... for RLF, Edinburgh

A breezy Edinburgh night. RLF’s quartet blow through the door as the Rolling Stones’ Time Is On My Side, starts up.

“Big” Jamie orders a pint of heavy. David is “on the wagon” until the end of the month and orders a non-alcoholic beer.

“Last time Graeme was here he was pished,” reveals David.

“That’s why I grew a beard,” laughs an unabashed Graeme.

It is the eve of the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union. “Never mind the Act of Union,” says Graeme. “What about this deal to merge with France in the 1950s? It was on the news today. Mind you, they kept saying England, not Britain, so maybe it didn’t include us.”

“I thought we were going to talk about construction,” says Jamie.

David picks up the baton: “The Scottish market is pretty buoyant. PPP, in terms of consultancy and contractor workload, is by far the biggest market here.”

Graeme takes a slurp of his pint: “It’s been good, but whether it’s good in the long term is another matter.”

RLF opened its Edinburgh office a year-and-a-half ago, adding to its established presence in Glasgow. “Glasgow and Edinburgh are very parochial,” says David, looking wistfully at his colleagues’ beers. “They are just 45 minutes apart, but if you just had a base in one place you’d struggle to work in the other. You need a camp in both.”

“It’s worse in Edinburgh,”

says Neal. “It’s more of an old boys’ club.”

David announces he has to catch his train and leaves.

Jamie reveals he’s a Rangers supporter. “You never told me that,” says stunned Celtic man Neal.

“I didn’t want to upset you,” replies Jamie.

“It’s funny what comes out of these kind of nights,” Neal muses.

Big Jamie explains he hails from Strathpeffer in the Highlands. “Drink, shinty and sheep,” laughs Neal. Nursing his pint, Jamie laments the lack of shinty players in the capital.

“Ice hockey is even more of a minority sport,” says Graeme as he empties his glass. “My son and daughter play and can only practice on Friday night or at dawn on Saturday.”

“When’s the last train to Fife?” asks Neal. “11,” answers Graeme with confidence.

One for the road? “Aye alright.”

“A chef on the other day made lasagne with cottage cheese instead of white sauce,” says Graeme out of the blue.

That is the final word. Graeme, Neal and Building’s correspondent amble out, stopping for a photo of John Knox on the Royal Mile.

“This really is the most beautiful city in Britain,” someone says. Everyone agrees.

David Thomson Managing partner for Scotland
Jamie MacDonald Quantity surveyor
Neal Jamieson Associate
Graeme Scoon Senior project manager
Michael Glackin Building

Chosen watering hole: Deacon Brodie’s, Royal Mile 
Ambience: Cosy old town pub with tourists and regulars 
Conversation: England’s union with France, Glasgow/Edinburgh rivalry, shinty and lasagne 
Drinks drunk: Becks, Belhaven Best, Caledonian 80/-, Clausthaler