On the second page of Trainspotting Welsh makes clear the relationship between Leith and Edinburgh. Renton and Sick Boy, desperate for a taxi at the Foot of Leith Walk to go and score with Johnny Swan in Tollcross, fulminate: ‘Supposed to be a rank… [all the taxis are] up cruising fat, rich festival cunts too fuckin lazy tae walk a hundred fuckin yards fae one poxy church hall tae another fir their fuckin show…’ That was twenty years ago. Well, the news in 2013 is that the Edinburgh festival, or at least the Fringe festival, or rather the Free festival, the new subversive kid in town, is creeping in to Leith. Even though my tour wasn’t anything to do with any festival, some hard-core aficionados came along and we had some good times. These people keep the writing project fresh, there’s a new insight every time I do it. On the subject of which, I’m away till the end of September, and then there will need to be a big push to get my draft to a state in which I can hand it over to an editor before Christmas. That’s the aim. Wish me well! Oh, and the other news is that the taxi rank has disappeared. Something to do with the trams that aren’t going to come to Leith after all.
The latest offering in book form on Irvine Welsh and the Trainspotting industry has just appeared. John Neil Munro’s Lust for Life hit the bookshops last week. Munro is a long-standing friend of Welsh, so it’s similar to Sandy Mcnair’s Carspotting. Between them, they affirm me in my decision not to ask the Big Man for an interview. I wouldn’t worry about being rejected – my problems would start if he agreed to be interviewed. He would almost certainly tell me a load of porkies, which I would have to discount. Besides, my interest in Welsh the man is confined to his life experiences before Trainspotting and his (limited but important) contributions to the play and the film. Munro and McNair provide some interesting biographical details even if in places they can be somewhat self-aggrandising by association with The Man. And I have my own sources. No dirt will be dished – that’s not my style – but for my book I am piecing together a quite instructive picture of the background and origins of Trainspotting.