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Quandary

Life imitates art, and sometimes it’s not funny. I’m just setting out on Bob Skinner’slatest journey and last night I had occasion to dump a body, as frequently I do, in the vicinity of Edinburgh. After some thought I decided that it would be found washed up on Cramond Island. For those who don’t know it, or of it, the island is very small. Indeed it barely qualifies as an island at all, as it can be reached on foot at low tide, via a causeway. I pondered for some time before making my choice. The currents in the Forth are complicated, and it’s a big estuary. Was it feasible for a cadaver to end up there, or did it beggar belief? I wasn’t sure, but I went ahead and wrote the chapter, knowing that I had plenty of time to think better of it and relocate.

This afternoon, I was driving home from a very enjoyable chat with Fred Macaulay on his Radio Scotland show, when the Radio Forth news headlines  came on air. When I heard the second item I almost drove off the road. Some poor person, God rest him, had indeed been washed up on Cramond Island.

What am I going to do? I don’t know. Why am I posting this? Possibly as a record,  to make it clear when the book is published, in around eighteen months, that I’m not taking advantage of someone’s tragedy. Tough  call.

Categories: General
  1. Pat
    January 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Unless you prefer somewhere else for other reasons, leave your body where it is. The latest body, sadly, would not have been the first and no doubt will not be the last. Art and life constantly mimic each other. Remember the old ferryman at Cramond? Whistle and he’d come out of his house, cross the Almond, pick you up and ferry you across. The whole lot took all of ten minutes, including the whistle.

  2. January 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    No, but I have a painting of his house, with swans on the river.

  3. Bridget Perkin
    January 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I have read the news item on the BBC Scotland page, where it said that the police had to wait for high tide to retrieve the body. Pat is right, but I suspect you might eventually feel the need to relocate your victim’s dumping ground.

  4. January 31, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I suspect that had it been the other way around, the perpetrator would have been accused of getting the idea from you! I agree with Pat, leave the body where it is. This will be Skinner 24 I take it? As we eagerly await Skinner 23?

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