National Geographic : 1976 Aug
Model etched in his mind, a glassblower (left) shapes a goblet destined for the United States. A Bicentennial commemorative (be low) sells for $400. Handmade goods-kilts, cut glass, bagpipes-satisfy both the city's commercial needs and its compulsion to perpetuate Scottish tradition. lads. They'll steal the shoes off yer feet an' the linin' out o' yer pohckets!" The intricate ritual of soccer that ensued was derived, I would fancy, from an ancient sacrificial dance around a medicine ball by medicine men whose arms have been sym bolically amputated. None of the shamans, with the exception of the goalies, may touch the ball with either hands or arms, but their manipulation of the ball with their handy feet is an elegant rite. Glasgow outdanced Edinburgh, but my Glaswegian friend was disgusted. "Too easy!" He glared at the Edinburgh fan. "Too easy!" I believe one reason Edinburgh's team lost is that most Edinburghers were out playing something themselves instead of organizing cheering sections to put more heart in their Hearts. Edinburgh rates participation sports Edinburgh: Capitalin Search of a Country before spectator sports. Its public Meadow bank Sports Centre has a stadium for only 15,000, but facilities, open to all, for some thirty sports. The Hillend Ski Centre in the Pentland Hills, just on the edge of Edinburgh, is open to the public year round (pages 288-9). The 1,300-foot artificial slope, longest in Britain, consists of plastic bristle set into a metal backing. It was raining the day I visited, but several skiers, looking happy about it, were preparing to descend. "They like a wet slope, it's faster," as sistant manager Pat Findlater explained; then, shaking her head, added, "Two various sets o' crazy people, ours skiin' i' the rain an' those over there playin' golf." She pointed to ward a nearby expanse of hillocky lawn, one of 22 courses for the Edinburgh region, at testing to the high status of golfers in the local culture. Judges, Lawyers, Doctors... and Misters Aside from becoming a golfing champion, an Edinburgher can have no higher station than that of a judge of the Court of Session, Scotland's supreme court, which sits in the old Scottish Parliament House. Next in the status hierarchy come ordinary judges, law yers, and medical doctors-reverend doctors are of course above all such worldly vanity. Physicians and surgeons each have their own colleges, but I sense that surgeons have the status edge. They looked askance when I called them Doctor. Their title is Mister, and in this context it has the force of Maestro sairtainly not Mr. Mister James A. Ross, white-mustached President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said, "Our college was founded in 1505, the Royal College of Physicians 175 years later." President Ross showed me through Sur geons' Hall, pausing before the portrait of a predecessor: Joseph Bell, President 1887-89. "There is the original Sherlock Holmes," Mis ter Ross said-and so I recognized: the beak, the taut features, the keen eye. "Like Holmes, Bell used to make great play of diagnosing where patients came from. Conan Doyle stud ied with him, became an eye specialist, and started writing when custom was slow. As an old man, Bell got interested in Holmes and used to send Doyle clumsy 'good hints' for further Holmes adventures."