Auld Reekie

Whats real? Is anything real? I came to live in Edinburgh because I admire David Hume. In a time of fairly fanatical religiosity, he stood firmly agnostic. I also knew of Rebus the fictional detective; and of course ACD lived and studied here, at around the same time as RLS; hence the statue of Sherlock near Picardy Place and the blue plaque in Inverleith Row. They were quick to leave the weather well behind  though!

David in his toga effect casually slouches in his great chair, beside the Royal Mile on the way up to Edinburgh Castle, unknown and delicately splashed with bird droppings, more ignored than a street begger. A vaguely Scottish name to passers by: Yet in years to come his stock will  rise while John Rebus’ will decline and fall. One is really real in the sense people recognise the name and the other is forgotten having never impinged on their daily thoughts nor lifestyle. They can sniff out the haunts of Johnny boyo, in Leith and St Leonards, the bars, Portobello. But which one is real, the one whose supposed to live in Marchmont or the one who really lived at St Andrew’s Square?

Whats real? Is it thinking about it or knowing about it- or what exactly. Answers on postcards only please…


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