Drumlanrig: Katherine Grainger | Ruth Davidson

Rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger. Picture: Jane Barlow

Rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger. Picture: Jane Barlow

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OLYMPIC gold medalist Katherine Grainger entertained the Scottish Chambers of Commerce dinner in Glasgow last week with her recollections of a remarkable career in rowing.

But it was not always plain sailing, or rowing for that matter. She recalled how, as a young girl, she and her sister had taken up the sport in Glasgow. A few years later, her mum recalled that her coach at the time had told her that “your daughter shows so much potential. She’s really quite good.” “I had never been told this, and I told my mum ‘I can’t believe you didn’t tell me that’,” Grainger told the audience, saying it would have helped boost her confidence. “Then my mum said: ‘That’s because he was talking about your sister.’” Of course, fourth time lucky, in London last year, Grainger finally proved that her potential wasn’t that bad either.

Heard one about Scots Secretary and call girl?

POLITICAL editor of Radio Clyde and Radio Forth, Colin Mackay, compered the Scottish Politician of the Year awards last week, and once again excelled in the role, rattling through a series of cracking one-liners. Rather than bother with HS2, Mackay suggested, the government had found a cheaper way to speed through the country; Chris Huhne would be hired as a new driver. Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, meanwhile, had found himself chatted up in a bar recently by a glamorous young woman (went the story). After a couple of hours, she conceded: “You do realise I’m a call girl? “Really?” he replied. “I’m an Islay man myself.” You had to be there.

Ruth and Richard set dancefloor alight

THE Scottish Politician of the Year awards is always a good old booze-up. After the bar closed at Prestonfield House Hotel, politicians and hangers-on kept the party going at Lulu’s nightclub on Edinburgh’s George Street. There, apparently, other club goers were treated to the sight of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson strutting her stuff on the dance floor with Richard Lochhead, the SNP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.

Unionists best avoid tangling on this isle

BETTER Together may be ahead in the polls, but it better get its act together on the Isle of Bute. According to the Buteman newspaper, a meeting hosted by the campaign in the Pavilion cafe in Rothesay was attended by just 14 people, barely half of whom were islanders. At the end of the meeting, the gathering was asked how many in the room would regard themselves as firm Better Together supporters. Only five hands went up. Only two of the hands belonged to islanders. One of the other hands belonged to Alan Reid, the Lib Dem MP for Argyll and Bute.

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