Talk of the Town: City's leader goes from bad to verse

WITH the tram debacle, budget crisis, privatisation of council services and pay disputes among staff, you would think that city leader Jenny Dawe would be rather busy at the moment.

But it seems she can still find some time for one of her hobbies, writing poetry. When special occasions come round, she often picks up the pen and writes a few words and, at this month's full council meeting, she gave councillors a special reading on behalf of soon-to-retire council chief executive Tom Aitchison.

Her prose poked fun at Tom and some of other senior officials, including director of city development Dave Anderson. In one line, she said: "When Dave heads off to more foreign parts, you'll be at Tynecastle watching the Hearts".

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And, seemingly referring to accusations that senior councillors get preferential treatment at their homes during bad weather, she said that when it snows during his retirement, Tom will say: "Why has yain council no' cleared my street? If a wiz a cooncillor, they'd dae it a treat".

Snow stops Santa

THE bins are overflowing, the streets are like ice rinks and there's no sign of any let-up. But you'd think the one crew to rise above it all would be Santa and his reindeer.

Sadly not - at least not at the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder, where a Christmas Eve appearance by the jolly gent had to be cancelled because of the heavy snowfall. Fear not, children - we're sure he just cancelled the zoo appearance to make sure he had time to get down all those chimneys later that night.

A white Christmas?

THERE's never a shortage of quirky gifts available at this time of year, although some will be more welcome than others.

Spotted outside a dental surgery in the Capital, for example, was a large banner proclaiming "Teeth whitening. Special festive rates. Gift vouchers available". Obviously nothing says Christmas more than a voucher for a loved one to get their yellowing teeth done, does it?

Asterisks are galling

WHEN it comes to Christmas cheer, there's plenty of jokes and banter being bandIed around the office. But one local firm, QueryClick, may have gone a little too far when IT launched an online ad campaign wishing people a "Merry C****tmas".

The quip, which has replaced the innocent word Christmas with stars by the search engine optomisers, is designed to shock initially, until readers realise there is no offence to be caused. Nevertheless, don't be too surprised if you receive the odd Tweet or Facebook message to the tune of "Jingle B*lls", or praising your "Nice B**bles".