17 APRIL 2004, Page 29

Different class of cabby

From Sir James Mellon

Sir: Petronella Wyatt has a sophisticated grasp of Central European mores and American quirkiness. Alas, nearer home she is something of a London provincial (Singular life, 3 April).

When I booked my black cab last night to take us to the airport in Edinburgh this morning, I was asked if I would prefer the driver to ring the doorbell or to phone me as he got into our street. The cab arrived three minutes early. The driver leapt out to assist my wife with her small case. He closed the door behind me. He was courtesy and charm throughout the journey. I was delighted to tip him for what is normal service in this capital.

Oh, and could Miss Wyatt tell her mother that taxis in Edinburgh wait till the fare has got into the house?

James Mellon