ON THE front page of yesterday's Times newspaper, there was a very curious phrase. It was a quote from columnist Jane Shilling, who wrote: "There is nothing like planting a lettuce to take your mind off the shape of your body."
IT WAS a sad day on The Scotsman arts desk yesterday, when news arrived that the Beck's Futures art prize could be for the chop. From their throne of distilling greatness, the minds behind the beer have allegedly decided that modern art is "no longer cool". And while they are not scrapping the idea completely, they are researching ways to invest in a new accolade for the music industry.
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BEFORE I begin, let me say I have cleared a space on my desk for your letters. Columns about religion are rarely intended to incense, but inevitably they do, so although I make no apologies, I acknowledge your freedom to be outraged.
STEVEN Spielberg should give up films. He's had a few successes, sure, and I guess there is still a place for deeply terrifying, yet family-friendly, movies. But his talents lie elsewhere. Turns out he's just as gifted behind a microphone as he is behind a camera.
There is something about baby products. Even though you know everyone will assume you're desperately clucky, it's hard to resist the lure of the fresh packaging.
SOMETIMES it's hard to be a woman, and it's got nothing to do with giving all your love to just one man. Advice is the problem, or more specifically, advice on how to make womanhood less hard.
It's shocking, I know, but at school I was quite the geek. I was in every after-school club running, and I didn't have my first kiss until about two years after everyone else.
WITHOUT FAIL , the term "investment buy" is bandied about every season of every year. On top of all the latest must-have trends, you should buy a "capsule" wardrobe of timeless classics that will go with everything and last for years.
There are many ways to describe the appearance of cellulite, but this is my favourite: "Like a balloon being blown up through a string vest".
IT IS good, perceived wisdom would suggest, to talk. But as the years go by, the more dubious I become, and I'm increasingly inclined to believe that most self-pitying souls - deluded that their situation is so woefully unjust as to earn them the right to "share" - should keep their mouths firmly shut.
ANYONE who has read any gossip magazine for the last few months will find this hard to believe, but I've done my research and I can assure you, it's true: Tom Cruise has had a bad week. After all we've heard of his glorious new love with Katie Holmes this will come as something of a shock, but all of that shouting from the couch top has come back to bite him in the ass. If only we could have seen that coming.
RARELY do I take a leaf out of Michael Portillo's book, but inspired by his performance on the political review show This Week, I've spent the last hour deciphering my favourite moment of the past seven days.
1 SWITCH CREDIT CARDS
1. Watch the Grand National
IT’S hard to put into words the feelings a man runs through on becoming a father for the first time, but Danny Mardell expresses it like this: "It was the most emotional time. He was so beautiful, so perfect. We were so happy. It was so wonderful."
WHEN I started writing this column, I raged for an hour on the annoyances of "no frills" airlines. I had my first bite of the Ryanair cherry this weekend, and the experience wasn’t entirely enjoyable.
WHAT does it take to be a good citizen? Helping an old lady across the road? Voting regularly? Saving the environment? None of the above?
RABBI ERNEST LEVY, 80
‘LET ME OFFER you a cup of something warm." It was such a lovely way to start an interview. Between publicists, chintzy hotel rooms and tight scheduling, it’s not often they run so smoothly. In fact, talking to authors can be anything but a relaxed experience.