Leith Police


An unseasonal warm wind bustles shoppers along the street. Tenement windows are pushed open. A woman leans out, arms folded, watching whats going on, more a picture of summer than December. I meet a pacifist anarchist Polish man in a charity shop. He says he was depressed in Poland and moved to Scotland because he likes the multiculturalism here. He is attempting to display a box of crockery but doubts his aesthetic skills. Seagulls glide the currents of air, Christmas lights reflect in the puddles at the kerb. A woman shows me the artificial tree she has bought and the spray snow for her living room. Says it will cheer her up seeing as she lives on her own, her son stays with her mum and dad. ‘Nice to have met you, I’m off to the dentist. Too many sweeties’, she laughs. A waitress pulls down the shutter on the cafe. Skinny young men stand drinking, ‘Aye, weel, nah, see, if you buys some, aye smoke it wi’ folk you ken’. Twin boys in matching anoraks and bobble hats run, helterskelter, laughing, shouting, birling through the scheme. It is getting dark. A man hefts a Christmas tree over his shoulder and turning says ‘See you efter pal’. I walk to where the road ends.

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