It's that rhyme again

TODAY is National Poetry Day, organised by the Scottish Book Trust. While there will be activities nationwide, the main event is at Dundee Contemporary Arts, kicking off with a Poetry Breakfast followed by an all-day Poetry Video Box, a Poetry Promenade, etc ...

So why not a Poetry Diary? Not our suggestion, but that of Mike Stevenson and Stewart McRobert, of the Design Links agency based in Leith, who are among the sponsors and offer a few lines. While themes for the day range from political imprisonment to the problems of youth, they chose Scotland’s Rugby World Cup prospects and the Tory party conference:

A couple called Ian and Jim

Whose chances were really quite slim

Said as they set sail

"We’ll make it a fairytale"

And everyone thought: "Aye, bloody Grim!"

From Down Under over to Blackpool:

IDS believes he’s set fair,

Claims, "I’m going to be walking on Blair"

The media say: "Yes,

But haven’t you guessed?

To win, you must really have hair."

Hold on, they’re not finished:

To stay sane and avoid The Priory,

Start every day with The Scotsman Diary

This special day needs a fantastic idea,

Here’s one - Get smart and read Simon Pia.

Flattery - or should that be sarcasm? - gets you everywhere ... well, into the Diary anyway.

Some don't like it hot

LIKE all good publications, Holyrood (or should that be Holyrude?) magazine is creating waves. Paul Hutcheon, the editor, managed to offend the more illiberal elements of the Catholic Church recently with a cartoon about "separate" lavatory cubicles for the RCs in the WCs. Now he has upset the sisterhood with the "sexist" cover of the latest issue, which, ironically, is about sexual health.

The politically incorrect item features a Fifties barber shop complete with prominent pin-up and the caption "Something for the weekend, sir?"

When confronted by some of the sisterhood about the gratuitous sexism, we mumble something about it being a famous picture. "Who is the woman with no clothes?" the young sisters ask.

"Marilyn Monroe."

It is the famous "red velvet" shot in the first issue of Playboy. They were not amused when we told them Monroe always insisted it was not true she had nothing on - the radio was playing.

Their blackest day in 50 pen-pal years

THE latest issue of the Ayrshire Post carries a heartwarming story about a Scots woman and an American woman who have been pen pals for 50 years. They have shared everything, highs, lows, since 1953.

"In that time," it reads, "they have lost count of the thousands of letters that have shuttled back and forth across the Atlantic.

"Over the years, the pages have carried happy news of marriages and babies as well as sadder tidings of death and divorce.

"Between their tightly written lines, these long-standing pen pals have shared the shock of President Kennedy’s assassination, the death of Princess Diana and the tragedy of 9/11.

"Their blackest day was 6 June, 1998, when their hero, Roy Rogers, passed away."

Sense of perspective, eh?

Over to Sooty and Sweep

OUR woman at the Beeb tells us after our piece yesterday that Iain Macwhirter and John Boothman, his producer, are known as Sooty & Sweep. In his appearance at the McMedia dinner, Macwhirter claimed he did not make up the questions on TV but his producer asked them in his ear. With Boothman more suitable as Harry H Corbett, don’t ask him where his hand has been.

Sooty, incidentally, was formerly known as the thinking woman’s Gordon Brewer.

Rain man

THE CBI Transport Conference in London today is hosted, according to its bumph, by "Digby Jones, Director-General of the CBI, and Richard Bowker, Chairman and Chief Executive, Strategic Rain Authority". Now we know why the train system is sliding off the rails.

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