Talk of the Town: Mostafa must climb a funding mountain

PART-time mountaineer and city restaurant manager Mostafa Mahmoud may have to put some of his climbing plans on ice.

The Jordanian, famous for becoming one of the first Arabs to conquer Mount Everest, travelled the globe tackling some of the highest peaks thanks to the cash from King Abdullah.

Mostafa, who is back in Edinburgh working for the Hub, can no longer rely on widespread support from his country's leader though.

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Last year he climbed Mount Everest and at the summit waved a Free Tibet flag, having smuggled it past numerous security points and Sherpas.

This was much to the disgust of Chinese authorities, who have since banned him from their country and "made it difficult" for the Jordanian royal family to publicly support him.

He was also forced to pay a fine to Nepalese authorities.

Is Councillor Edie taking credit or stealing thunder?

ONE of the features of the current council term has been the apparent strength of the coalition between the city's Liberal Democrat and SNP political groups.

While they have obvious differences, such as their opinions on the tram scheme, they have maintained a fairly united front on most issues in the City Chambers.

However, it seems that health and housing leader and Lib Dem Paul Edie doesn't have quite such a high opinion of the role that the SNP councillors are playing in running the city – his latest blog post has the title 'homelessness slashed in Lib Dem Edinburgh'.

I'd do anything for SuBo

ONE'S a "hairy angel" and the other is a "bat out of hell" but they could be set to "meat" in the middle.

Meat Loaf is reportedly dreaming of a duet with Blackburn's own Susan Boyle, despite voicing fears that she could be heading for a burnout.

Mr Loaf, 62, reportedly said: "I'm legitimately worried about her. She seems so fragile."

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Meat Loaf's concern should help soften the blow of the mean criticism dished out by TV's "Mr Nasty" Nigel Lythgoe. He reportedly described her as "looking a little bit like Shrek's older sister with trained caterpillars for eyebrows".

Calling all breadheads

THE Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is in the running for the title of the UK's favourite picnic spot.

The city attraction is used by thousands of people every year as the site for an outdoor feast, and is currently competing against nine other UK picnic venues for the title via an online ballot at

The awards are being run by baker Warburtons, who presumably make a lot of dough from the British picnic industry.