Protempore: “A self-serving, over-privileged, thick-as-mince parasite”

It’s traditional at this time of year for our esteemed editor (are you sure? Ed) to ask me to provide you all with a little bit of crystal ball-gazing and set out what might be ahead of us after Christmas and into the New Year. As ever, I’m happy to oblige but must warn you […]...

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The dog friendliest place

Wuff! Dis be pug Coco from da street of Balfour. Deres lotsa stinky bins and sometimes I find bitsa Storries pies on da floor too.” “My hooman ask me to write dis story cos I knows many of yooz. So here’s me. A lucky pug who lives amongst yooz. Dere’s lotsa places aroond da big […]...

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Leith’s Chains of Destiny

Sandy Campbell On the Loose A story based on newspaper reports from the time At lunchtime on Monday 7th of December 1953 a young couple strolled arm-in-arm into Huntly House Museum on the Canongate. The gentleman paid their sixpence admission fee to Mr McClure on the desk. Smiling politely, they made their way upstairs. No […]...

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When one door closes another opens

Sally Fraser ponders the ever evolving shape shifting that goes towards making a life  The sky looked like the sand this morning. You know, the swirly, patterned bits of sand on the edge of the shore. The bumpy stuff, where the tide has gone in and out, and where you get quite a nice foot […]...

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The revolution should be televised

Christmas telly is now dog shit rolled in tinsel. Time for a yuletide revolution, says Colin Montgomery If they could bottle nostalgia, the poppy fields would wither and die. I mean, who would need to surf the opioid waves, when the warm rush of selective memory gets to work? Memory Lane would be our shooting […]...

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The No Recipe Man: Let’s get physical

Tom Wheeler  When I was little, I was fascinated by physics – though admittedly I didn’t know it at the time, or for quite a while after. Specifically, what intrigued me was how things worked and, just as importantly, why. Why did the tide go in and out? What were all those shiny things in […]...

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Soho So Good

There’s nowhere quite like London’s Soho. But its disreputable status is under threat discovers Kennedy Wilson Soho, the square mile of central London that was once a byword for bohemian overindulgence. Sandwiched between Theatreland, Chinatown and Trafalgar Square this labyrinth of tightly packed streets and alleys was laid out in the late 17th century when […]...

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Short Story: Standing at the Sky’s Edge

I mind once me and Charlie, years ago now, skipped college and got the bus into town. It was before St Andrews Square had been opened up as a place everyone could enjoy. It had been a locked garden in the centre of town since I could remember. .   Maybe someone in the council […]...

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The healing power of wild swimming

Vicky Allan tells us about the Edinburgh and Portobello Wild Ones and others featured in her new book with Anna Deacon ‘If you’re having a moment when you’ve lost your faith in humanity,” Edinburgh swimmer Anne Altringham once said to me, “go and get in the sea with a lot of people who want to […]...

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A Sense of Wonder

Deidre Brock, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith There’s a sense of wonder at Christmas, magic in the air, that tingle of excitement, children looking forward to the day, adults telling innocent lies about some podgy chap who’ll bring pressies, workmates exchanging little gifts. Even the shops full of folk jostling and queuing and fretting […]...

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“A plebiscite has been taken of the Leith people …

and we know they are against this attempt of the municipal maw of Edinburgh to eat up Leith.” Mr C Palmer, House of Commons 15th July 1920, Hansard The Edinburgh Boundaries Extension and Tramways Act 1920 is still regarded as an unfair imposition and has passed into Leith legend. The story passed on from generation […]...

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Less heat and more light

Ben Macpherson MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith There’s an old adage about not talking about religion or politics if you want a party to go well, whether that’s on a work Christmas night out or at a Hogmanay celebration. But these topics – religion and politics – are at the heart of how we […]...

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Bill Drummond & Truth Street

Column #2 for The Leither by Kevin Williamson What is Poetry? It’s such a straightforward question you’d think anyone who spends the best part of a lifetime reading, writing or thinking about poetry would be able to answer it in their sleep or at the very least off the top of their head. Not so. […]...

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Walking Solo: The Pentlands

Carolyn McKerracher They keep promising snow. Snow by the weekend. Snow for Christmas. Worst snow ever.  Now, I’m not praying for another Beast from the East, a three hour walk home from work, or vulnerable people stranded in their own homes – and nobody wants a thick layer all the way from the Shore to […]...

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