take Polaroids during one of the numbers, I had a running battle with the props department over getting enough film to rehearse with; next time I’ll know where to send them! A few doors down, the Aha Ha Ha joke shop stocks the exact same brand of ‘Fart Powder’ which I was fined a week’s pocket money for buying when I was a lad. Our last stop on Victoria Street is Analogue Books, where a range of stylish books on fonts and typefaces jostle with arty printed T-shirts, DIY publications and Moomins anthologies. 3PM. BRASS MONKEY We head down Cowgate (George IV Bridge again highlighting Edinburgh’s striking three- dimensionality) and duck into Brass Monkey to escape the rain. It turned out to be a good choice – not only do they stock the local Caledonian Brewery’s unrivalled 80/- ale, but Mel Brook’s Western spoof Blazing Saddles was just starting: cult and classic movies are screened every day at around 3pm in their sofa- filled back room. Any pub where kicking off your shoes is positively encouraged is in my good books.
5PM. THE ROSELEAF There was time for one more stop, so we hop on a bus down to Leith (braving the impressively garish tartan seats) for a pint at The Roseleaf. Despite the comforting décor (teacup candle-holders, menus inside vintage wine magazines, and old ladies’ hats lining the walls like mounted hunting trophies), I didn’t quite feel up to one of the signature ‘pot-tails’ – a cocktail served in a dainty china teapot – so instead chose one of
IJ Mellis their newly-arrived Sam Smith’s beers, as justifiably recommended by the bar staff.
Heading home on the train, I mull over the differences between the two cities: Glasgow with its direct and edgy energy, but also a respect and love for culture flowing through its veins; Edinburgh catching your eye with its impressive and timeless exterior, but also eventually revealing its hidden and sometimes a it how fortunate the Scots are to have two of the world’s great cities, with their contrasting and complementary murky depths. As Welshman abroad,
characters, less than an hour apart.
WHAT THEY SAY: EDINBURGH
‘But Edinburgh is also Auld Reekie, an altogether earthier place that flicks an impudent finger at the pretensions of the literati.’ Lonely Planet, from www.lonelyplanet.com
'Watch out for these two commonly mis-pronounced streets as well: Cockburn (coe- burn) and Buccleuch (buh-clue) are nearly always gotten wrong, to the amusement of the locals.’ Wikitravel
‘Venerable, dramatic Edinburgh, the showcase capital of Scotland, is a historic, cosmopolitan and cultured city . . . The best way to find out what’s on is to pick up a copy of The List, a fortnightly magazine covering both Edinburgh and Glasgow (£2.20).’ Rough Guide to Scotland, 2008 edition. Rob Humphreys and Donald Reid.
‘Edinburgh’s coastline runs from Queensferry in the west beyond Portobello in the east, but when you mention the words “Edinburgh” and “coast” most people think Leith . . . Leith also runs a ten-day festival each June, on the basis that anything Edinburgh can do, so can we.’ Time Out: Scotland, 2010 edition. Keith Davidson.
• Ingleby Gallery 15 Calton Road, 556 4441, www.inglebygallery.com
• Tapa 97 Hanover Street, 623 1934, www.tapaedinburgh.co.uk
• IJ Mellis 30A Victoria Street, 226 6215, www.mellischeese.co.uk
• Red Door Gallery 42 Victoria Street, 477 3255, www.edinburghart.com
• Aha Ha Ha 99 West Bow, 220 5252, www.novelty.org
• Analogue Books 102 West Bow, 200 0601, www.analoguebooks.co.uk
• Brass Monkey 14 Drummond Street, 556 1961
• The Roseleaf 23–24 Sandport Place, 476 5268, www.roseleaf.co.uk
18 Nov–2 Dec 2010 THE LIST 15