Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Jubilee Celebrations

It's a family affair...

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Keep Yer Shirt On...

I had a bit of a moan last week. Unlike me, I know. The source of my grumpiness - and I know I'm leaning against an open door here - was the three days solid we had in Edinburgh of rain. Some of it was heavy, some if it light - all of it irritating. So much for summer came the cry. Now, a week later, we have had three days solid sunshine in God's own country. And in Scotland that means many people - far too many people - yearning to display their near naked bodies, however unattractive that may be.

As the temperature hovers in the 70s, the half-naked are multiplying. Simply put, they're everywhere. Driving cars. Climbing aboard buses. Lounging in parks. Sitting outside pubs guzzling copious amounts of foaming ale.

There are the bare-chested men - in all shapes and sizes - who say the weather offers them no choice. They must strip down. The sight of a beer-bellied, balding, 50 something (and I don't mean me before you ask) ambling along the streets of Scotland's capital city can put you off your salad. Not that many Scots contemplate a salad, even on days as warm as these citing 'it's too hot to cook, do you fancy a chippy' as an excuse to down the equivalent of a whale supper (wi' plenty o' sauce, hen...)

Then there are the women. Thankfully, not quite bare-chested but not far off it. And many of the fairer sex deem it essential to sport tight fitting shorts (so I'm led to believe) Now some Scots lassies suit this attire. Others don't. And when you combine beer-bellied, balding 50 something man with heavily tattooed, overweight, 50 something, short-wearing, bare-legged woman waddling along the road  - and you need to step off the pavement on to the road to get past them - then you don't need to guess why Scotland has an obesity problem.

Now some people have a medical problem and can't help how they look. Others don't and just guzzle on a diet of fried food and alcohol. However, far too many seem to believe they have bodies we all want to see.

Having lived in Aberdeen for a few years, it's unusual for me to head out without a coat on - in the Granite City there was a fair chance of catching frostbite even in July... Today I ventured from Edinburgh to see my daughter and grandchildren several miles away in Dalkeith - wearing a just a tee-shirt and chinos. Despite me having the appearance of George Clooney and the body of Brad Pitt, I chose not to board the number 3 bus in a state of half-nakedness. Unlike, it has to be said, the majority of the rest of the passengers.

My message to the people of Scotland as summer begins in earnest is: For God's sake put a shirt on!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Happy Birthday, Laura

My elder daughter was born on this day in 1986 - one of the happiest days of my life. Clearly, she gets her good looks from her father. I'm very proud of her (if she reads this she'll think I've gone soft!) Happy birthday, darling.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Happy Birthday, Ava

My youngest grandchild is two years old on Friday. Butter wouldn't melt....Happy birthday, sweetheart.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Girl From Granton - An Edinburgh Love Story

He simply could not take his eyes off her. She was a picture of beauty, her golden hair resting neatly on her slim shoulders. He gently stroked her cheek and delicately touched her right ear. He desperately wanted to recreate the two magical days he had spent with her in Dundee a few weeks earlier. She fixed her brown eyes on his.

'Take yer hands oot ma f**kin' ears!' she said, forcefully.

He took his hand away but then tried to embrace her. He asked what was on her mind.

'Ah'll tell you, whit's oan ma mind. It's you.' He was touched, but his feelings of gladness didn't last.

'Yer a w*nker. An arse. And yer daein ma heid in'

He recoiled at the venom dripping from her lips. He only wanted to caress her, take her in his arms and tell her how much he loved her.

'Aye,' she bellowed. 'Ah ken whit yer after. Yer a pervy bas***d. Just 'cos ye made me a cup o' tea ye think ye can dae whit ye want. Well, ye can just p*ss off. Now!'

He picked up his jacket that had set him back £10 from Primark. He gave her a pitiful look and uttered quiet words - that he would just go if she wanted him to.

'Well, f**k off then' she spat.

He headed for the door and heard her final words as he closed the door behind him.

'Ye prick...'

To be continued...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Skipping the Queue

The title of this blog is Auld Reekie Rants. So, after my self-pitying post last week, it's high time I left off some steam with another inane rant.

Some of you may be aware that the Olympics will be held in London this summer. The build up has been a low key affair with scarcely a mention in the media...There's an old joke that says Britain would excel at certain events if they were made Olympic sports. Such as gossiping, not making a fuss if you're unhappy about your meal at a restaurant - and queueing...

Using public transport as I do, queueing for buses in Edinburgh has become more of a challenge in the last couple of years. One of the reasons for this is the advent of bus trackers at many of the capital's bus stops. These are information boards sited at bus stops that detail how long you can expect to wait for a Lothian Transport bus. Now, I have to say that, by and large, they are pretty accurate and a help for me getting my old creaking bones to work in the morning. Travelling across Edinburgh from Gorgie to Craigmillar to get to the office can take an eternity thanks to the never-ending roadworks caused by the Edinburgh trams fiasco. So when I see I only have a few minutes to wait for a number two bus then it does help my patience from being overstretched. However, the bus trackers have created a relatively new phenomenon  - a complete disregard for those people in the queue.

I arrive at the last bus stop on Gorgie Road heading into the city and see there are five minutes until my bus arrives. I'm the only one there so I wait patiently. A couple of minutes pass and I'm still on my own. Then, as the 'due' sign appears on the bus tracker, there's an inevitable posse of people who suddenly appear, take one look at the information board and simply stand there at the head of the queue i.e. me. Usually, these people are schoolchildren and/or students, the majority of who don't have a bloody clue about social etiquette. Now the number two bus is usually a single decker (why LRT think this is a smart idea of one of their busiest routes is beyond me) and it irks me considerably when some gormless lout with a haversack the size of a small mountain on his back ambles up to the bus stop, looks vacantly at the bus tracker and steps forward just as my bus arrives. It makes me downright angry (hard to believe, I know) if this gormless character grabs the last remaining seat on the crowded bus meaning the weary old Ranter has to stand for half of his long journey.

Such a scenario occurred one morning last week and finally my patience snapped. I placed my hand firmly on the shoulder of some laddo with the words 'Just hold it right there, my lad - there's a feckin' queue here'. I gently pushed past him and grabbed the one remaining seat on the bus. I felt quite pleased with myself. The elderly lady I sat next to didn't say anything but gave me a knowing smile and a look that intimated 'Well done, son' - although quite what the old biddy was doing on a busy bus at 8.15am is another story...

Today is a local holiday so I won't have to fight my way to work. But my message to anyone considering queue jumping for the number two bus to The Jewel from Gorgie at the back of eight in the morning is clear - get to the back and wait your place. The worm has turned...

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Happy Birthday, Jack

I can scarcely believe he's 7 years old today. Time certainly flies. And he's just like his Papa - he's beginning to lose his teeth...