a Wildling community, the tangled and dismembered corpses resembling 1990s newsreel footage of a Bosnian Muslim village after a visit from General Mladic’s Serb ‘soldiers’. Although Thrones is set in a mythical world that takes Medieval Europe as its main reference point, its plotlines are grounded on Earth: corrupt politics and Machiavellian plotting, religious hysteria, sex, incest, brutal violence, brutalised peasantry and callous aristocrats, torture and civil war. It is regularly castigated for its grisly body count. In fact, it came second out of 40 U.S. shows rated for frequency of killings in a 2012 survey, with an average of 14 per episode, or one every four minutes. But if any film is going to depict life as it was experienced by the majority of people in unenlightened times, then the director has to show how cheap that life could be. As for the detractors, I’m reminded of an anti-domestic violence film made by Woman’s Aid in 2009, starring Kiera Knightley, which was censored by advertising watchdog Clearcast for being too violent! The visceral gore in Thrones may be thrilling in the same way as a ‘shootem-up’ video game, but in the context 22 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
of a medieval storyline it is underlining a truth. Just contemplate what hand-tohand combat must have been like for the ‘common soldiery’. During the Battle of Towton in the Wars of the Roses, rival Yorkist and Lancastrian armies fought to a standstill in a quagmire in a snowstorm, with thousands of men hacking and stabbing at whoever was within reach for hours. By nightfall around 1% of England’s total population had been butchered.
Meet Tyrion Lannister: “I just want to stand on the edge and piss off the end of the world”
Braveheart was entertaining in its day, but compared to the Battle of Blackwater in Thrones series two, its battle scenes are as vicious as two portly guinea pigs jostling over a bowl of nuts. Few films get to grips with how unbelievably brutal violence actually is. (I once dipped into an encyclopaedia of forensics that a friend’s brother – a med student – was using for reference, there were nauseatingly explicit fullcolour photographs of gangland slayings around New York. These reduced the cinematic version, from The Godfather to Goodfellas, to the analogous status of those aforementioned fluffy rodents). Naturally, if the movies presented realistic images of what happens to humans shot at close range, many audience members would be traumatised away from future screenings. During the melees in Thrones, limbs are hacked off, heads pulped, and in one scene a wouldbe rapist of a young princess is cornered
Yorkist and Lancastrian armies fought to a standstill in a quagmire & snowstorm, by nightfall around 1% of England’s total population had been butchered
by her bodyguard and disembowelled with a series of deft sword thrusts. In another scene, an alchemist produces a chemical which has the same effect on a flotilla of wooden ships as a US napalm strike in the Vietnamese jungle. Charred sailors throw themselves screaming into the sea. But film directors should feel compelled to be explicit. So many posters portray their lead characters as squarejawed heroes, invariably toting guns. James Bond sports his Walther PP semiautomatic as freely as you or I do our TV’s remote control. Of course 007 is escapist hokum, but he has singlehandedly killed nearly 400 enemies of Her Majesty’s Secret Service over 22 films. (We’ll never know the numbers for the fatherless kids but it could be four figures). Game of Thrones has, memorably, been described as Lord of the Rings meets The Sopranos. I would drop The Borgias into that bloody cocktail, with a dash of I Claudius. It has been criticized for excessive violence, sex and bad language. But these traits define a TV show tackling adult themes and assuming intelligent viewers. If you’d rather watch squeaky-clean people aspiring to a showbiz world of limos, bling and inane Twitter feeds, ignore Thrones with its complex characters, its fantasy dragons and zombies, its trail of the dead, and wallow in the quasi-reality of The Only Way is Essex. ■ ÊÊTwitter: @markjfleming
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SpringFitness & Health Tracy Griffen
The Economics of Happiness I
t is interesting that in these times of recession and belt-tightening there are new movements emerging – in times of crisis, people turn to simple pleasures – instead of endless shopping, folk are looking for more frugal ways to spend their time. Knitting is the new cool (or snuggly), baking is on trend, and charity shops have become a go-to for folk who wouldn’t have previously been seen dead in one. The hippy ideals I grew up with are becoming mainstream, ‘vintage chic’ is strutting its stuff along the catwalk. Part of the hippy ethos is the ‘do it yourself’ approach. If you want something done, just do it yourself. You might not imagine hippies as being particularly industrious but one thing they do well is homemade stuff. I was brought up thinking that if you didn’t like something, do something to fix it. Which is a very quick explanation as to how I came to volunteering for the Federation of Small Businesses and Leith Business Association. As a Leith Walk resident and shop owner, I was pretty peeved about how the tram roadworks were working, or not working, back in 2010. So instead of getting angry, I got active. Through my involvement with both business associations I’ve learnt a lot about how the Council functions, and also had my voice heard at a number of meetings. It’s a good return on time invested. Volunteering does take up time, but what else would you be spending your time doing? On Facebook? At the pub? On Facebook at the pub?
