In the sharp low sun scaffolders swagger, their tools singing out a song for Leith. Ice on the water traps violet streaks of diesel and pigeons coorie doon on the south side of roofs. In a cafe, ceramic figurines of black minstrel singers stare out at the street their mouths wide in silence. It is 2016.  ‘Hiya doll, how ya doin’?’ ‘Three bacon rolls and two stovies.’ ‘Yous waitin’ for fried bread?’ I meet David who is looking for his brother at the bus stop. They are going to get their hair cut. He has spent the morning at a men’s group at the YMCA. He tells me they cook together- macaroni cheese, apple pie, all sorts. Says it gets him out of the house, and he enjoys the craic. Along Ferry Road I am thinking about the ‘dazzle’ ship moored at the docks whilst walking past a tanning salon that offers vajazzles. I chuckle, playing the sounds of the words around in my head. A couple kiss at the pedestrian crossing. The launderette is still here where I would soak in the warmth and whirrings, a place for conversation or introspection depending on the day, a space for thinking. The sun casts long shadows on the street.

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