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Susie McIver, 68, Starbucks, George Street, Edinburgh

“Selling the magazine gives me a chance to come into Edinburgh to see all my pals and customers”

I’ve been selling The Big Issue in Edinburgh for quite a few years now. My older sister Fergie also sells the magazine, and we’re both quite well-known vendors in the city centre. We actually have a bit of a competition going to see who can sell the most magazines. Fergie has been off work recently, so I’ve definitely been winning.

We live in Livingston, a town just outside of Edinburgh, but we’re both happy coming into Edinburgh each day. During the Edinburgh Festival the city gets really busy, with lots and lots of tourists from all over the world. I get on well with them all. Sometimes you meet the actors and comedians and performers too, but I don’t always know who’s who.

Last year I went on a trip to Loch Lomond with one of politicians from the Scottish Parliament – the MSP Jackie Baillie. She was quite taken with me and my sister Fergie, so she invited us along. We went for a boat ride on the loch and we had a right good laugh. We were singing Magic Moments by Perry Como and having a fine old time. Jackie Baillie said to us: “You two will getting throw off if you’re not careful.”

Recently I got to meet some of the famous rugby players from Edinburgh Rugby.  They let some of the vendors take part in a training session with them, and then they helped us sell some magazines on the streets. They are built like big tanks, some of these guys, but they were a good laugh too.

I’m going to be selling the magazine near Murrayfield stadium soon for one of the big Scotland matches in the Six Nations tournament. I’m really looking forward to it. I also go to the Social Bite Suppers on a Tuesday – it’s a great wee café run as a social enterprise and they do an evening for some of the homeless people in Edinburgh.

I used to work in a laundry for many years, but I shut down. But The Big Issue has been there for me whenever things have been tough. Selling the magazine gives me a chance to come into Edinburgh to see all my pals and customers. I love doing it.

My Favourite Team…The Scottish rugby team. I’m cheering on Scotland in the Six Nations – I hope they don’t do too badly.

My Favourite Place…Princes Street. I like all the shops and all the people on the go, and it’s near the Big Issue office, which is where I see my pals.

Photo: Robert Ormerod

Starbucks, George Street, Edinburgh, UK

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