Oodles of studies
The 1st World Happiness Report was launched through the UN last year, suggesting a strong community was an influencing factor on happiness
Not content with flexing my small business muscles (that’s ‘small business’ muscles, not small muscles), I wanted to spread my wings to volunteer for an environmental organisation, and ended up involved with Greener Leith, an organisation which tirelessly look out for the environment of Leith – a warm glow on the inside, in exchange. Greener Leith is an ideal way for me to express my inner hippy. So with Greener Leith I found myself in the undergrowth of Pilrig Park... picking up other folk’s litter. It may sound an unpleasant task, but the feeling of (even temporarily) tidying up a public patch with a fancy grabby stick was well worth two hours and surprisingly satisfying. Plus there was free soup and sandwiches from
Out of the Blue afterwards, where we chatted to the other volunteers about the weirdest things found on the clean up. In these days of increasing isolation, as many of us get caught up in virtual online worlds, it’s really important that we interact with our immediate environment to keep a grip on the real world. There have been oodles of studies undertaken about how meaningful volunteering can increase happiness levels in individuals. I had a nosey about the economist.com website, which immediately flagged up the fact there is now a ‘new currency’, the Economics of Happiness. The first World Happiness Report was launched through the United Nations last year, suggesting that a strong community was one of the influencing factors of happiness. Furthermore, “it is vital that volunteering and donations of time and money be recognized as fundamental parts of any community development.” It seems that we are innately hardwired to be happy helpers. If you’re new to volunteering the most overwhelming question can be where do you start? You don’t need to spend hours staffing a charity shop to be a volunteer. The easiest way is to look around you and figure out what you’d like to change. Then find an organisation that matches. Contact them and ask how you can help out. If you have specific skills to offer, let them
know. It’s also a fab way to meet new people and gives you a reason to get out of the house. A liberating thing about voluntary work is that as you are giving your time, it does not have the same politics as a workplace. You can simply stop going if you don’t like it.
Gala Day volunteers
A few organisations worthy of mention include, of course, Greener Leith www.greenerleith.org. Leith Festival is always on the lookout for helpers on Gala day and also for the Parade, you will find them on Facebook. The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is in its first year and will be rolling from 15-23 June, so register your interest on their website www.edfoc.org.uk and check out the full programme. If you’re a local business, the Leith Business Association is a good way to have your voice heard and be kept in the loop about developments in the area. Pop in and chat to the bubbly Debbie at Canderson’s sweetie shop or Keith at Leith Walk Barber. The Federation of Small Businesses is a member-led organisation and is the largest business association in the UK, found online at www.fsb.org.uk. There are also countless other voluntary organisations worthy of mention, so enjoy getting active... and be richer for it. ■ ÊÊTwitter: @tracygriffen ÊÊFacebook: /griffenfitnesss
This month Tracy’s been deciphering nutritional labels, volunteering, ignoring the Australian weather forecasts (“No Mum, I don’t want to know it’s 35 degrees in Adelaide”)
24 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
The 360 Degree Deal Dave McGuire on a priceless project that seeks to give all musicians the inside track to success
