44 Scotland Street 03 Love Over Scotland · Read more · 44 Scotland Street 02 Espresso Tales The World According to Bertie: A 44 Scotland Street Novel. This book has been optimized for viewing at a monitor setting of x pixels. praise for the 44 scotland street. Read 44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street, #1) Ebook PDF Free Download. The story revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a.
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44 SCOTLAND STREET - Book 1 The residents and neighbors of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical. 44 SCOTLAND STREET: Written and dramatised by Alexander McCall SmithEdinburgh's Georgian New Town is the setting for the quirky tales. [PDF] Download A Time of Love and Tartan (44 Scotland Street) Ebook | READ ONLINE Download at.
They had called and called, but to no avail, and as dusk descended they had gone home, feeling every bit as bad as mountaineers leaving behind an injured fellow climber. They had returned the next day, but there had been no sign of the terrier, and it was presumed lost.
The dog had not been replaced. I felt bereft, quite bereft. He had been told by the police that there was a possibility that Cyril would be destroyed if it were established that he was responsible for the rash of bitings that had been reported in the area.
How did this all start? A child was bitten by a dog on the way to school about ten days ago — nothing serious, just a nip, but enough to break the skin. The child gave a rather vague account of what happened, apparently. But he did say that the dog came bounding out of a lower basement in Dundonald Street, gave him a nip on the ankles, and then ran off into the Drummond Square Gardens.
She glanced at the kitchen surfaces around her and sniffed. It could do with a good scrub, she thought, but this was not the time. A few days later, a man reported that he had been getting out of his car in Northumberland Street and he was given quite a nip on his ankle by a dog that then ran away in the direction of Nelson Street.
The dog ripped the leg of his suit, apparently, and he reported the matter to the police so that he could claim insurance.
We live in a culture of complaint because everyone is always looking for things to complain about. I speak as an anthropologist, of course — just an observation. One can complain about things without looking for compensation. In what we fondly call the old days, if one was nipped by a dog then one accepted that this was the sort of thing that happened from time to time.
Cyril would never do anything like that. This was simply not true. Domenica had heard about the incident, and although she was pleased that on that occasion Cyril had been so discerning in his choice of victim, he could hardly claim to have an unblemished record. It was, she thought, entirely possible that Cyril was not innocent, but she did not think it politic to raise that possibility now.
He picked out Cyril. There was nothing complicated about swings, as far as he could make out; they went backwards and forwards — that was all they did.
And what attitudes would Bertie be exposed to in the playground? All that aggressive play that goes on. Have you noticed how the boys play with the boys and the girls play with the girls? Have you seen it? Now that Irene mentioned it, it certainly seemed to be true. Irene was right.
But, he thought, surely this was natural. It was boys only.
But the girls had their own gang. I think everybody was happy enough with the arrangement. My gang was called. Things have moved on, you know. The problem is that certain men have failed to move on. I think that boys can be encouraged to play inclusively, but with other boys, if you see what I. Irene was staring at him again.
She had met several of the boys in his class, and she had to confess that she was not impressed. Tofu, for instance, was a thoroughly unpleasant little boy, as far as she could make out.
Then there was Hiawatha whom Irene had come across at several school functions. There was something off about that boy, Irene thought. Merlin was decidedly unusual, even by the standards of Stockbridge, where he lived. If Bertie were to spend too much time with Merlin, then there would be a danger that he would start thinking in an irrational way, and that would be disastrous. No, Merlin was to be discouraged. That left that very unpleasant boy whom she had seen hanging about the school gates waiting for his father to collect him.
What was his name? That was it. Irene had heard from Bertie that Larch liked arm wrestling and that nobody dared win because he was known to hit anybody who beat him at anything. Grown-ups simply did not understand how children lied. Bertie did not lie — he told the truth — but all the others lied. Tofu lied all the time, about just about everything. Merlin made up stories about some of the things he had at home — a crystal that was capable of killing cats if you pointed it at their eyes; that was one of the lies he had told Bertie.
