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Ten years ago today, I was…

Ten years ago today, I was…

stumbling across Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations with my mates including Sheff01, watching a couple of Turkish guys begging every woman around them for a kiss, and not getting any. Then again, I wasn’t getting any kisses either.

The best moment though, was coming up to the police barriers – due to sheer numbers, you had to have a special ticket to be allowed into the street celebrations – and watching one woman screaming “I’m pregnant! Let me through!”. So eventually the barriers were raised, and a lady with a large stomach was let through. Once she was past the policemen and the barriers, she lifted her shirt to reveal a six-pack of beers – she pulled one out, opened it, and went on her merry way.

At the stroke of midnight, the fireworks were unleashed over Edinburgh Castle – followed by the fine ash/gunpoweder glittering all our faces. Which beats the year after, when I had to duck and cover from hundreds of bottles thrown over Westminster Bridge on December 31, 2000.

Never mind all that, what you really want to know is what Doctor Who and sci-fi writers (including Russell T Davies, Steven Moffatt were doing on Millennium Eve

"Feels like I'm wearing nothing at all!"

"Feels like I'm wearing nothing at all!"

At the weekend, I was honoured (and somewhat surprised) to be an usher at my schoolmate‘s humanistic wedding in Edinburgh. Which necessitated the hiring and wearing of a kilt. Specifically, one with a “grey thistle doo” tartan, which has become my current gibberish phrase of the week.

Once the patient lady in the hireshop had told me how it all fits and hangs together, it made sense. The waistcoat (thankfully) managed to corset me into a straight position and hide the worst of 33 years of eating.

The kilt did feel rather weird, in the sense that it felt like I was wearing nothing at all below the waist. But I’m reliable told I looked good in it, and it also felt quite comfortable – especially standing on a warm summers’ day. I tend to overheat and sweat at weddings, and previous attempts to wear cream linen suits led to me being described as a colonial gentleman – not the best phrase attached to my appearance.

Top tip – if you’re going to wear pants and not be a true Scotsman, wear some tight ones. I kept having to be rather undignified and pull up my pants at every available opportunity. But then if you don’t wear pants, how on earth do you sit down without creating skid marks on the chairs you sit on ?!

The wedding went off without a hitch despite my being an usher, and the bride looked absolutely gorgeous with a smile that could probably be seen on the moon. Despite my worries about what being an usher involved, all I had to do was tell people where to sit, and chase after them for photographs. I even got a lovely vase for my troubles. And it was good to catch up with my schoolfriends and their families. I think I’ve even introduced some of them to Facebook

Other random things about Edinburgh:

  • Good gosh, when it rains, it pours. I got absolutely soaked at the bus stop. But when the sun shines, it’s glorious.
  • I thought the Scottish Parliament (which sat opposite the wedding venue) was literally a bunch of flats. Shame, really. At least the Senedd looks like an imposing government building that’s been designed.
  • Scottish people are incredibly friendly. Just the right side of friendly. Even when inviting you into a *crowded* pub full of people singing Queen songs.
  • The Scottish accent does wonderful things. Even an argument between a chav couple somehow becomes melodic and tuneful.
  • Haggis. Dear sweet gorgeous scrumptious haggis.
  • Edinburgh is a fabulous city. Love it. Maybe even more than London.
  • No matter how much I try to drink, I can’t seem to get drunk any more. No idea if this is a good or a bad thing.
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