he music business is a funny old thing, especially in this day and age. There’s a wider range of music available to listeners than ever before, yet the most successful lacks variety and originality; it’s now easier than ever for people to record their own music and then share/sell it to the wider world, but it’s infinitely tougher to make a living from it. In a culture where global superstars like Madonna have their management team secure them multi-million dollar 360° deals with the one company handling all aspects of their career, struggling acts trying to make their way in the business will sign any old deal if there’s a chance they might make it. With critics of conventional 360° deals pointing out that having a good management team gets you the best deal. They are on one side of the negotiating table, the record company the other. How can you get a good deal when the record label is your management team? Andrew Dubber, a Professor in Music Industry Innovation, talked to me about The 360º Deal book, a new concept in ‘selfhelp guides’ that looks to redress the balance: “The best antidote to that is to seek independent advice – the key word being ‘independent’. I thought I could play with that idea and perhaps write 360 pieces of advice for young artists myself, one a day, over the course of a year. But then I thought it would be even better to get 360 different perspectives.” This in itself would be perfectly commendable, but Dubber takes it
one step further, “Selling the book for $3.60 and then giving the money to the charity Music Basti made sense.” I could hardly take the money myself for a book that I hadn’t written, I thought the charity angle might provide more of an incentive both for people to contribute and for people to purchase.” Music Basti is an Indian based charity that ‘believes in community building and personal development through music, focusing on children-at-risk and urban youth through creating participative music education programs and life-skills. Aiming to create and promote self-confidence and creativity through interaction and sharing in and through music actively, involving the youth and music community in consultation, creation, implementation and evaluation’.
Get a mentor
I asked Dubber how he had gone about finding contributors… “I asked people that I already know in the music industries, but also asked them to ask the people that they already know. And so on. Everybody who has contributed has been asked to think of other people that might be able to help. And people have been really forthcoming: “Oh, this person would be fantastic for this…”” Considering that all contributions are made completely free of charge, the book has managed to capture most aspects of the business: “We’ve got song writing, publishing, technology, production, distribution, live, promotion, rehearsal, stagecraft, management, education, radio and television, retail, merchandise, session work and more.” I’d imagine that most of the people reading a book like this will be starting out in music, but at only $3.60 I’d advise that everyone in the business gives it a look. “It’s designed to be updated in the sense that it will grow
I’d rather have 100 sales at $3.60 than fifty at $10 – because that means more people have that good and useful advice
over time. There are about 100 articles in it already. The book will expand to 360 over time. Then I think the way to keep it relevant and up to date, is to start all over again. Maybe in 5 or 10 years time, do another book like it. But the stuff that’s in there is pretty timeless: look after your ears; get a lawyer; write songs that connect on an emotional level… and so on. Only much more thoughtful and in-depth than that, obviously.” An obvious question was why The 360º Deal was so cheap… “I’d rather have 100 sales at $3.60 than fifty at $10 – because that means more people have that good and useful advice. But when you buy the book you are invited to move a slider around. $3.60 is the bottom end. More than half the people who have bought the book have spent well above that, which is brilliant, because of where the money goes, but setting that very low bar means that hopefully very few people will be put off buying it.” What did he think would come of both the book and, by extension, the charity? “Nothing other than the obvious: I hope it’s interesting, I hope it’s useful and I hope that it’s helpful. What seems to be an added bonus is that it’s starting some conversations among contributors who have never connected before. Working on a shared project is a great way to spark some interesting and unusual collaborations.” Finally I asked Professor Dubber for the best piece of advice he could give to someone making their way in music: “Trust your instincts and your taste – but always get good advice. No matter where you’re at in your career. Get a mentor. Ask for help. And in the meantime, read The 360º Deal. These people all know what they’re talking about.”