Then, when it came to Hiawatha, he was probably lying too, if only they could make out what he was saying. There were just so many lies. I hate her. When he told the truth, as he had just done, he was accused of lying. But if he lied, and said that he liked Olive, his mother would nod her approval. The world, he thought, was a very confusing place. But that was daydreaming, and Bertie knew that he had another twelve years of his mother before he could get away.
Twelve years! Twelve achingly slow years — a whole lifetime, it seemed to Bertie. Yes, life was difficult, and it was becoming all the more difficult now that Irene had had her new baby. Bertie had suggested A Whole New Vista of Dread for Bertie that they could perhaps have it adopted, but this suggestion had not been taken seriously. I thought that maybe we could share our baby with somebody else.
You always said it was good to share. When Irene had first announced her pregnancy to Bertie, he had been pleased at the thought of having a brother or sister. Bertie did not dislike his mother; he merely wished that she would leave him alone and not make him do all the things that he was forced to do.
If she was busy looking after a baby, then perhaps she would not have the time to take him to psychotherapy, or to yoga. Perhaps the baby would need psychotherapy and could go to Dr Fairbairn instead of Bertie.
It was an entertaining thought; Bertie imagined the baby lying in his pram while Dr Fairbairn leaned over him and asked him questions. It would not matter at all if the baby could say nothing in reply; Bertie doubted very much if Dr Fairbairn paid any attention to anything said to him by anybody.
Yoga would be more difficult, at least until the baby was a few months old. Perhaps they could try putting the baby into yoga positions by propping it up with cushions; he could suggest this to his mother and see what she thought.
The other objective was that the relationship which grew up between the two boys would be one in which there was a full measure of reciprocity. The first of these objectives — that Bertie should be brought up to understand what it was to look after a baby — meant that right from the beginning he would have to shoulder many of the tasks which went with having a baby.
Bertie would be fully instructed in the whole business of feeding the baby, and had already been shown how to operate a breast pump so that he could help his mother to express milk for the baby should breast feeding become uncomfortable, which Irene thought likely.
That will be such fun. It will be just like milking a cow. I can do all of that, Mummy. He looked at his mother, and then looked away. He hated it when his mother talked about such things, and now a whole new vista of dread opened up before him. The thought was just too terrible. When you were a baby, Bertie, I remember. He had run out of the kitchen and into his room; his room, which had been painted pink by his mother, then white by his father, and then pink again by his mother.
There was no real reason for her to do this, as it was only very rarely that a customer wandered in before ten, or sometimes even later. But for Big Lou, the habit of starting early, ingrained in her from her childhood in Arbroath, resisted any change. What then? Would folk lie in their beds until ten? Would they? Matthew smiled tolerantly. Two hours a day, something like that? You should be encouraging me, not making me feel guilty.
She liked Matthew, and he liked her, and these exchanges were good-natured, even if Big Lou meant every word of her criticism. Domenica, for example. We had a dog in Arbroath that worried sheep and a farmer shot it. No questions. He was thinking of friendship: Big Lou herself was hardly one to imply friendlessness on the part of Angus; Matthew had not heard her mention any friends, and he had always suspected that her life outside the coffee bar was a solitary one, immured, as she was, in her flat with all those books.
There was never any dirt on the bar, but that did not prevent her polishing it assiduously, staring into the reflective surface in the hope of finding a speck of something that she could rub away at. Plenty of friends. And some in Glasgow and Dundee. Everywhere, in fact. Probably more than you have, Matthew, come to think of it. We never see them in here, do we? Who are they? I met her on the corner of Eyre Crescent, on the way down to Canonmills. She was standing there when I walked past.
She was just standing there? And you went up to her and said. I stopped to have a word with her. What exactly was she doing in the street? She was sitting on her steamroller with a cigarette in her mouth and she bent down and asked me if I had a light.
Two complete strangers? Unlike you, Matthew, she came from somewhere. She was right, though, he thought. My trouble is that I come from nowhere.
Money, education — these give you freedom, but they can take you away from your roots, your place. How did Mags end up doing that? He looked back at her, unrepentant. Can men still tell us what we can and cannot do? He was about to mention airline pilots, but then he remembered that on the last two flights that he had taken, a female voice had issued from the cockpit to welcome passengers.
