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Tiers for fears

COVID-19 Information

The Scottish Government has announced Covid-19 lockdown restrictions throughout mainland Scotland starting from Tuesday 5th January 2021 and lasting until at least the 26th of April 2021.

This means our wee shop will be closed, and our walking tours suspended, for that period.

While these restrictions are in force, you can still book our tours for later in 2021, or purchase a wee treat for yourself or someone you know from our online shop.

We aim to reopen as soon as it is permissible (and we deem it safe) to do so. We will update this information as soon as the situation changes.

By Adam Lyal, December 2, 2020 - 4:00pm
The Tron Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile

And so Christmas 2020 approaches at high speed, which must mean 2021 is just around the corner.

The last time we posted a blog on the subject of Christmas was back in 2016. In those distant 'normal times' the blog, entitled The Ghosts of Christmas (Cards) Past, looked at some of our out-of-the-ordinary greetings cards which we used to send out to customers and friends. We halted this tradition some moons ago -- not because we'd inherited the miserly characteristics of Ebenezer Scrooge; we just wanted to save a tree (or three). Incidentally, the name Ebenezer Scrooge originated from a real Edinburgh resident called Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie. His name was spotted by Charles Dickens on a gravestone while visiting Edinburgh's Canongate cemetery in 1841 ... but that's a story for another day.

Certainly Edinburgh will be rather more tranquil than usual this year, with the cancellation of the Christmas Market and Hogmanay Street Party. Of course I imagine quite a few locals will be delighted to see a more peaceful city for once, and with the absence of the seasonal celebrations, there is a chance for the beleagured turf of East Princes Street Gardens to recover from the battering it has taken over the years.

I wonder if some locals will gather this Hogmanay at what used to be the epicentre of festivities before Mr and Mrs Money-Bags took hold of the seasonal reins. That place was the Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile. Thousands used to gather in full view of the church clock, waiting for the bells to chime at midnight. Some die-hards were still doing this until recently, ignoring the commercial shenanigans taking place just a firework's-length away on Princes Street. As the Tron Kirk clock struck twelve there was an almighty cheer, much merriment and drinking of milk and tea; followed by the obligatory snogs from complete strangers. Most likely on January 1st 2021, snogging will be replaced by a physically distanced wave, or possibly (if caution is well and truly thrown to the wind) an alcohol-soaked handshake.

And what about us? Well, presuming we're in a governmental tier which allows non-essential shops to open and walking tours to operate we'll be doing both (in line with Scottish Government regulations. See rules for booking on our website). The shop will be open Wednesday-Sunday 12 noon to 6pm.

If you cannot make it into our physical shop at 84 West Bow (Victoria Street) Edinburgh then why not purchase a ghostly gift online.

In the meantime, we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Hogmanay!