ÊÊInfo: Download ebook for $3.60 from www.the360deal.com Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 25
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ullo rerr mah wee muckers! Ah’ve goat a Scottish version oh Bubble ‘n’ Squeak fir yis this month. It’s a right mouthful but they are called Rumbledethumps, and they hail fae the Borders. Gordon Broon said it wis his favourite thing, but ah think he was getting’ mixed up wi’ Rumplestiltskin – who could turn straw intae gold! Whit yi need is…
600g/1lb 5oz floury potatoes, peeled & chopped 75g/2¾oz unsalted butter 250g/9oz Savoy cabbage or kale, finely sliced Glug of cream or milk Sea salt and fresh ground pepper 50g/2oz (huz tae be orange!) cheddar, grated
Wit yi dae is Preheat yir oven tae 180C/350F/ Gas 4. Cook the tatties in a saucepan o’ salted boiling water ‘til tender. Drain well and return tae the pan. Heat hauf the butter
in a pan and cook the cabbage until it’s tender but retains its colour and a bit o’ bite. Add cabbage to the pan with the potatoes. Add the remaining butter (and cream/milk if wished) and mash together using a fork or potato masher. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the lot intae an ovenproof dish and top wi’ the cheese, bake in the oven fir aboot 35 minutes or until it’s golden broon oan top. Optional extras: Wi’ a poached egg or some o’ yon Stornoway black pudding or two crispy rashers o’ smoked streaky bacon fir a light lunch, or add a smoked haddie tae the egg fir a mair substantial scran. Here, ah picked up a bottle bobbling beside the steps ootside Fishers yisterday, imagine mah surprise when ah found a message in it! It said… “You have no messages.” ■ Ching! Ching! The Laird
I can also see that some may be offended by my political or religious rants D
ear Mrs MacPickle, I am writing to you with a very twenty-first century problem: I would like guidance as to how to navigate the etiquette of social networking. Recently I have noticed that a number of facebook ‘friends’ have deleted me, and despite the fact that they are people I have not been in contact with for years, this still leaves me feeling abandoned and anxious, wondering what on earth I have done to offend them. At the same time, some of the ‘friends’ posts that regularly end up in my newsfeed are gently but surely eroding my faith in humanity, is it okay to delete them? Yours sincerely, Becky Foureyes
ear Mrs Foureyes Firstly, I urge you not to take offence at being ‘deleted’. I myself suffer this reasonably often and am also prone to taking it rather badly, but on reflection I can see that as a prolific facebooker there may be many of my classmates from seventeen years ago who are truly uninterested in the bowel movements of my children today., however neatly argued, and that not everyone is that interested in the Great British Menu, however sexy that bloke
from Scotland who cooked the spicy goat was. Also, some people ‘clear out’ facebook in the same way they clear out their wardrobes, getting rid of people they have not spoken to for ages like garments they have not worn for over a year. (I on the other hand am a hoarder, and will hold on to an ex-boyfriend who has moved abroad and was always a git in the first place with the same sentimentality as a dress I hope one day to be slim enough to wear again). There is no need, then, to take it personally. But what of the ones that are bothering you? You could perhaps develop a ‘three strikes and you are out type rule’ for minor offences such as mentioning your ill child’s temperature, self-‘liking’, or making faces out of punctuation, with zero tolerance for more serious humanity/faith zapping posts. At present I find my mouse hovers over the delete button for every mention of anything pro-Thatcher, anti-immigrants or any reference at all to people who ‘should just get a job’. But then I think it is better for me to be exposed to such horrors for my political and spiritual development.: a reminder that there are as many silly views as good people out there. ■