And nobody, it seemed, had been in the slightest bit surprised, except, perhaps, Matthew himself. But then the woman beside him, possibly noticing his reaction, had leaned over and whispered to him: Women are much more cautious. But then he remembered having seen a fire engine race past him the other day in Moray Place, and when he had looked at the crew he had seen not the usual male mesomorphs but a woman, clad in black firefighting gear, combing her hair.
What jobs do women not do these days? On the way to the fire. Putting on lipstick. For a few moments she said nothing, then: A girl has to look her best. But she would not have been putting on lipstick. She looked at him reproachfully. They liked each other, and she did not wish to make him uncomfortable. So she moved back to Mags. The answer, I think, is that she suffers from claustrophobia. She told me about it. So she needed work that took her outside all the time. No door. He paused.
A little bit. Say what you think. But always think first. One did not find that sort of behaviour in art galleries, he reflected. Imagine if one did! A woman might go into a gallery and the art dealer would wolfwhistle. No, it would not happen. Anyway, Mags worked on the crew for eight years and everyone treated her like one of the boys.
They just accepted her and took no special notice of her. Then, one day, she ran her steamroller over a piece of jewellery that somebody had dropped in the street. One of the men found it flattened and held it up for everybody to laugh at. But Mags cried instead. She thought that it might have been of great sentimental value to somebody, and there it was completely destroyed. She cried. Now he started to look at her. A day or two later, he asked her out. He lifted his coffee to his lips and looked down into the detritus of the cup, the scraps of milkfoam.
In the interstices of the big things of this world, he thought, were the hidden, small things, the small moments of happiness and fulfilment. People fell in love in all sorts of places; anywhere would do — amidst the noise and fumes of the daily world, in grim factories, in the most unpromising of offices, even, it would seem, amongst the din and dirt of roadworks.
It could happen to anybody, at any time; even to me, he reflected, who am not really loved by Pat, not really. And who does not love her back, not really. Bruce Goes Off Flat-Hunting in the New Town Bruce had cut out the advertisement from the newspaper and tucked it in the pocket of his jeans. He was house-hunting, and the earlier part of the morning had been frustrating.
He had looked at two flats, both of which had been unsatisfactory. The first, in Union Street, had been promising from the outside but had revealed its unsuitability the moment he had stepped inside the front door and had seen the extent of the subsidence.
This was the problem with that part of town, where movement in the ground had resulted in uneven floors and bulging walls. The buildings were safe enough — this movement was historical — but the impression created from heavy settlement could make one nauseous, as if one were at sea. She looked at him coolly. The flat had been vacated by its owners and the floor was bare: Bruce smiled at her.
Nobody will find it easy to get a mortgage on this place. Bad news. She did so hesitantly and saw him extract a golf ball from his pocket. A golf ball. Now watch. Then he stood up and smirked. By the time it hit the wall at the other end of the kitchen, it was travelling quite fast.
The floor slopes. Thanks anyway for showing me the place. I hope you sell it. The young woman looked at him. She was, he thought, on the verge of tears. Sorry about that place. She had hesitated when he had asked her to accompany him for a cup of coffee, which meant that she had been tempted. Of course she was tempted — they all were; they simply could not help themselves.
The next flat was in Abercromby Place, a basement flat that described itself as lower ground-floor. Bruce smiled to himself as he walked along Forth Street.
He remembered writing the particulars of flats when he had worked as a surveyor in Edinburgh; he had referred to lower-ground-floor flats before, and had once even described a sub-basement as a pre-lower-ground flat, wellprotected from excessive sun exposure.
The lighting in that flat, which had to be kept on all day if the occupants were to see anything at all, had been described as imaginative and helpful. And the atmosphere of damp he had described as cool. The Abercromby Place flat did not take long. I thought the sun was shining when I came in. Then they moved back to the entrance hall and Bruce thanked him for showing him round. I shifted dumps like this.
Outside in the street, in the light, Bruce took out the scrap of paper on which he had noted the address of the third flat he was to look at. This was in Howe Street, a street which went sharply down the hill from the end of Frederick Street and then curved round into Circus Place. It was not only a question of the address, but the name of the owner.
