’ Promising the . taxi-driver an extra bawbee if : he got me there on time ' promoted a virtuoso administration ofhorse-power. As my head made contact with the roof for the third time. I was on the point ofwithdrawing the pledged bribe — when I realised that there was something curiously pleasurable about the sensation.
Not the head-bumping. perhaps But the split-second weightlessness at the crest ofevery jolt and tipsileery jostle provoked a Proustian flood of reminiscence
There was the trawler-trip round Arran. for instance. when the skipper reluctantly set sail into the teeth of a West Coast purler. and the little boat bucked a zigzag passage through saw-toothed seas for a dozen plucky miles. Lashed to rubber tyres at the bowend of this marine bronco. we peered over into foamy green canyons of fathornless ocean with the same sense that gravity was momentarily inoperative.
Poised at the top of a natural thrill-ride we hung. again and again. before clapping the rise ofgalloping water with an eye-starting smack. careering on the thundering upward avalanche which slicked the tongue to the back of the throat for seconds on end -- then — CRASH! — from the weightless height of the watery cliff once more.
In all our youthful. innocent fearlessness. unburdened by the mature imagination which prompted the grownups to cower greenly in the stern. chorussing ‘Eternal Father strong to save‘. it was utterly. sheerly exhilarating.
And then the engine packed in
Without power. we became dead weight. We wallowed for sickly hours in the sump of the sea. waiting to be rescued. The adventure assumed a paler. glummer aspect.
But long after the stomach had jettisoned the picnic ballast ofthe morning. it retained the liberating. longed-for memory of rise and fall Frightened? Not for a moment. This bronco might be tamed to death. but we excitement-junkies couldn‘t wait to find another unbroken steed. Like parasites looking for a new and healthy host.
And so far. I haven‘t joined the Cassandra chorus in the rear. The appetite for sensation remains undiminished. Unabashed by propriety. I clamber aboard the visiting fairground whirlers and
Shuddered senseless, Sheena McDonald considers the sensuous and the sensual.
churners and blenders. l queue for ﬂumes like something from another planet. head and shoulders and stomach above the smaller. younger fry for whom these alimentary tracts were intended. I insist on taking the low road to England. via Langholm. with its satisfactory switchback of Nessie curves and hollows.
As you say. it is indeed all sexual. ln Xhang Yimou‘s new film REI) SORGHUM. the bride is transported across the miles to her new husband aboard a swaying silken litter. According to tradition. the narrator tells us. (we are in 1930s rural China) the bride must be jolted as she is carried — and the audience smiles to see the four half-naked bearers fulfilling tradition‘s demands with extravagant relish. as the litter bounces between its supple carrying poles. We do not need to be told the purpose of the tradition.
A similar sensation maybe enjoyed in Edinburgh's Old Town. thanks to the enterprise and brawn of a latterday sedan-chair company. The silence of the passage. save for the creak of the leather holsters and the hard breathing ofthe plucky labourers fore and aft ofthe little rocking carriage. coupled with the unique tittuping sway ofthis antique transport. is —- surely —- a king of eroticism.
Which kind'.’ Not. I would suggest. the lascivious. insatiable kind which demands committed and urgent rutting ofa procreative nature at the earliest opportunity. More the kind. I proffer. which stimulates the mind as much as the body. In these post—post-Sixties days of voyeur and frotteur. an entire dimension of the erotic seems to be forgotten. dropped from communal memory — the dimension that informs and broadens the experience of the senses without shackling the body with the wallowing dead weight of raw lust.
Was it so long ago that Edinburgh was the heart ofenlightened civilisation. its streets and taverns and assembly-halls awash with great thinkers and writers and poets?
And how did they travel'.’ All ashoogle. in carriages and coaches and sedan-chairs — the hustling. jumping taxis oftheir day.
Well. it‘s a theory. You need to know where exactly my taxi was hurrying to. and what happened when I got there to be convinced? Oh. I don‘t think so. What you need is a ride in a sedan-chair. For starters . . . And then I may look forward to reviewing you ensuing anthology — OK“? Meanwhile — home. James. ant don‘t spare the biceps!
ASUBTLE , jj‘j‘ POINTER
\ No it's not the latest form ofacupuncture. But it could easily be. because it's just the latest service available to you through our relaunched Classified page.
In fact the illustration relates to a certain aurice Goldstein who‘s merely trying to point out that from as little as £227 he‘ll tailor-make you a suit. Will that be button or Zip. Sir?
But what‘s this. The List doing advertorial. Well only when we‘re trying to plug ourselves. We just want you to take a stroll to page 73 to join with the ever-growing number of people finding a job. a lover or a holiday through The List ( ‘lassificds .
When we asked in our readership survey what you liked and wanted more ofin the magazine. so many of you said the Classified section that we decided to expand it. giving it new sections and features.
()ver 45.000 read The List. so that should make our classifieds worth a second glance. As Mr (ioldstein might say. almost anything can turn up in The l ist Classifieds.
Baron Munchausen. In
Roachlord. The man and his
possibly the most eponymous band are back audacious at his many with their own unique blend escapes. the Baron is here of funk rock. Ieatherjacltets depicted fleeing the and somewhat unsuccessful besieged city by hitching 3 Frank Bruno
lilt on what seems to be a impersonations.
monstrous puliball See Rock.
mushroom. but is actually a
balloon made out olsillt
bloomers. See Film.
Your guide to the next fourteen days starts here . . .
2 The List 24 March—6 April 1989