John Gibson: Hippy hippy shakes with an old chum

So it’s a solitary hip-hooray for Nicola Barry. Not until she has her other hip replaced later this year can we greet her with the full hip-hip salutation.

Nicola, who was a fellow columnist at North Bridge, swears the first replacement has made a new woman of her. Hadn’t seen her in ages, hence her high-profile entrance that startled diners in a city centre pizzeria and all but had me choking on my lasagne.

Chaperoned by her niece Charlotte from Australia on their way to a Fringe show, Nicola, who has a Sunday newspaper column, once penned an award-winning piece about me headlined The Man They Love To Hate. So affectionate, so accurate, I had it copper-plated. Love you too, my darling.

The art of sales

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A somewhat flowery version of the column today involving, appropriately enough, somebody called Meddowes. A “truly unique” exhibition has been running in Royal Terrace since August and not a single word about it has been in the Scottish press, if I’m to believe Alex Meddowes.

A fine art broker, he is showing a hundred copper plate botanical engravings, later coloured, by Basil Besler from the Eichstatt garden, allegedly the most extravagant European garden in the early 1600s.

Foreign to me but I’ve long known Alex and I’ve fallen yet again for his hard-sell. Everything for sale at his home at 39 Royal Terrace until August 30, single or as a set. Prices from £1,000.

There you go, my son. You sounded positively distraught. Weep you not. Everything in the garden will turn out fine, I’m sure.