It was a woman called Julia Donald, and if Bruce was not mistaken that was the name of somebody he had known when he had first come to Edinburgh. She had, he thought, been rather keen on him, but he had had his hands full at the time with.
Bruce hummed a tune as he walked towards Howe Street. It An Old Flame Flickers: And what feet! Just look at them! An Old Flame Flickers: So it was you! I thought, you know, when the lawyers phoned and said that a Mr Bruce Anderson would be coming to look the place over, I thought: Can it be the one and only?
And here you are! Have I? More ravishing. I really do. Look at you! Every single day. What about you? Do you still play rugby? Not much really. Too busy. I was just far too busy. A large sofa, piled with cushions, dominated one wall.
Opposite it was an ornate, goldframed mirror above a large marble chimney piece. Bruce noticed, too, the expensive glass table piled with fashion magazines.
Julia seemed pleased with the compliment. I knew these people in London. That girl there, in the black dress, I met her at a party in Chelsea. The tall one.
You know, they make lunches for the boardroom. And they cater for dinner parties.
Party planners, sort of. There was an advertisement for perfume, with a flap down the side of the page. He ripped open the flap and sniffed at the page. It really is. Sexy, or what? It reminds me of Mauritius. After I sell this place. Or before. And not so crowded. Never make a decision in a rush.
I forgot. Where shall we start? All the stuff. Marble tops. Built-in wine racks. Bruce ran his fingers over the marble surfaces. He looked at Julia. You had lunch? Parmesan, yes? Bruce winked at her. He poured Julia a glass and they toasted one another as Bruce cut a piece of cheese off the block of Parmesan.
Near Parma. I knew an Italian girl. Big place, with white oxen. And this great villa. But she recovered quickly. Very exotic. He appeared to be concentrating on slipping the pasta into the water, but he was watching her.
Comes to us all. She had picked up her glass and was gazing at the rim. But he could tell. Settle down? I want a bit of domesticity. You know. Lazy weekends. Then brunch somewhere. Some jazz. The Sunday papers. And the other great attraction of it all was that the need to find a job would be less urgent. Julia, as everybody in Edinburgh knew, was not impecunious. An indulgent father, the owner of three large hotels and a slice of a peninsula in Argyll, made sure that his daughter wanted for nothing.
It was surprising, thought Bruce, that she had not been snapped up by some fortune hunter. If she went to London, there would be a real danger of that happening. And that was why he was doing her a good turn. It was always a bit of a wrench leaving Big Lou: Or an aunt perhaps, the sort of person with whom one could just pass time without the need to say anything.
He liked the shape of these clocks, and it was not much fun going back to the fixing of mantelpiece clocks for the neighbours. Eventually he asked why there were so few ships coming in and was told that the war had finished three years ago. Presumably they knew who won, or did they? In fact, once he thought about it, there was nothing at all. He was up to date with his correspondence, such as it was; he had paged through all the catalogues for the forthcoming auctions and knew exactly which pictures he would bid for.
There were no invoices to send out, no bills to be paid. There was simply nothing to do. For a few moments, he thought of what lay ahead of him.
Would he be doing this for the rest of his life — sitting here, waiting for something to happen? And if that was all there was to it, then what exactly was the point? The artists whose work he sold were at least making things, leaving something behind them, a corpus of work.
He, by contrast, would make nothing, leave nothing behind. But was that not the fate of so many of us? Most people who made their way to work each day, who sat in offices or factories, doing something which probably did not vary a lot — pushing pieces of paper about or moving things from one place to another — these people might equally well look at their lives and ask what the point was.
Or should one really not ask that question, simply because the question in itself was a pointless one?
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Perhaps there was no real point to our existence — or none that we could discern — and that meant that the real question that had to be asked was this: How can I make my life bearable?
We are here whether we like it or not, and by and large we seem to have a need to continue. In that case, the real question to be addressed is: How are we going to make the experience of being here as fulfilling, as good as possible?
That is what Matthew thought. He was dwelling on this when he saw Angus Lordie walk past, carrying a parcel. On impulse, Matthew waved and gestured to him to come in. The big questions. Cyril will be sitting there wondering what on earth he did to deserve this. Have people no mercy? I read something about it once.
