Luscious Lola comes home to roost.

Visiting my pal Tracy whole lives in the wilds of Deeside in Aberdeenshire is aye a joy. We walk, talk, eat, drink and rumble around with the dogs. We both love them. Tracy has a half water spaniel/half Spinone called Lola who is a large amazingly chilled dog and looks virtually dislocated when she lies spreadeagled on the floor of the house of an evening. However when out lolloping in the hills the mere whiff of a deer and she is off like a shot, loping up hills and out of sight completely ignoring the commanding tones (which can shatter saftey glass if the truth be told ) of Tracy. From a distance Tracy is often mistaken for Julie Andrews,

Tracy looking thoughtful - where is that dog?

without the dodgy sacking dress or the attentions of Christopher Plummer, rushing over mountains just screeching LOLA! After realising the lovely Lola was ignoring her completely and squawking was a fruitless mission we took root and sang La la la la Lola – the Kinks , leaning against a tree waiting for the wanderer to return. But no more. She now just hears her name whispered and she gallops back down the hill instantly to find Tracy and here you can see why……

They are expensive but then the emotional trauma of losing your beloved dog if it eats a sheep, snarls at someone or is just plain grumpy to your mother-in-law is priceless really isn’t it ?

Wrap Yersel’ in The Saltire & Sing Flower of Scotland


The world of the self-employed is never dull and we’re in  Argyll for a day or two. We hit the road early Monday morning and as we whizzed up the road I shreiked STOP THE CAR! Poor Dave almost had the vapours but I just  had to show  you this… isn’t it amazing?

Staying in a B&B where the proprietor cooked us dinner last night. After a few bevs we are now best friends and he has agreed to do a special wee demo for later – drink will be involved.  Well we’re here for a good time nae a long time! See you back here later.

Can’t wait.  Alison x

Eyes like road maps.

Yes there was drink involved. Well what do you do when an old pal turns up from far far away and wants to go out on the lash.
‘No no I can’t I have to sit in and try and remember when I last detected tone in my thighs’ Aye right.
So off we went into the night. Well specifically The Balmoral Hotel, posh and not the sort of place we usually hang oot so slightly cowed by the grandeur we started in whispery voices. Cut to 4 hours later we were singing at reception. Sorry to the lovely staff.

When in the loo last night I thought my friend Anne was in the adjoining cubicle so I knelt down, put my hand under the door and grabbed her bag. The shriek that emanated from the cubicle made my blood run cold it wasn’t Anne but a complete stranger.  I apologised profusely in an Irish accent in case she was sitting next to us in the restaurant and recognised my voice and ran like the wind. Poor woman.

Made a pact with myself before going out drink water between every glass of booze. I did that – twice and then the ‘what the hell you’re only young once’ thing kicked in. Of course I’m not bloody young anymore which is why I now look like Marty Feldman after someone sat on his face all night and feel like someone has force fed me dung for a fortnight.

Christmas calorie intake 6000 an hour.


Monday 28th

Today is officially declared a non drinking day as the strain my zips and buttons are under is frankly cruelty to flab. There is a party this afternoon but I ask for a soft drink. A derisory snort is made as I am handed a luke warm glass of water. To hell with that. Geeza drink! Am soon giving it ‘Chestnuts roasting round an open fire’ at the top of my lungs whilst harassing the piano player to play Last Christmas by Wham. When he does the whole party stops and gathers round giving it laldy which is when Dynamite bursts into the room wearing a red puffy ski jacket to re-enact the video. Excellent.


Up at the crack to get my abandoned car. Arrive at 8.30am to find a ticket, the wardens were on yesterday – can’t believe it. There goes my Christmas money on a parking fine. Not pleased. Some heading into the sales today not me. The combination of empty purse, parking ticket and hangover assures the dogs get a decent walk. Half way through ice station zebra aka the park Flora, half womble half haggis stops dead in her tracks. Her feet are like icicles, she has balls of snow round her fat wee legs and can go no further. Taking pity I hoist her like a sack of tatties over my shoulder and stomp home.


Going off dogs. By means of thanking me for carrying her from the icy hell of the park yesterday Half womble half haggis savages my christmas present from Dave, a wart hog. You can see in this picture before it’s early demise it had the evil eye which all the dogs have been growling at since I opened it. Now my little warthog is in a bin liner off to meet its maker. Flora is in the bad books and spends the day staring at me pathetically with an apologetic look in her eye. Spend the evening with Dave making a monster casserole for tomorrows shenanigans.


