Drumlanrig: Mary Soames|Treasury lego|Tattie power

UP IN the Glens they make their own entertainment

Lady Soames. Picture: PA

THE death of Mary Soames, Churchill’s last surviving child, aged 91 was met with great sadness in the Angus Glens. As a relation of the Earl of Airlie, Lady Soames was a frequent visitor to that beautiful part of the world.

Recently she was present at a concert held in Cortachy Castle. As she sat in the audience, it became clear that the act – the Whiffenpoof singers of the Yale Glee Club – were running late. As the audience grew restless, Lady Airlie, whose father was at Yale, took charge and suggested that her house guest could “do a turn” to keep the troops entertained.

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Lady Soames (above) agreed to amuse the company by telling them a bit about “Ma and Pa”. The marriage of Winston Churchill and Clementine was not as stormy as some would suggest, she told her enraptured audience. In fact, she likened it to Shakespeare’s sonnet 116. “Let me not to the marriage of true minds, admit impediments” she began to recite. “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds....” she continued, completing the poem in time for the Whiffenpoofs’ arrival.

Communicating complex issues – it’s child’s play

THE Treasury’s crass attempts to explain the £1,400 UK dividend through the medium of Lego, has led to much musing on what the next phase of the UK Government’s attempts to keep Britain together.

Perhaps the benefits of the nuclear deterrent could be illustrated by building a Trident submarine out of stickle bricks. The British Army could become Fisher Price toys and Plasticine could be used to build a series of Border posts along Hadrian’s Wall.

Varieties are spice of life in parliamentary debate

THE humble tattie was celebrated in the Scottish Parliament last week during a debate. MSPs celebrated the role played by the tattie in providing cheap, nutrition and mulled over the challenges it faces from foreign dishes such as pasta.

Angus MacDonald (above), the Falkirk East SNP representative, was one MSP to show an impressive knowledge of the Scottish spud.

With great erudition, he remarked on the tasty Kerr’s Pinks his family grew in Stornoway and expounded on how their “floury dry texture” goes so well with salt herring and guga.

When training as an auctioneer, he had to phone over a sale report during seed potato sales to the Scottish press.

“I had to spell out each of the varieties to the copy girls, and I now have varieties such as Desiree, Pentland Javelin, Osprey and Russet Burbank etched on my mind.”

For those MSPs whose tattie knowledge is limited to the more well-known varieties such as King Edward, Maris Piper and Duke of York, MacDonald was able to inform them that varieties such as Pimpernel, Galactica, and Asterix were among the 700 varieties held in the Scottish Government’s national potato collection.