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Valvona & Crolla, Edinburgh

Chlamydia and I were back at our favourite haunt, the

Costamuchamoulah must-seen cafe in High Street,

Suttonford.  It seemed a million miles away from genteel Edinburgh

and the trendy Valvona and Crolla Vincaffe in the New Town.  Still, the

topic of conversation might have been identical: both sets of clientele

commenting on the amazing precocity of the new, Royal and (as yet)

nameless babe, who managed to wave endearingly from the woolly depths

of his swaddling.

THE NAMELESS ONE: Lang may its lum reek!

********************************

“SANDY”

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Alexander McCall Smith may have made a fortune from weaving the foibles

and fancies of the inhabitants of 44 Scotland Street into a fictional web, but

I, Candia Dixon Stuart, am seeking a publisher for my observations on the

activities and lifestyle choices of Suttonford’s fairest inhabitants.

Yes, as I told Clammie, Edinburgh folks are generally well-mannered, and,

even the homeless bow their heads discreetly while begging on the streets.

I observed a grubby, long-bearded man who was carrying a 4xlitre carton of

semi-skimmed- for it had been purchased in health-conscious Auld Reekie.

Around 2:30pm, the aforesaid stopped in front of his acquaintance, the beggar

with his bull terrier, and frankly expostulated:

I would have thought you’d have retired for the day by now.

Clearly he was concerned that his friend had not had his tea.

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But, as I explained to Clammie, I had also

visited Central Scotland’s other city.

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How different is the patois of the Glaswegian!  On landing at Abbotsinch, or

Glasgow airport to the less au fait, even as we were instructed that it was only

now permissible to unfasten our seatbelts, enthusiastic locals were leaping up

to open the overhead lockers, in readiness for a speedy disembarkation which

would have impressed Chris Hoy.

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I must have looked a little schoolmarmish, as the man who had been snoring

next to me for the duration, leapt up to reclaim his hand luggage, without any

apparent sign of chivalrous altruism.  But, judge not that ye be not judged; he

immediately looked down with Christian neighbourliness and regaled me with

this attentive interrogative:

Is that your hat ‘n that?

Aye, one has to look not on the outward appearance, but on the heart and,

rough quartzy Cairngorms though they have at their core, Kelvinside kindred

are just as likely, or perhaps more likely than the Morningside matrons, to

ensure that one will have had one’s refreshments, even if time is pressing

and there isn’t really time to linger:

You’ll surely take a wee moothfie a’ tea in your haun?

How disinhibited compared to the rather reserved partakers of creme de la

creme in the South’s Costamuchamoulah.  They probably think that Mussolini

is a shellfish starter and Gardez Loo! is a jardinage WC servicing the children’s

tree house and the gazebo.

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Ah, Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms it isnae. Suttonford High Street will

never aspire to the drama of Sauchiehall Street and the Willow Tea

Rooms.

As one looks around, Muriel Sparks’ words come to mind:

Ah well, ..I often wonder if we [are] all characters in one of God’s dreams.

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