Oh God here we go again.Fiona having a party and everyone is taking something.We head off carrying the giant casserole between us trying to walk smoothly.. I told you to put clingfilm on it I screech as my party coat is splooshed with gravy. I did he said taking off the lid revealing a huge ball of plastic in the middle of the stew. Very appetising. Despite it’s drainage problems it is wolfed down as people scramble for a hot lining before trudging up to Princes Street to see Madness. What a fabulous night! All walk back to Fiona in Madness style and carry on.


Home at 5am. Awake at 8am what’s that about? Age? Drink? Can’ sleep so get up, glug a resolve and wrap up to take Flora the evil warthog eater and her friend out for a stumble round the park. Exchange Happy New Years with a few people. Spot one guy obviously just home,steaming and trying in vain to fit the key into his front door. Ask if I can help and open the door for him. You’ve saved my life he slurs at me dramatically you’ve saved my life. Hardly I say modestly it was nothing. No he says honestly you have I’m absolutely dying for a s***e .Happy New Year.


Off to Murrayfield to watch Edinburgh V Glasgow. Round to pals Charles who live round the corner and always get descended on. As time goes on the boys head off wrapped up against the elements, soon after that the men follow on. The women? Well after a quick look outside we decide on one for the road and then as we snuggle up in front of the roaring fire gossiping wildly someone says what we were all thinking. Shall we just stay here? Deal done we turn on the telly ignore the match and have a lovely time for Monday the hell of new year new regime and reality kicks in big time. Yeuch.

The Castle? The brewery?


Typical tosser

What a laugh yesterday. Met up with an 8ft deer called Miles. He was doing the Edinburgh Marathon in a deer suit. He reckons he lost about a stone running in the thing. Fantastic! A fool proof way to lose weight. Mind you by the time I got this picture taken the entire suit was drenched and when Miles took th head off – so to speak – he looked a bit pale &* wan to say the least.

After that we went off to Louis school fund raiser a Highland Games. There was caber tossing for all ages. Even Daves Mum had a go. Dave took to it like a duck to water oh and there were ducks being herded by sheep dogs. All in all it was a great day. As we stood by the loch looking around and loving Scotladn in the summer suddenly there was a big splahs and this wee boy about 3 fell intot he loch. His dada, who was right beside him, wheeched him out as the wee souls tood howling on the bank. His Dad gave him a cuddle but despite himself couldn’t’ stop laughing . The wee drookit boy had done exactly the same last year.


Louis is changing schools this year and today he went to his new school for the day to see how it all works. I was quite nervous about it – more than he was – hoping he would love it. I picked him up at the back of 3 and he came swaggering out like John Wayve – ‘’it’s brilliant!’ he beamed . Phew. He then went on to talk about his 3 best friends – ‘ I have 5 he said but 3 best friends’ . So relieved took him for a Chinese carry-out. Speaking of chineses carry –outs dynamite Di is due back from Bejing after 10 days tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear how she got on – if she’s not in some sort of Chineses prison for badly behaved women by now.


Computer guru man Gordon Fraser comes round to look at my computer. He asks me which anti virus software I’ve got. My response is to look blankly at him. His look of disapproval makes me want to go and stand in the corner with a Dunce hat on – something  I sent a lot of my formative years doing. 4 hours later my computer is till goosed. He tells me I am riddled with viruses – when he sees my face he clarifies it’s the computer that ‘s got the viruses not me! Well that’s OK then. By late afternoon we are back up and rnningmy computer is going like a speeding bullet and I am happy again. As hopefully my editor  will be as I think he was getting fed up of getting my  next chapter written on scrunched up napkins and beer mats.


WE have American friends arriving today. When I say friend we met them last summer in france for one night. We had a carry on swapped addresses and they’re arriving today. I have a full day of Scottish tourism planned for tomorrow. Edinburgh Castle, Mary Kings Close, the open topped bus , the royal mile. Quite looking fowrad to it myself. I picked them up off the train and I knew we were going to get on famously when Susan produced a teen idol magazine form the 70’s she had bought off E Bay for me as the night we’d met we talked extensively about Donny via David Cassidy as we were both obsessed as teenagers. Celebrations commenced and the wine was cracked open. AS the night wore on more wine was open and by midnight we wer listening to Puppy Love – the album and telling our deepest  pre-teen secrets. Again there was an amazing translatlantic connection – we all had save up our bubble gum stickers and sent away for X-Ray Spex and were all equally amazed and dispappoitned when they arrived that they didn’t actually work! Plus  the deep routed desire for sea monkeys which were advertised as lookinglike little pixie like mermaids on the box and when they were bought and hatched they were as david attractively dscreibed them like bits of dandruff floating about in dirty water. So having liaghed ourselves stupid we retired. Due to kick off our extravaganza tour at 9am


