Talk of the Town: One still has to let one's hair down

EDINBURGH bosses aren't as "Scrooge-like" as The Queen according to a local event organiser.

Her Majesty has scrapped the annual Buckingham Palace party for her 600 staff amid the nation's "difficult financial circumstances".

However, booking agent Best Parties Ever said The Queen's "echoes of Ebeneezer" have not reverberated north of the Border, as it is set to host 21 festive parties at the Royal Highland Centre, serving 21,000 guests.

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Tim Stevens, managing director, said: "Christmas may have been cancelled for many last year, but with recent economic growth figures exceeding expectation, companies are seeing the need for building relationships and creating a sense of community internally."

Cash of the Titans

THAT said, it's good to know in these troubled economic times bargains can still be found.

The annual Titan Sports East of Scotland closed squash championships take place at the Grange Club, Raeburn Place and organisers are offering players an improved deal, with entry forms bearing the message "Reduced Entry Fee In Light Of Imminent Government Austerity Cuts."

Clever as ever

AS the home of one of the country's finest educational institutions, Edinburghers see themselves as a brainy bunch.

So locals will enjoy a survey ranking the Capital the fourth least ignorant town in the UK.

Participants in the poll, which marks the publication of QI: The Second Book Of General Ignorance, were marked on level of ignorance, logic of answers and creativity and humour of answers.

And before anyone takes this too seriously, they were asked questions such as: 'Which Country Invented Football?'; 'How Many Legs Does An Octopus Have?' and 'How Can you Weigh Your Head?

If the cap fits, Norrie . .

SCOTTISH Rugby bosses will push the boat out for ex-internationalists during Saturday's visit by the All Blacks in Murrayfield's Rowan Hospitality Suite.

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One of that distinguished gathering, Edinburgh businessman Norrie Rowan, admits this will further fuel the myth that the suite is named in his honour.

"When taxi drivers ask me if I have my own suite it's understandable given my 13 appearances for Scotland, and increasingly hard not to dis-abuse them of the idea even if the suite at the other end is named the Hawthorn and there's not yet been anyone of that name capped by Scotland!" says Norrie.

Thirteen caps are more than most achieve but maybe try to get into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame first, Norrie, and take it from there . . .