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Bainbridge Music bainbridgemusic.co.uk @ Cabaret Voltaire, 36 Blair Street 2 June: Pirate Sons 7-10.30pm £5 Boda Bar 229 Leith Walk 0131 553 5900 bodabar.com Every Mon: Chan Bang music 9pm 5 & 19 June: Three is a Crowd music night 8pm Carrier’s Quarters 42 Bernard Street Sun: 6.30pm Jammie Devils Dalriada 77 Promenade, Portobello 0131 454 4500 dalriadabar.co.uk Every Wed: Topical Quiz 8.30 Every Thu: Freestyle with Mike 8pm Every Fri: Sing-a-Long Sesh, 9-12pm Every Sat: Sean-Paul & Pals, 3-6pm Every Sat: Live Acts, 9-12pm Every Sun: Jed & Friends, 3-6pm Elbow 133 East Claremont Street 0131 556 5662 Mon: Movie night, 8pm Tue: Pub Quiz, 8.30pm Fri: Selection of DJ’s & Live Music Sat: Ambidextrous, 8pm, fortnightly Embo 29 Haddington Place, 0131 652 3880 embodeli.com Exhibition: Mon/Fri 8am-4pm Sat 9am-4.30pm; The Granary 32-34 The Shore Acoustic Sets: Wed 8-10pm, Thu 10-12am, Sat 10-12am & Fri Pianist 5-7pm 10-14 June: Castle FM Broadcast 12-3pm 8, 9 & 14 June: Short Film Fest 7.30pm £5/£4 8, 9 & 16 June: Absolut Improv 2-3pm £5/4 15 June: Craft & Gift Fair 12-4pm Hemma 75 Holyrood Road 0131 629 3327 bodabar.com Every Mon: Do it Commando! Boot camp 6.30pm Every 2nd Tues: Bake Club Lily Vanilli Every Wed: Lill Fredag (Little Friday) 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 bodabar.com Every Tue: Jogging Club 7pm
highlight of the month
Atelier E.B. present their Ost End Girls Collection Inverleith House
Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh rbge.ac.uk/inverleith-house ateliereb.com 13-16 June 10-5pm Atelier E.B. is the name under which the artist Lucy McKenzie and designer Beca Lipscombe sign their collaborative projects. Their intention is to bring fine art criticality to the realm of commercial design and, by extension, to incorporate the expertise and pragmatism of the applied arts into the creation of art and exhibitions. Their work to date includes commissioned display and interiors for public and private spaces, textiles, furniture and publishing.
Kilderkin 65 Canongate 0131 556 2101 facebook.com/kilderkin Every Tue: Pub Quiz 8pm, cash jackpot Every Thu: Booze School Every Sun: Kilderkinema Every Sat: Edinburgh’s oldest open-mic night 8pm Leith Cricket Club 21 June: QABALALA! 7pm-1am £4 Limbo
The Voodoo Rooms 19a West Register St limbo.eventbrite.com 8 June: Little Kicks, Behold, The Old Bear 8pm1am £4/£6 The Newsroom Leith Street 8 June: Leith Festival fundraiser w/ Hotel India 8pm (Donations) Nobles 44a Constitution Street 0131 629 7215 noblesbarleith.co.uk facebook.com/noblesbarleith All free entry Every Mon: Epic Quiz, 8pm Every Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun : Live music, 9pm - check website/facebook for listings Every Sat: Bainbridge Presents The Parlour 142 Duke Street 0131 555 3848 Every Wed: Quiz 8pm
Pressure Valve Open Mic Night @ The Pear Tree 38 West Nicolson Street 0131 667 7533 Every Sun 8pm: Featuring a fine variety of music, comedy, magic acts & more. Pussy Whipped Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art 5th April: Kings Queer, Ste McCabe, Ladies of Midnight Blue 7-10pm £3 entry 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: Kevin Gore 9pm Sun: Jazz - Ellis & Kellock 2pm-5pm Sofi’s 65 Henderson Street 0131 555 7019 bodabar.com The Street 2 Picardy Place 0131 556 4272 thestreetbaredinburgh.co.uk Wed: Pub Quiz, 8pm; Thur: DJ LL Honky Tonk, 9pm Fri: DJ Trendy Wendy, 9pm Sat: Pre-Club parties & DJ’s Sun: A guest Club Night each week! Sponsored by
Chop Chop Leith, 76 Commercial Street Tel: 0131 553 1818 www.chop-chop.co.uk Now 28 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
Victoria Bar 265 Leith Walk 0131 555 1638 bodabar.com Every Mon: Language Café 7pm
Arts Complex St. Margaret’s House 151 London Road 1-9 June: Edinburgh College HND Exhibition 10am – 5pm Collective Gallery 22 Cockburn Street 0131 220 1260 www.collectivegallery.net 1 Aug -1 Sept: Game Changer @ Meadowbank Concrete Wardrobe 50A Broughton St. 0131 558 7130 concretewardrobe.com Maker of the Month: Walters uses wool to create delightfully intricate and imaginative modern pieces Diner 7 7 Commercial Street 0131 553 0624 Ever changing Art Exhibitions The Fruitmarket Gallery 45 Market Street 0131 225 2383 fruitmarket.co.uk Until 14 July: David Batchelor Flatlands Institut Francais d’Ecosse 13 Randolph Crescent 0131 225 5366 The Leith Gallery 65 The Shore 0131 553 5255 Out of the Blue Drill Hall 36 Dalmeny Street 0131 555 7100 outoftheblue.org.uk Weekly classes: Drama, dance, yoga, martial arts, music, aerial classes and art workshops Fleamarket last Saturday every month 10-3pm Thomas Morton Hall Ferry Road 15 June: Fundraising event for Leith Theatre 5 Great Bands! 7.30pm £10
