Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the centre of Edinburgh over the past few years will have noticed the shambolic state of the roads, which appear to be getting closed off and dug up in a way reminiscent of a mole popping up sporadically in a field.
However, I would like to think that these same people may have also taken time to notice the contrast in the elegant architecture of the New Town with the maze-like closeness of the Old Town; the beautiful green spaces of the Botanical and Princes Street gardens in the heart of the city; the breath-taking views of Arthur’s Seat and the Firth of Forth from North Bridge (indeed Arthur’s Seat itself).
And there are the many museums and art galleries the city has to offer. (Although you should take care whilst gazing upwards so as not to disappear into a works-related trench.)
My point here is that if your child made the decision to disown all worldly possessions and join a silent commune in New Guinea in an attempt to grow as a person, you wouldn’t love them any less.
Likewise, Edinburgh City Council’s decision to implement a tram system along a section of the most effective bus route may have been a silly one, and it may have cost absurd sums of public money and temporarily ruined the infrastructure, but it was made in the faith that afterwards – when every Edinburgh resident knows at least 12 ways to make every journey, accounting for pop-up road closures – the city would be a nicer, greener, less congested place.
Yes it may have taken the duration of my best years to get anywhere near completion, but in a world where you can buy anything in existence at any time of day and expect receipt within the week, maybe it will do us good to learn some patience.
To paraphrase Douglas Coupland in Shampoo Planet: our achievements make us interesting, but our flaws make us loveable. It’s a bit of a mess, just now, but it’s our mess.
Alice Turnbull, Edinburgh
Pharmacy siege and its lesson
The siege on the Royal Mile exemplifies just how vulnerable chemists are and as society becomes increasingly dependent on medicines and drugs this vulnerability may continue to grow.
Drugs may or may not have been the reason for the siege but in view of the wide range of medicines and drugs that chemists provide perhaps its time for a review of the way they are administered, especially those used by addicts.
Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh
Oh flower of Scotland ... yes, the dandelion
VISITORS flying to Edinburgh Airport nowadays may well be forgiven for believing that the humble dandelion is the national flower of Scotland, given the very abundant and almost exclusive crop of this weed in display between the airport and the centre of the city.
This surely must result in an unintended and shabby first impression of Scotland’s capital city which could easily be remedied.
Anthony Busuttil, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh
How to become very unpopular in Capital
I WRITE regarding your leader on how to be unpopular (May 10). I have advocated for years that if Hearts and Hibs wanted to compete for the league they should amalgamate. If not they will always be second best to the Old Firm.
I know because of tribalism it will never happen, but they should be ground-sharing.
I am not for doubling the council tax but it should be increased to maintain services. After all the years of disruption renewing the utilities at the cost of millions of pounds on Leith Walk, the tram line should be extended to Ocean Terminal. More than £4 billion of taxpayers’ money is being spent on road widening schemes in the Highlands and Grampian region, not to mention the new Forth crossing and nobody complains about that.
George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh
Clegg should leg it for EU and Brussels
NICK Clegg has made it crystal clear that there will be an EU referendum over his dead body.
I have a suggestion for Mr Clegg. As he loves the EU so much, why doesn’t he resign as Deputy Prime Minister and use whatever mode of transport he feels is necessary to get himself to Brussels?
That would leave us in peace to suffer him no more. When he does this, he could pay for his own travel instead of billing it to the taxpayer.
Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian
What happened to all the hospital money?
I WOULD like to know what became of the money in the sales of the Edinburgh hospitals – City, PMR, Leith, Eastern, Deaconess and Longmore, not forgetting Bruntsfield.
Surely the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary could have been built using money from the above. Maybe someone from the NHS could answer.
Mary Dickson, Sighthill Gardens, Edinburgh