Whenever I visit our capital, I often ask myself, ‘could I live here?

Besides the fact that I couldn’t afford to; as different as the two cities are, I usually conclude, had I been brought up in Auld Reeky, it’d be as dear to me as old Glasgow town is now.

Earwigging in on two folks sitting behind, me on a Lothian bus, I hear him being congratulated on being accepted to both Glasgow University and Edinburgh. She then asks, why he chose the latter. He answered in an awfully pucker English accent,

‘Obvs! Edinburgh is practically England!

I’m not sure how well this would go down in Pilton? I was sorely tempted to point out to him that Scotland’s devolved parliament was just a few stops away.

Myself and a bunch of braw women from Kelvin were there last week. Invited to Holyrood as the guests of Sandra White. We were to be given the tour and attend First Ministers questions.

I was keen to see if our lot had picked up any bad habits from London. Unlike Westminster’s debating chamber, where the raked seating faces each other in an adversarial way, the design of the Scottish parliament was intended to be more in the European style. A kind of hug. We all agreed the more European hugs the better, these days.

As we shuffled along the public gallery bench, Labour MSP Jackie Baillie bounced up out of her chair and came to say a cheery hello! Forty years ago, yes folks forty, I was employed as a Community Artist by ‘The Gorbals Fair Arts Society.’ I was putting on plays in John Mains Community Centre, whilst Jackie ran the Unemployed Workers' Centre around the corner.

I have met the First Minister before at benefit and political do’s where we’ve chatted, but as parliament convened, it felt quite special watching her at her work. I was reminded of the time Johnny Beattie and I were invited to St Margaret’s Hospice in Clydebank when the Queen paid a visit.

Having been brought up with the tenet that, the blood running through anyone of us, is of the same hue, I surprised myself then, by feeling quite rapt by the nearness of the face that has been on every coin or note that I’ve ever carried in my purse or pocket.

This was also the first time I had seen Ruth Davidson up close and by no means in the mood to be personable. From the first, (moment that is, not minister), the Tories, who I noted were mostly men, seemed to favour thumping on their desks in a very Tom Brown's school days kind of a way.

Don’t get me wrong, I think parliament should be confrontational. The opposition must hold the elected body to account but seeing Willie Rennie, burl round in his seat, stick his lanky legs into the aisle, with back turned to the business at hand, start up a banter with the nearest Tory, just made me want to rap his knuckles.

It was good to hear Patrick Harvie press the First Minster about the use of the dodgy term ‘Domestic extremists’ applied to anti- fracking protesters by Police Scotland. Even if all she felt she could say was, ‘Pat son, if I stared telling the polis what to do, imagine the pelters I’d get!’ That’s not a direct quote. Of course, anyone can go and watch the business of government anytime, just phone Visitors Service 0131 348 5200 or email visit@parliament.scot


It is perfectly permissible for a feline mammal to avail themselves of the opportunity to regard the countenance of the resident monarch and sovereign who is head of state.


Articulate and enunciate vocalized utterances directly from the faculty in one’s person, responsible for considered rumination.


Speak your mind.


Running for a bus, between Buchanan Street Underground station and Buchanan Bus Station has your heart-pounding as if you were jogging up Arthurs Seat.