John Gibson: About these tussles with Brussels

It’s gonna be a long, hard winter. I’m not a Met Office mogul but take my words for it. Rain has shrunk Brussels sprout to buttons, to pathetic little things. Tinned Brussels have yet to be invented. So a sproutless Christmas dinner will be a washout.

Worse still, and again we’re on a tinsel topic, Father Christmas has been deemed politically incorrect for fear of offending women or non-Christians. Ken what you’re thinking – what next? Where does it all end?

Coppers down south find “manning the phone” is no longer permissible. So now be sure you don’t bawl “man the lifeboats”.

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Motor home

A 3000-mile round trip at the wheel might seem daunting for an old soldier who, like they say, is cracking on a bit. But Brian Leishman is up for it and motors off this month, bound for Italy. To Parma, where the ham comes from.

Major Leishman (familiar with the military, I’ve always been a respecter of rank) will be headed for a reunion of old chums, members of the Italian Staff College.

“I’m fond of Italy. I jump at the chance to polish my Italian. Besides, gin is £4 a bottle, wine £2. Very civilised, I have to say.”

Yellow lines

They say they’ve found a way to prevent bananas rotting. It’s a spray, developed by a scientist (not Charlie Chan’s No 1 son) in China, and it keeps bananas fresh for 12 days.

Listen here, I’ve got an idea and it’s just between you and me. A way to make big bucks. How to take the bend out of ‘nanas and make them straight.

It’s this scientist pal of mine. Met him at Easter Road the other Saturday and he has promised to spill the beans at the next home game. Can we wait that long?

Afterwords . .

. . . Make that a G&F, rather than a G&T. A rare fungus, phytopathora austrocedrae and maybe you’ve had a touch of it yourself, is killing off juniper trees.

Junipers provide the berries that form gin’s tonic and eighty per cent are from Scotland. A G and Fungus won’t taste quite the same but G&T might prevail . . . gin and tragedy.