Holyrood Road Architectural Paradise

Witness, for example, this magnificent building, modelled on a slug in a matchbox. When the plans were originally drawn up, that lovely roof was going to be made from glass, but people complained! Honest they did! They said it wouldn't complement the crags properly, and besides, it wouldn't look enough like a slug. You can hire this place to do corporate entertainment, but beer is strictly prohibited as any spillage weakens the structure.

Next to the slug, the new offices of The Scotsman newspaper, just handy for access to the Scottish Parliament. How clever of them to think of moving there, before Donald Dewar had even made his mind up!

If you're wondering what they've done with their rotten old prime commercial North Bridge site, you'll be delighted to hear that they've converted it into an enormous hostel for the homeless with all mod cons. Apart from the outside toilet, that is...

Another bunch of bright sparks are the people who figured out that building a whole load of swanky flats next to where they didn't know the Scottish Parliament was going would be a jolly ingenious thing to do.

Of course, the sparky-sparky-sparkiest of the whole bunch are the people who realised several years ago that it would be a neat trick to buy the houses which the Scottish Office would forget it hadn't nabbed when it was getting the land together. Those guys did quite nicely.

Meanwhile, from its tall Red Embassy, the Former Soviet Union, which still exists round these parts, prepares to train its laser listening devices on the Parliament, the newspaper, the swanky flats, and who knows, maybe even the slug. Lots of little satellite dishes keep popping out like inside-out mushrooms. They're ready for business.