The Muirhouse-raised writer upped sticks to Florida several years ago, but he told The Guardian the beach at Silverknowes makes him feel most “nostalgic”.
“I’m very fortunate to reside in Miami Beach,” said the 62-year-old Trainspotting author. “I’m five minutes’ walk from that golden-sanded paradise of the same name, habitually strolling down the street right on to the front of that shimmering blue Atlantic Ocean.
“I love living here, and I love beaches in general. But my favourite shoreline remains the one that helped fashion the milk-bottle skin and beer gut that marks me as the perennial outcast in such rarefied south Floridian surroundings.
“Yes, forgive the nostalgic indulgence, but I’m going back to the council scheme of Muirhouse, and our much loved local beach at Silverknowes.
“OK, I’ll permit that on first glance this ‘beach’ is an ugly, gale-battered scrabble of rocks that hugs the Forth Estuary on its sludgy journey out to the cold, unforgiving North Sea.
“To a kid, Silverknowes beach was simply an unbridled treat. This was enhanced exponentially if you had money for an ice-cream cone from the solitary retail outlet along the winding expanse of the esplanade.
“The Seashell cafe was modelled on the architecture of the nearby scheme, with a nod to the oncoming pillboxes that dotted Cramond Island, designed to deter Nazi U-boats, and which came of age in the post-pill era as impromptu bordellos.”