A wintry look at Edinburgh

Making reference to “a city of contrasts” isn’t the freshest way to introduce a piece of scene-setting, but the poet Stewart Conn recovers swiftly in Edinburgh at the Year’s Midnight: A Winter Journey in Poetry through Scotland’s Capital City, which was aired yesterday on Radio 4 and is due to be repeated at 11.30pm next Saturday. He reads alongside the actors Siobhan Redmond and Gordon Kennedy, with music arranged and played by Aly Macrae, all under the direction of Marilyn Imrie.

I particularly enjoyed Conn’s poem giving voice to the Camera Obscura in the Outlook Tower, one of the city’s earliest tourist attractions, which moans that even in winter there’s “no let-up in the tourist season, a hullabaloo all year round, the sticky-fingered hordes lapping up every minute, even those with iPhones or entwined in one another’s arms… How I pray for a blanket of snow capable of blotting out everything!”

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