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   It’s where Miss Brodie enjoyed her prime

and beauty rubs shoulders with tenement grime, where Stevenson roamed the Georgian squares and Scott has that monument with all those stairs, where Connery delivered the milk each day before a licence to kill brought better pay, where each night the castle gets lit up like the Murrayfield crowd at the Calcutta Cup, where you can take a rest on Arthur’s seat when you tire of the throng on Prince’s Street, where the east wind blows across the Braids up the legs of kilties on parades, where the Botanical Gardens are a rival to Kew and the des. res. for fauna is Corstorphine Zoo, where the world comes visiting once a year for cultural treats from slapstick to Lear, where Japanese tourists hunting in packs sample the tartan and whisky macs, where the Royal Mile leads down to a palace almost as grand as that viewed by Alice, where the locals, full of civic pride, scoff at Big Brother up the Clyde. There are few more magical places to be even for Sassenachs just like me.

John C Bird