Saturday, 11 June 2011

Mayoral Procession in memory of Andrew Reeves

Having got up at stupid o'clock, a time normally reserved for polling day*, on Friday to get to Belfast International for the 7am flight into Edinburgh. The reason of course as we know was the funeral of a dear friend, Andrew Reeves.

Of course Andrew's footprint is all over Edinburgh if you know where to look. Touching down in Edinburgh Airport I immediately FourSquared my location. Of course all through the week those of us who use that Social Networking tool have often been touched by on our friend's list seeing "Andrew R. Last seen at Platinum Point", now being in the same city that message came higher up my list of friends, under those in the same city.

It was a place where I very famously while out canvassing for Kevin Lang got no reply from a Mr A Reeves on the canvass card. So while I proceeded to make my way down the stairs I got out my phone and rang one of my favourites in my phone. The recipient answered and I said:

"Good evening, is that Mr A Reeves of X Platinum Point?"

The answer came back, "Yes."

"Thank you, my name is Stephen and I'm calling on behalf of Kevin Lang your Liberal Democrat candidate in the Westminster election. I was calling this evening to enquire if Kevin can rely on your vote."

The deadpan response came back.

"I can assure you that Kevin will get my vote, and I'd like to make sure that as many people in my constituency do likewise."
We left the conversation at that and said our farewells. Next time I saw Andrew he told me about the very thorough canvassing team that Kevin Lang was using. If they failed to get someone in on the doorstep they would call  them immediately to check. Kevin who was also present, said "Huh?" and looked at the two of us then the penny dropped.

But of course that wasn't the only footprint Andrew still leaves in Auld Reekie.

As I came in on the Airport Bus past Haymarket I decided that I had to mention that I was passing 4 Clifton Terrace and the Offices of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, where Andrew's now empty and far from its usual busy desk has sat for a week. Or course when I checked in it was only appropriate that Andrew was the Mayor on FourSquare.

After grabbing some breakfast I was determined to fill my time productively. First step was to take a picture of Edinburgh Castle from an angle another blogging friend with the same first name as Mr Reeves hadn't used last week. I took a couple here is one of them.

Edinburgh Castle between the Galleries
However, on the way to here as I checked in at the Scott Monument I got a FourSquare tip from Andrew Reeves about BHS. I only wish I'd seen this before taking my breakfast so I could have followed up on his advise, next time in Edinburgh I will.

However, it got me thinking. I knew Andrew was Mayor (ie most frequent visitor) to a number of Edinburgh locations, so I decided to see how many and where. In total there were 15, and a number of them in the New Town. I decided as a tribute to follow the footsteps of the Mayor in a Mayoral Procession in his memory. This is that trip.

Had to start here at 4 Clifton Terrace and the Office that brought Andrew to Scotland to work in the first place.

Just around the corner on Haymarket Terrace was the little bakery Zea. Not that us Lib Dems are used to a little pastry from time to time.

West Maitland Post Office was next, just up the road from Clifton Terrace. I cannot think why a post office would feature in a campaigners most visited places.

Paper Tiger on Stafford Street, which as I tweeted at the time shows that the man has taste. It is also a matter of not just going for any old stationery to meet his personal needs.

Along to Shandwick Place and we stumble across Sugacane. This might come as somewhat of a surprise to all of Andrew's friends. We would never say that he had a sweet tooth, well at least not to his face.

Final location is on Hanover Street, on the corner with Queen Street (rather appropriately). It is City Alterations a tailoring and dry cleaning business. One suspects if Mark Pack is truly looking for the secret of Andy's constantly pressed shirts this might be a location that was let in on the secret.

I was heading to the Burn Monument on Regent Terrace, when Caron tweeted she was on a train on the way in to Waverley, so I stopped my procession there and met up with her and then a growing clowder of waifs and stray Lib Dem cats. The rest of the day is told by her, Mark Pack and Mark Cole elsewhere, so read there for more details.

There is one final thing about my trip. Following the music from Andrew's funeral when I arrived in the Departure Lounge of Edinburgh Airport, the first piece of music I heard was the last piece that was played at the cremitorium. Some people were concerned when I FourSquared that quirk of fate, don't be. Just as this was the music we said goodbye to Andy, so it was the music I would associate with saying goodbye to Scotland this time. As I tweeteed yesterday the last words he said to me in person were, along the lines of go on and win this thing (that thing being the referendum) so that is the feeling I took with me.

Indeed as the words of another of the songs on the day says

There is progress now where there once was not (none)
where there once was not (none)
then everything came along

Although no-one understood
we were holding back the flood
learning how to dance the rain.
There was more of them than us
now they'll never dance again.

We will meet you where the lights are
the defenders of the faith we are
when the thunder turns around
they'll run so hard we'll tear the ground away.

From The Flood by Take That

Yeah it does seem that there is a task to be done to hold back the flood. Those gathered from all over the UK who are Liberal Democrats went away from Edinburgh charged with defending the faith and making sure the thunder turns around and we once again hear the sound of Liberal Democrat gunfire sounding loud and clear to the voters of the UK.

*Actually it did seem rather an appropriate time to be up for Andrew Reeves.

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