Talk of the Town: Who scored with the big game looming?

WITH staff across the UK hoping to escape work yesterday to watch the football, it is no surprise that some people's minds were on other things during a marathon planning committee meeting in the City Chambers.

The importance of the subject matter – the development of Leith Docks – was not lost on councillors and they debated the merits of the scheme for four hours.

And as the clock kicked nearer to England's 3pm kick-off, the council's director of city development, Dave Anderson, found himself increasingly exacerbated by Green councillor Steve Burgess' repetitive concerns about the transport contributions Forth Ports will make.

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"We could continue to argue for a long time," said Councillor Burgess. To which Mr Anderson replied: "Preferably in a public house."

This led some councillors to wonder whether Cllr Burgess had landed a date.

It's just not cricket

FORMER Saltires cricketer Paul Hoffman seized the chance to ruffle feathers in the programme for last weekend's international at The Grange with suggestions of how "to get under England's skin".

Amidst references to a "Pommie shower" whereby "you give yourself a squirt of underarm deodorant before making a swift exit from the changing room" Hoffman did not spare England's bowler James Anderson of whom he said: "Anderson has tried to develop his sledging (unsettling batsmen with repartee] but it doesn't suit him. It's a bit like Christopher Biggins trying to be Simon Cowell!"

Christine gets in a flap

SNP backbencher Christine Grahame and colleagues on the fifth floor of the Scottish Parliament's MSP block have been keeping a careful watch on a pair of gull chicks on a roof outside their window.

Ms Grahame, a veteran animal rights supporter, panicked earlier this week when the birds vanished.

But happily the chicks – named Cathy and Kenny after the cleaners who first spotted them – reappeared the next day. "They must have been hiding," said Ms Grahame as she resumed Springwatch at Holyrood.

Andy slices his shots

IT perhaps says something for the Scottish diet when our sporting heroes are immortalised not in song or even an epic poem, but in fast-food.

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With Wimbledon under way, PizzaExpress has announced it is jumping on the bandwagon – sorry, "paying tribute" – to Andy Murray with their renamed "Murray-Gherita" pizza.

No news yet on whether it will come in semis, quarters or 16 slices. Perhaps that will depend on the performance of the man himself.