Leaping or limping?

On this 29th February, the likes of which we won’t see for another oooh, well, four years, do we have a spring in our step as we walk into a bright new future, or are we limping into near-total shut-down of social life in the face of Coronavirus? It...

the man Burns, an a’ that…

Leith Festival kindly invited me to propose the toast at its fundraising Burns Supper this week. Here is the text in full; it had a mixed reception, and I accept that some may think it’s too political for the occasion, that’s a matter of judgement. Several...

A very merry Christmas to all my readers

Dear Reader, Deck the halls with boughs of holly / T’is the season to be jolly / Don we now our gay apparel / Troll the ancient Yuletide carol / See the blazing Yule before us / Strike the harp and join the chorus / Follow me in merry measure… and so on,...

World AIDS Day

1st December is a bit special this year, in Leith. A 1-hour documentary film has been shot here for screening on 2 December – the nearest they could get to the Day itself, the election has been messing about with the schedules – on BBC! at 2100 hrs, that...

Custom House, 21 November

Come along to Custom House on 21 November:¬†https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/choose-life-choose-leith-a-conversation-with-tim-bell-tickets-77279696653 . It’s ticketed but free. I’ll be in conversation with Gordon Munro, man of Leith, city councillor and...

The clocks and Brexit

If we had crashed out of the EU at the end of the month it would have put the clocks back fifty years, never mind the annual ritual of putting them back by an hour. But we didn’t. I am not in favour of referendums, but I have come to think that this is such a...

Autumn leaves

As the colours of autumn begin to show and the leaves begin to fall, it’s time for some reflections. The book continues to do well, sales have been good and interest in it continues. Recently i have been dealing with a production company that is preparing a...

A good August

Thanks to everyone – 125 folk – who came on the tour this month. I hope you all enjoyed it; for me it was a pleasure to meet such a wide variety of people with their different interests in the Trainspotting story. Some were into the literature, others the...

Cheap journalism

Last week it was announced that the annual per capita death-rate in Scotland related to illicit drugs went through the 1,000 mark, giving Scotland the unenviable top position in not just the UK, not just the EU, but almost everywhere in what is called “the...