Adam McVey 0131 529 3279 Leith Ward SNP Surgery 3 Wednesday every month Leith Library 6pm. Appointments any time 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 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. Deidre Brock 0131 529 4187 1st Monday of month McDonald Road Library @ 6pm; 2nd Friday of month Leith Walk Primary School @ 12.30; 3rd Saturday of month McDonald Road Library @ 10am Aerobics Classes Lianne on 07779064991 email@example.com 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
Bookbug sessions: 0 to 4 year olds and
parents/carers. 1st and 3rd Tues & 2nd and 4th Wed of every month 10.30-11.15am Fri: Craft Time (ages 4-11) 2.30pm Book Group: 2nd Tues of month 6.45pm & 4th Tues of month 2pm McDonald Road Library 2 McDonald Road 0131 529 5636 Every Fri: Craft for Kids (ages 4-9) 3-4pm Bookbug Sessions: 2ND Fri of month 1-1.30pm; Last Fri of month 10.30-11am; 2ND Sun of month, 2.30-3pm; Polish Bookbug Session: Every Tues 10.30-11am; Urdu Book Group (women only): Last Mon of month 2-4pm; Book Group: Last Mon. of month 6.30-7.30 Pilates Classes 3 Queen Charlotte Lane firstname.lastname@example.org Mat classes, 1-1 and 2-1 sessions, small groups Ramsay Cornish 15 Jane Street 0131 553 7000 Thu: 11am Traditional Lane Sale Sat: 11am General Household Auction Restalrig Lochend Community Hub 198 Restalrig Road South 0131 346 1179 thirdagecf.org.uk Every Thur 2-4pm: Third Age Computer Fun Free taster session for new potential members Stockbridge Market, Kerr Street 0131 551 5633 stockbridgemarket.com Every Sun: 10-5pm ■
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CrosswordNo.69 across 1 5 10 11 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 26 27 28
Pieces left, son I dumped (8) Southern board for animals (6) Fast bird who might grope fine lancer (9,6) Raise part heel Eva teased with (7) What to wear in the rain storm? (7) Martian to help in road crossing (5,3) First grand union canal cuts Italian fashion (5) Alternatively without the rest (5) Lift deal smashed, it was destined to fail (3-5) Next city shortly bombed Dead! (7) Divorcee quoted in evidence of being sexually aroused (7) Kiss this for chat (3,7,5) Twist in carrot at end (6) Land of jumpers? (4,4)
down 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 14 16 17 19 21 22 24 25
Chilli doctor? (6) Metallic elements on obscure planet (9) Not happy where fire is? (7) Sound coming from one nose (5) Ripping cry! (7) Graduate, Tory, artist (5) One intense mad scientist (8) He-man Lot broken by alcohol (8) Wet sot, rum that is drunk (8) Product of 15 (9) Navigational aid Al stored perhaps (8) Curl bearing lettuce within (7) Charge account, curse charges with offence (7) Stick notice in this place (6) Nerds and birds do this (5) Waste disposal system! (5)
Supplied by: www.leithlinks.co.uk
crossword prize A bottle of Malmaison house wine
winner no.68 Maggie Havergal, Edinburgh
Email your answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org
answers: crossword 68 across
1 Pitching 5 Starry 10 The Arctic circle 11 Elected 12 Bemused 13 Fracture 15 Haven
18 Throb 20 Enshroud 23 Applier 25 Epithet 26 Great White Shark 27 Export 28 Male deer
1 Potted 2 The terror 3 Heretic 4 Noted 6 Triumph 7 Rocks 8 Yielding 9 Ice beers
14 Unearths 16 Vouchsafe 17 Strangled 19 Blister 21 Reissue 22 Stoker 24 Pre-op 25 Extra
Visit the original, mother of all Mals, find a cosy sofa in the bar and peruse the cocktail list, before heading to our Brasserie for fresh Scottish favourites and British classics 30 | leithermagazine.com | Issue 94
Leither in London Carrie Mitchell
“You cannot expect him to walk out of a five year relationship for someone he’s known five minutes” W
Liv looked at me like I was a mental patient: “You’ve only known him for one night, Carrie. How can you be this upset?
