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IN some ways I have a lot of admiration for cyclists in Edinburgh. For one thing it's not - whatever anyone says - a city built for a bicycle. It's hilly. Of all forms of litter, broken glass is my pet favourite and there's no shortage of that so I'm assuming punctures are an occupational hazard.
FEW people are perfect. Many have secrets, large or small, and the revelation of anything about which they feel ashamed will bring loss - loss of trust, respect, friendships or even a marriage, status, maybe a whole career.
NOW, I want to you sit up and concentrate. You are soon going to be asked to say "yes" or "no" to the alternative vote, otherwise known as AV.
MOST people have a tendency to think they are normal, to think other people share their views and outlook on life, even when they're in a minority. If they are passionate about something, they can't understand why others don't get it.
WHAT do actress Maureen Lipman, chef James Martin and me have in common? We don't tweet on Twitter. I'm not great on Facebook either. The other day I noticed someone had wished me happy birthday . . . a year ago. That's how often I visit FB.
I am one of those people politicians don't like very much. This is a perfectly acceptable state of affairs because I'm not very admiring of most of them either, but that's really beside the point.
GETTING older has never been clear cut. Now it's more confusing than ever. Forget the savings dwindling, the onset of arthritis and the frustration of seeing over- confident younger people repeat old mistakes. That's almost always been the case.
MAYBE it's just me, but I sense a definite lack of breathless anticipation and excitement over The Big Day.
THERE may be some few souls out there who still wonder why politicians are said to be evasive and out of touch. Probably even fewer after David Cameron appeared on BBC's The One Show last week.
THE hope of having someone to look after you in your old age is no reason to have kids; certainly not in modern Western culture, although there are still some places in the world where it's an expected - and accepted - obligation of family life.
COUNCIL planning processes and judgements are usually as mentally stimulating as a Mogadon. But the consequences of getting it wrong can be immense.
IN EDINBURGH city centre, one in 13 shops is now lying empty. This is generally held to be bad news. It's continuing evidence of the economy's downturn, an obvious display of retailers' lack of faith in the future.
ANY murder, like that in Chalmers Crescent last week, is a horrifying tragedy. I certainly wouldn't make light of it. But it's often when such acts of criminal violence take place that locals display the most intimate knowledge of local geography and borders.
IF you have ever endured a long-haul flight with a child behind you who insists on kicking the back of your seat, throwing tantrums or playing some ghastly electronic game with the sound effects at full volume, you will sympathise with a survey carried out by a business travel organisation.
THERE'S an oft-used phrase in our family, applied to anything that is, superficially, unwanted: "It'll do a turn."
I CONFESS I am still in the grip of the weed. It would be dishonest not to disclose that at the start and that's one reason why I found BBC Scotland's Smoking and the Bandits documentary last week shocking, revealing as it did that Scotland is the victim of an evil and growing trade in counterfeit fags and tobacco.
I HAVE created a monster. That's what happens when you buy a thoughtful Christmas present without thinking through all the possible consequences.
HISTORICALLY, big public spectacles were not only an impressive show of a country or ruler's wealth, but also a political display of strength or power and a means of uplifting the masses and diverting them from any discontent or uprising.