Freddie Starr ate my notes and other stories – John McLellan

Pupils have been given permission to skip school again tomorrow for another climate change protest. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Pupils have been given permission to skip school again tomorrow for another climate change protest. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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The pound might be slipping but you can make big savings on holidays at the end of June.

A family of four can give themselves at least £200 extra spending money by jetting off to Majorca on June 20 rather than waiting until July 18.

For example, book a week for the four of you though Jet2 at the Puerto Azul Hotel in Puerto Pollensa on June 20 and it’s £300 less than if you leave it till July 4. If you wait until July 18 the bill goes up another £100. That’s a lot of ice cream and Sangria.

And by getting ahead of the rest of the sooks waiting dutifully for the end of the school term you can get the pool to yourselves.

Don’t get too excited, though, because now Edinburgh’s SNP, Labour and Green councillors have once again allowed parents to let the kids skip school for a day’s fun tomorrow outside an empty building at Holyrood, everyone will be at it. If it’s OK to disappear for yet another climate protest then surely it’s no problem to give the Buckeroo a bye at the end of term and head for the sun a few days early?

You might have to pretend you are trying to experience at first hand the impact mass air travel is having on global temperatures, like holidaying Green councillors and Emma Thompson, but so what. Praise the Lord and pass the Ambre Solaire... school’s out for summer.

Freddie Starr ate my notes about the EU Election

Readers can be forgiven for forgetting today is European Elections day, but last week the comment editor sent me some pointers about this week’s page.

“You can absolutely write about Brexit and other issues, but we’d prefer that the thrust of the piece wasn’t “vote Conservative”,” he advised.

This reminded me of my favourite story to emerge from the recent death of comedian Freddie Starr, nothing to do with hamster sandwiches but about a gig in the Middle East. Beforehand he was warned by an official that he could say anything he liked except profanities or make any direct references to Prince Hussein, who would be in the audience.

The show began and Starr delivered his opening line: “Right, which one of you f*****s is Prince Hussein?” Show over.

So today, folks, while I’d like you to vote Conservative, please just vote.

It’s a real buzz on the Caledonian Sleeper

Last week I used the new Caledonian Sleeper train for the first time and very swish the new cabins are too, each with an en suite loo and shower, and equipped with a room service buzzer so you can summon refreshments to your cosy cubby hole.

The downside is the buzzer goes off in the lounge car, not just in the galley but the length of the carriage and as the train fills up before departure the insistent buzzing becomes incessant.

At least passengers can retreat to their cabins, but no wonder the RMT union is complaining the crews’ stress levels are rising.