Arden Street in Marchmont was the last Loose Ends link. It gave way to Espedair Street, a fairly ordinary residential street in Paisley, linked, again, through books or probably male authors called Iain or Ian. Espedair Street is the name of a novel by Iain Banks, possibly inspired by the street I found myself on one Sunday afternoon in September. I went through an Iain Banks phase in my late teens/early twenties but Espedair Street is not one I’ve read. I turned the corner and saw a chippy, one of those neon, metallic chip shops with screens showing the menu. Some kids stood on the street a little way away. I clocked a ghost sign on the gable end advertising William Semple, Son and Company Limited, an engineer and smith, once located at number 11. Below stood a fence bearing a sign from the council and Police Scotland saying that concealed CCTV cameras were watching. A couch lay dumped on the pavement but nowt much else was happening. I looked through a gap and a grassy hill rose high up. I wondered if it was a mirage. I was in a very urban place but I soon remembered there was a park nearby, soon confirmed by a side view and a road leading to it. The rest of Espedair Street was quiet and unremarkable, the houses classic sandstone tenements with a modern community centre on the other side.
I wondered whether I could connect Espedair Street to the Forth Rail Bridge since both featured in Iain Banks books. Or indeed North Queensferry, where Banks lived latterly. There are plenty of books named after streets in Scotland, in Edinburgh at least four that I can think of by Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Jemma Neville and Samantha Young, the last excused by the fact I work in a library since I don’t tend to read romance novels. I might need to consult the shelves for this one…
Thanks for reading. The Loose Ends page features links to the other parts of the series.