City contrasts

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I have spent some time working abroad and returned this week to Edinburgh, which was bathed in beautiful winter sunshine.

Travelling in from East Lothian by train, my father engaged me in his latest game of “guess the escalators” before arriving at Waverley. The idea is to place bets on how many escalators will be out of order on the climb from the train to Princes Street.

“All” has odds of 10:1 while “just the one” is only 2:1. In optimistic mood I opted for “none”. I should have known I was being set up, apparently chances of this are extremely low.

It must have been tram drivers’ practice day, for the empty cars were gliding along with the occasional “ting” that will once again become the sound of the city centre.

My heart was less lifted by the sight of the seven people I counted begging on my brief sortie down Princes Street, up the Mound and back to St Andrew Square.

I am aware that seeing a place with “new eyes” after a time away tends to accentuate both the highs and the lows.

Ellice Robertson

Putrajaya

Malaysia