Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tramspotting

In Edinburgh, on the day before the first day of the Edinburgh festival, as immortalised in Trainspotting; I've never seen so many people on the streets, but that may be because when I lived here, I studiously avoided coming in to the city centre for the reasons outlined here (call me small-minded and parochial).

Irvine himself I was never that sure about, ken - visceral and shocking at first, and perverse fun to read aloud on a beach in Italy; but something of a one trick pony especially in later novels. He reviews others for the Guardian now.

Jenny Turner once wrote a devastating critique of Ecstasy here which has yet to be bettered.

I'd forgotten they're building tramlines (Darling Alistair's pet project, much to the scorn of Private Eye) and there seem to be roadblocks everywhere. I walked past the old Miss Selfridge just to see the modern neon clothes (same as the old clothes) and always pause for Robert Louis Stevenson's favourite view: down the straight streets to the Forth.

6 comments:

Mummy said...

I never understood the fuss about Irvine Welsh, and found the trainspotting bandwagon damn odd in (and this is a bit of a leap here) the same way as the national outpouring of grief over Diana. I just didn't get what all the fuss was about. I think the whole thing was made worse because I was a student and all my student friends thought he was the best thing ever, SO in touch with our generation. So, here was a bunch of middle class students thinking Welsh understood them. Hmmm.

I miss Edinburgh, however, I love the city. I am afraid I was one of those awful people who descended each year to the festival - one year I produced one show and stage managed two. I loved it, the people, the place, and the gorgeous flat we had on London road which I shared with 5 of the funniest people I have met.

LottieP said...

It's a very Scottish trait to be highly critical of Scots who have been successful (Billy Connolly always got a verbal kicking in the Scottish press); I may be doing the same thing.

I miss Edinburgh too, but I can't imagine what life would be like if I (still) lived here. I think it's a place you need to leave to appreciate.

LottieP said...

And it might sound trite but the air is unbelievably fresh.

Mummy said...

Does this theory explain Gordon Brown's dreadful poll ratings? I always thought he was a pretty sound guy, better than Blair by a mile.

LottieP said...

His inexplicable fondness for PFI projects aside, I've always liked Gordon Brown: he's someone of substance, unlike the perpetually grinning gameshow host Tony Blair; the Iraq War is clearly the single most despicable thing about that fake Scot, but what says as much about him is that he coined the nauseating catchphrase "the People's Princess"...

Gordon always seemed to me like a person of substance, not confortable with easy catchphrases and populism. Hence his struggle to win over the popular consensus... It's a consensus, and it's popular, so you are a seditious misfit if you don't agree with it.

DLK said...

hmm, I was in Edinburgh at the end of July too. In fact I grew up there. You're Scottish too?
Wow, what a beautiful and interesting blog you have. I look forward to reading more.

Diana