0n the ripe side

In a recent letter to The List, David Anderson made reference to the ripe smell of sulphides which can occasionally be encountered at the top of Queen Street railway tunnel. This smell must be one of the most encountered, discussed and investigated smells in British History.

It arises from an old chemical works tip outwith British Rail property and as such is beyond British Rail‘s control. Ground water leaches through this tip and seeps through the railway embankment. carrying the smell with it. The smell is particularly noticeable after rainfall in warm weather.

Although to some. the smell of these gases is unpleasant, in many years of monitoring we have not detected harmful concentrations.

To many regular travellers the smell is a feature ofthe journey which enables them to play a game of ‘spot the Stranger‘, this being the person who either looks for a 'culprit‘ or assumes an ‘it was not me' look.

I trust Mr Anderson now appreciates that the smell is not part of a dastardly plot by ScotRail to isolate Glasgow from the outside world. but just another example of our super city titillating our senses. R. K. Hughes Regional Scientist British Rail Research Glasgow.

Right on?

What is it with those Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence characters who have become regular visitors to your letters page? From their name. you would expect them to be outrageous and witty but instead their plodding sanctimonious missives read like the paranoid ramblings ofjust another branch of the political correctness Stalinist movement.

So ‘in Silence Of The Lambs and Basic Instinct. the negative stereotype of non-heterosexual people is reiterated as a societal norm‘. is it? Yawno. The serial killer in Silence Of The Lambs is never presented as either gay or bisexual. and as for Basic Instinct, it‘s such a pile ofcrap anyway that analysing its politics is about as useful as calling



When you’ve finished with the physical jerks of DV8 Dance at


Wayne’s World sexist. Lighten up Sisters.

Talking of Wayne's World I‘d like to mention that I‘ve gone completely teetotal and won‘t mind a bit if you give the Jose Cuervo Especial to somebody else. Not!

Gary Nelson Brighton Street Edinburgh.

i" -


Sh yeeeaah.’ rriiiggghhhtt.’ He shoots.

he scores, its party time. Have a bottle

of Jose C uervo Special Gold Tequila. . Good work my friend. Excellent.

0n guard

We have recently learned just how

elected representatives, with the goings on at Coalisland in Northern Ireland. but just how answerable are they to elected bodies in Scotland? I do not refer to some great travesty of civil liberties. but to the latest addition to Edinburgh Castle‘s skyhne.

Looking up from Princes Street. it 3 appears as ifsomc mock-tudor j residence from the Home Counties 1 has been airlifted onto our castle. j The new addition is hardly carbuncular. but neither does it fit in. The windows stare vacantly down 1 on the shopping tourists, while the

j edgesalreadypresent. Do the army have to consult with the local planning authority before I putting up their new buildings. or are j they a law unto themselves? i This might seem to be a small : point. given the enormity ofcurrent

‘accountable‘ the Army are to locally z


the Tramway, caught the last baseball pitch of D-Night and done walking for the whales, why not round off a perfect time with your very own letter to The List. Who knows, you might even win a bottle oflose Cuervo Tequila.

events around the world but we should be on our guard for any situation where bureaucracy get away with bypassing elected representatives.

Mary Russell

Marchmont Crescent Edinburgh.

Statistical Inexactitude Has anyone else noticed the recent emergence ofperccntages in the weather forecast? Does anyone understand what they mean? ‘There is a 30% chance of rain tomorrow.‘ Do what? How are we supposed to interpret this bizarre statement?

Could it be: there will be rain tomorrow, but it will only fall on 30% ofthe country. Or will the raindrops be only 30% of some ‘normal’ size for raindrops? Perhaps it will only rain for 30% of the time.

Actually I think that it means that the weather forecasters do not have a clue as to what will happen. If they were completely unsure whether there would be rain tomorrow. then they should say: ‘there is a 50% chance ofrain‘. So to say that there is a 30% chance of rain is surely an

3 admission that they are less than ' completely unsure.

Anyway. why do these pseudo scientists have to inflict their

percentages on us when there is a

dictionary full of fine words which

. are far more satisfactory. not to say . descriptive. And what will it do to roofline fails to complement the hard

conversation! Do they not realise that their words are taken and

mulled over and reiterated in ' millions ofconversations daily? I

don‘t suppose that there is any chance that they might revert to their previous use oflanguage. rather than arithmetic to convey facts. After all.

that is what it is for. Jane Carter Gollhill Drive Giasgow

Red on green

Thank you for an excellent feature on the Fleadh in the last issue of The List. Unfortunately. I didn‘t get to read the letters page until I was already there. so was not forewarned about the food situation. What a rip-offthe prices were. A mizzling little polystyrene bowl ofgreasy chips for a quid. Barf. I almost did. It was downright deceitful of the promotors to announce on the tickets that you could not take your own food. when they knew you would be able to. whatever the reason.

I also noticed that the colour of the advert for the Fleadh had changed in that issue. from soft green tones to hard red and yellow. Was this because far from holding the event

on Glasgow Green. it was held on the I dirty red gravel next door. Great.

Eleven hours ot‘jigging. and there was no grass to sit down on. I know us Scottish lovers of folk have a reputation for stamina. but this was ridiculous. Not only was the gravel dirty. but combined stomping of thousands of feet. kicked up a storm ofcye-watering dust.

The promoters of the event should be thanked for their innovation. as on the whole it was a great day out. and they were not responsible for the weather. But I hope that they will take on board these criticisms. as I was not alone in finding myself foodiess in a bleak. post-industrial wasteland.

Fiona Dickson Bridge ofAllan.

Address your letters to:

The List Letters at:

- 14 High Street.

Edinburgh EH1 l'I'E. Of Old Athenaeum Theatre.

179 Buchanan Street. GlasgowGl ZJZ.


Fax them to: 031 557 8500.

We will not printyour full address or phone number. but you must include them. Deadline is the Friday before publication. Long letters may he cut. The best letter next issue will win a bottle ofJose (‘uervo Tequila.


Stadium stomper: Prince makes his first visit to Scotland Thank you for the music: Erasure make a week of it Suedehead: Heart-throb Brad Pitt plays Johnny Suede


Mary C oughlan, M. Butterfly, youth boxing in Gladiator, English Shakespeare Company double, Nada Theatre's vegetarian Ubu and new Irish writing . . . order your copy now!

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