John Gibson: Where is that green, green grass?

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Nice, even pretty, the artists’ impressions of how Princes Street would look if dopey, dithering, all-talk planners and chief execs got their way.

Fancy drawings, waffling words . . . all pie-in-the-sky shambles if you ask me (back into the Shandwick Place shambles, you can’t talk Princes Street without dragging the Shandwick muck-up into it) when all we feet-on-the-ground tax-paying punters crave right now are blades of grass in east Princes Street Gardens which up to the weekend resembled a ploughed field. Rolled-up instant grass piled up alongside while seasonal visitors wondered what the hell was going on.

Vociferous Cramond-based businessman Alan Bogue, my nomination for head honcho at the City Chambers, has another big idea. Talking sense as usual. If we must have pedestrians swilling coffee and wine, he’s bellowing, in newly-created outlets on Princes Street, let’s wheel in three or four of the trams-in-waiting at Gogar and set them up as glorified cafes. Coffee shops, bars or whatever you’d call them.

Bogue would be all for seating in a broader pavement. He’s seen it done on those lines in Barcelona and Lisbon and he’d support a “cafe culture”. In Glasgow, he says with a shaft of humour, if you see chairs outside a cafe probably it would indicate a warrant sale.

Afterwords . . .

. . . Felicity Kendal, a notable survivor on the perils of nicotine: “Everyone smoked in the Seventies and there are still a lot of us here. I’m just sorry for Richard Briers’ sake he was so ill.”