I had the pleasure of going on a tour of Edinburgh with Luca, the owner of LIttle Fish Tours yesterday.
It was very interesting, presented with the utmost passion by Luca, who not only is most well versed in our Scottish history and heritage but delivered the two hour tour with wit and some polish I must say. It was highly impressive.
It was interesting for me, not only because I am going to be starting my own tour thing soon, but because it showed again how damn small Edinburgh is.
We started in the City Chambers and there sitting on one of the benches was Mr Horne, Steven’s father. Next we stood outside Parliament House. Now, I always think about my old Uni pal Calum Wilson who was my academic brother in my first year at St Andrews University, when I’m around Parliament Square. I think about him because I shared a flat with his sister Janice (who I bumped into in Glasgow last weekend!) and Calum went on to become an advocate and is now indeed Clerk of the Courts nonetheless (a bit of a big wig but without the wig as of yet). Pretty good for a butcher’s son from Wester Hailes.
Anyway, low and behold as Luca is pontificating about John Knox, Calum strides (yes Calum ‘strides’) across Parliament Square, papers in hand and looking very much the part. I don’t think he clocked me in the group taking an Edinburgh tour, or if he did he may have made the last excuse that he made when he walked past me in Bruntsfield one day, claiming that he didn’t have his contacts in!
However, I once had the great joy of embarrassing Calum when I saw him in Parliament House one day. I was delivering flowers for an event in that beautiful and august building and Calum was doing the traditionally important ‘let’s walk’ (see below) thing with another distinguished looking advocate, all suited up and serious, when I just shouted, rather loudly, across the House whilst carrying a large vase of delphiniums, ‘Hi Calum!’ and well, he got a bit wrong footed but did (had to!) acknowledge me.
Yes, I sometimes think Cal is much too full of Wagner and hasn’t quite got over getting rejected by Cambridge, but that’s another matter.
It is quite incredible though that our academic mother Ann Astell had a fling with Calum’s brother of a weekend in St Andrews back in 82 and I have since got to know Gavin in Edinburgh as he hangs out in Morningside bars and is, amazingly, a business partner of a chap who is the brother of an ex girlfriend of mine from Dundee! Now that is some coincidence but to me just shows how very small Edinburgh, and indeed Scotland, is.
Now, I wonder if Gordon drinks at the Phoenix in Dundee?
ps the ‘let’s walk’ thing is where two advocates walk up and down a designated strip of Parliament House and discuss important legal principles, tenets, cases, canons and serious stuff. However when Cal was doing it, his fellow advocate was declaring how fine Cal was looking in his new suit as far as I remember.
Mind you he did look quite fine (and still does!)