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SNATCHES of random conversations I have overheard from passing strangers are just awesome. I have been collecting and noting them down for nearly a year now.
JAMES Purnell, the UK Government's Work and Pensions Secretary, has laid out plans to stop benefits being paid to crack and heroin addicts unless they agree to try to break their habit.
DURING my recent trip to LA, I went to Venice Beach. If you took the gritty, maverick side of London's Soho, a smidgen of Amsterdam's coffee houses and a soupçon of Camden Market, whisked them altogether with some high-jinkery, medicinal marijuana and full-on sunshine, then Venice Beach is what would emerge from that hotpot.
YOU know you are in LA when you meet your first tiny dog dressed in a tutu, wearing sunglasses and pink ballet pumps.
AS YOU read this, I am sitting poolside in Los Angeles. I know it sounds awesome and very fabulous, but I am having a working holiday and trying to finish writing my first-ever novel. After having a stressful, hardworking and, to be honest, painfully sick December, I knew I needed some peace and quiet to get my head into gear and where better than sunny America?
AT THE start of every new year we get to look back at what went on throughout the past 12 months; we eschew the good, the bad and the possibly ugly events in our life and hope that the future brings better tidings. For me, 2008 was all about the credit crunch and banks collapsing. I spent sleepless nights worrying about my small, rainy-day savings, but then smiled as I realised they weren't anywhere near Iceland.
LAST week in Glasgow, I slipped on the icy pavement and a young, well-dressed man shot out an arm and caught me.
IF YOU were to ask me what I wanted for Christmas, I would tell you I already got my ideal gift.
BEING a comedian at Christmas can be as funny as having your eyes poked out with a wooden spoon.
LAST week I attended a community awards ceremony in Drumchapel. There were many dignitaries there, including politicians, high-ranking police officers and our own Glasgow Lord Provost.
MIDDLE-CLASS parents were berated last week for allowing their children to get pie-eyed drunk. So, all the previous warnings from government agencies about under-age drinking were aimed only at the lower-income end of society? Was this latest warning sent out to the posh folks on headed notepaper with a scented candle and some couscous?
THE recession is in full swing, people are worried about their jobs and I, for one, am trying to being nice to everyone. Comedy is not free from redundancy; even though the country is in dire need of a laugh, we are all treading carefully.
'THE CREDIT crunch will affect Christmas sales' is the latest prediction from the pundits who seem to know lots of stuff in advance. I, for one, am happy about that. I despise the gross overspending in the run up to the 'holiday season' here in the UK.
BACK in the late 1970s, I used to go to the local Shettleston social club with my mum.
I HAD lunch two weeks ago with some American friends in London. I didn't know the people very well, but they were really nice company and when we parted at least three of the guys said: "Such fun meeting you, Janey. I love you." They hugged me and walked off. I stood in the street embarrassed at their proclamation.
FLYING home from London last week, I sat beside a big, heavy-set man and his hulking body squashed me into the aisle of the aeroplane. Now, I know that I am not sylph-like myself, but I do fit into the standard airline seat comfortably. The big man kept shuffling about until he got himself settled. He wasn't really fat, more bulky and square and he seemed unaware of how much room his body took up, or how to deal with his thick limbs in a tight space.
CONSPIRACY theorists are in a heightened state of excitement. There is nothing better than a world cash crisis to fire up their imagination. Beardy men in boxrooms who have been swamping the web with all manners of revelations are now typing faster than they can shove tinfoil over their skulls and sweep the room for bugs.
ON ENTERING my bank last week (in daylight, not with a mask and cosh) I stood in a queue as long as a kidney transplant list and watched the trainees do their stuff.