hen his message dropped into my inbox on facebook, I swear my heart stopped. It had been seven years since we’d actually exchanged any words, seven years since I told him I couldn’t keep doing whatever it was we were doing and I couldn’t just be his friend. I think at the time, I thought that might make him realise he couldn’t bear to lose me. Instead, he did as I asked and stayed away. For a while, I missed him – a lot. But so much time passed that I started to think about him less and less. I mean, from time-to-time, I wondered where he might be, what he might be doing, who he might be with but I could never have reached out and contacted him. Not because I was still hurt or angry but because I couldn’t bear to hear that he was still with her, that he was happy with her, that he’d made the right choice. Yes, there was another woman. Or… I guess it would be more honest to acknowledge that I was the ‘other woman’. It wasn’t meant to happen that way. When we met, I was still getting over my last relationship. I was convinced I’d never meet anyone I’d feel that way about again – then our eyes met across a crowded bar and somehow we ended up back at mine sitting up all night talking, listening to music, laughing, and finally, kissing. I spent the next day on cloud nine,
convinced I’d met my soulmate. Then he called me and told me about her: they’d been together years, he should have told me but he didn’t know how, he’d never met anyone he could talk to the way he could to me, he didn’t want to ruin it. The tears came before I managed to hang up the phone and they didn’t stop for a good while afterwards. I remember my flatmate looking at me like I was a mental patient: “You’ve known him for one night, Carrie. How can you be this upset?” I didn’t have an answer. It just all felt wrong. My clever mum said, “You can’t expect him to walk out of a 5-year relationship for someone he’s only known 5 minutes, if you really like him so much, can’t you just be his friend?” It sounded logical then but if I’d known I was about to embark on a fully-fledged affair, I swear I’d have run in the opposite direction. By the time I called it all off, over a year had past. Or maybe it was two. I can’t remember really – so much was happening then. I moved to London, he moved up North, sometimes I wouldn’t hear from him for weeks then he’d call and we’d spend hours on the phone or he’d come round and we’d spend a random night talking till the sun came up. Ending it was hard but made a little easier when I had my new life in London as a distraction. There was no risk of bumping into him on the
Shore anymore, I wasn’t living in the flat where we’d spent all those nights together, I hid all the CDs he’d made me so I couldn’t indulge the memories by listening…and I moved on. So what was I going to do now? “I know this is random but I’m in London for work. Meet me?” He made it sound so easy but I was terrified. Whenever I’d met up with exes before, it was usually so they could tell me how great they were doing without me. I didn’t need to hear that from him. I could choose not to reply and just continue on perfectly content in my ignorance. Or I could go meet him and potentially dredge up all that old hurt and frustration. Trouble is, I was curious. I really wanted to know where he’d been, how he was, what he looked like now. Most of all, I wanted to know if those feelings I’d had for him had been real. “The best case scenario is I go along and feel nothing for him,” I declared to my flatmate Liv. “We have a couple of drinks, I realise it wasn’t meant to be then I leave and never have to wonder about him ever again.” “Or you could go along, realise you’re meant to be together, fall head over heels in love, get married and have babies. Wouldn’t that be the best case scenario?” I raised an ironic eyebrow at her and set off to meet him. “That is not going to happen…” ■
This month Carrie’s been hanging out at Streetfeast, a pop-up food festival with its own gin bar. Visiting the ‘rents and their new pup Beau in the south of France, listening to all my old mixtapes & getting lost in hazy memories Issue 94 | leithermagazine.com | 31
The Leither, Leith festival 2013. Lots of chat from North of Edinburgh.