They had trials for pigs and goats and the like. And then they punished them. Burned them alive. He gestured to the parcel that Angus was carrying. You know the sort of rubbish they like. Piles of bricks and unmade beds and all the rest. An idea was coming to him. He looked up at Angus. I would like to try to sell something of yours. I really would. Why should I? No thank you, Mr Forty Per Cent. Or even those iffy nudes of yours.
And could make you famous. People taking an interest in your private life. People looking at you. He had only recently learned the word dramaturge and had been looking for opportunities to use it. He had eventually summoned up the courage to try it on Big Lou, but her espresso machine had hissed at a crucial moment and she had not heard him.
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And here was Angus making it difficult for him by questioning it. Matthew thought that a dramaturge did something in addition to writing plays, but now he was uncertain exactly what that was. Was a dramaturge a producer as well, or a director, or one of those people who helped other people develop their scripts? Or all of these things at one and the same time? So why call a dramatist a dramaturge?
They say: Why not say: At least this took the heat off his use of dramaturge.
Have you noticed that? Try to understand what is said over the public address system at Stansted Airport and see how far you get. Just try. He mused for a moment, and then: He was very popular in the thirties and forties.
Anyway, he painted monochrome canvases and gave them remarkable titles. It was a witty comment on artistic fashion. Bruce gets even more worried when discovers that some Chateau Petrus he downloadd might be fake which would send him crawling at a financial loss. Perhaps Bertie, the precocious five-year-old will have the normal boyhood life envisioned by his father, Stuart.
Bertie desires to go to Watson school where he would get a chance to play rugby. He wants his life to be defined by fishing and rugby, not yoga and Italian lessons designed by his clingy mother.
This makes him plot rebellion against his mother. It feels as if Bertie should have been more wary of his wishes.
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In the course of this adventure, Irene and Dr Fairbairn, the psychotherapist, are engaged in a web of dark secrets and hidden deep-felt urges. McCall delivers abundant wit and unexpected twists and turns as he splits the pretense, glamour and self-defeating moves in the daily lives of the characters.
This makes 44 Scotland Street a book series so deftly created that the reader feels to intimately know the characters after a couple of appearances. The 44 Scotland Street appears in the Scotsman newspaper for over 3 months in every year making it the longest running serial novel globally. It marked its 10th anniversary with the publishing of the tenth volume the Revolving Door in This charming and joyous illustration of city life and human shortcomings is a powerful addicting fiction.
Every reader will find it gentle, delightful and graceful but full of fun characters and humor down to the last volume. In this one, a girl is kidnapped from an exclusive private school in Switzerland and Gabriel Allon is brought on board to find her. More Details. Love triangles, a lost painting, intriguing new friends, and an encounter with a famous Scottish crime writer are just a few of the ingredients that add to this delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society, which was first published as a serial in The Scotsman newspaper.
His works have been translated into more than forty languages and have been best sellers throughout the world…. More about Alexander McCall Smith. These novels are gentle probes into the mysteries of human nature.
The pleasure of the novel lies in its simplicity. The voice, the setting, the stories, the mysteries of human nature. Not so much conventional mysteries, [his] novels are gentle probes into the mysteries of human nature.
Smith, a fine writer, paints his hometown of Edinburgh as indelibly as he captures the sunniness of Africa.
We can almost feel the mists as we tread the cobblestones. Read An Excerpt. Fiction Category:But for Big Lou, the habit of starting early, ingrained in her from her childhood in Arbroath, resisted any change. The man turned his head sideways to look at the painting from a slightly different angle.
A little bit. Bruce hummed a tune as he walked towards Howe Street. As she spoke, she realised it could be worse: They seem to have such bad experiences with them. Only a year ago, there had been a rather embarrassing moment when a customer had mentioned Hornel, to be greeted by a blank look from Matthew. The situation sinks deeper when Bruce, a stalwart of the South Edinburgh Conservative Association, gives the painting to the Conservative Association for a find raising auction.
Jun 14, Pages.
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