A quick visit to Ould Reekie to have a small 'procedure' on my face. Mostly painless in the plush surroundings of the very Private Murrayfield Hospital. I was blessed with a very silent taxi driver who only grunted-a slight change of note when acknowledging his retention of most of the change from a Tenner and he was moved enough to growl me a wish about the goodness of the day awaiting me despite dropping me at hospital main entrance.
Coming back was different. The driver was two tads on the wrong side of garrulous. He was salivating over the prospect of easy pickings at the forthcoming festival. 'No Taxi driver takes his holidays then' Last year was great; it rained all the time and his cab was never empty. He was especially relishing the arrival of 'official' tourists from China who were leaving London early in droves and heading for the safety of Embra. Unfortunately he was not into monolgues-his chatter required a response which was a problem with Huttonian bleeding profusely through the stitches (faces bleed worse than anywhere else as any razor addict will tell you and clutching a series of swabs to the afflicted cheek-speech seemed to increase the volume of gore) He totally ignored this phenomenon despite monitoring my every twitch via his mirror and my gratuity was proportionate to completing this ordeal in a reasonably short time and I can now understand where the expression Jockular comes from: Black Cab No 87 : avoid.
I upgraded myself to First Class to avoid terrifying the 'standard ticket holders' but did not escape stares amongst the expense accounted suits. Looks were more discrete than in cattle class and most onlookers took refuge in Cell phone games rather than looking too closely at my bloodied visage. There may have been a slight element of caution-I probably look like someone who has just lost a fight in a pub and is looking for a rematch -indeed the phrase 'Who are you looking at, Jimmy' was not too far from my medically numbed lips. But remained unuttered as my neighbours eyes glanced nervously towards the alarm switch. Sighs of relief all round as I disembarked at Berwick and all they now had to worry about was London Transport at journeys end.