Wake at 9am So we’ll be a little late I thought as I got up and boiled the kettle. By 10.30 I was still the only one up apart from the kids who were boucing on the trampoline n their pyjama bottoms. At 11 Paul the American guy appeared when I asked how Susan was he replied ‘ she asked me what it felt like to sit upright and when I told her she just stayed where she was’. The weather waas wet, misty, & cold – playing to every Scottish cliché tourists have about our country. By 11am the executive decision was made to give the tourist trail a miss. Cancelled all activities and lit the fire instead. By mid afternoon the weather had cleared a little so we headed off to North Berwick harbour and grabbed Dougie and his boat ‘Braveheart’ who took us round the bass rock and mackerel fishing. Everyone caught a fish and we went straight back home to eat them.


Even wetter and more miserable than yesterday. Drove our pals through Edinburgh pointing out the sights from the car window –‘that’s the castle, the scott monuement’ etc before dropping them at the airport. Having been toured until they were black and blue before they arrived with us they said they had enjoyed the fishing and relaxing more than anything else since they lef thome 10 days ago. Aaah. Little to do except go off to see the Day After Tomorrow with Dennis Quaid  & Jake Gellangal a true disaster move for the millenium. Fantastic effects and when we came out of the cinema having watched a tidal wave and engulf America I half expected to see Leith had disappeared altogether. Luckily the rain was off so we  drove home and collapsed. More pals coming tomorrow and the thought of clearing the kitchen in the quest for a clean palte is enough to dirve me to drink….. Oh now there’s an idea.

Definition of a bad hangover – when even your moisturiser makes you feel sick.


SCHOOL holidays are here – seven weeks of… well, quite. Have to get organised as I’m off to Aberdeen on July 22 for three weeks to do the Tom Morton Show on Radio Scotland while he’s on holiday. The holidays are a finely- tuned military operation of school clubs, activity days, friends, childminders, grandparents, videos, computer games and generally praying for the sun to shine. Soon. Please. PLEASE.


OFF to get my eyes checked. Decided to get the full test as I reckon I could do with a thorough MOT. Very pleased that I don’t need to get any stronger glasses than I had last time. Brilliant eye test, though. The chap who does it is an opthalmic surgeon and with his equipment (ooh er missus

he can see right into your brain. I was pleased to have the fact I have one confirmed after all these years – although there was no mention of size. But I am a woman and I know size is not important.

IN Glasgow to do Playing For Time. This week we have Tony Higgins, boss of the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association, who has played with some of the finest players in the world, including George Best during his spell with Hibs. Enjoyed lots of football legend stories and handed over the prize of a packet of Brazil nuts to celebrate Brazil’s World Cup victory then whizzed back to Edinburgh. Out to dinner with two of Dave’s chums. When we got home I said to Dave: “You were quiet tonight.” “Yes,” he said. “None of us could get a word in edge ways.” Oops.


FRIEND Fiona back from her holiday in Santorini. She arrived to say hello and just have a quick coffee, which predictably turned into loads of wine and about half a hundredweight of Doritos. She looks brown, healthy and relaxed whereas I sat hunched up, pot bellied and pale faced listening to her tales of fun in the sun. No wonder I drink.


DAVE’S 40th birthday. What do you get for the man who has everything? Well, I have to say I was stumped until my pal suggested a membership of the Classic Car Club. As Dave is a car fanatic it is the perfect gift as it allows you to drive a different car from their collection about 12 times a year. He was super chuffed – and so was I when I realised it’s a joint membership so I can drive them, too. Most of the cars, including the Ferrari and the E-type, were already booked out so we went for the Honda S2000 – the engine is based on a Formula 1 car. We pick it up tomorrow for the weekend. Normal birthday behaviour would be a wild night, but instead Dave is more tired and emotional. Is this the onset of an early middle- life crisis? We had an early night so he could be fresh as a daisy for picking up the car tomorrow to head north to see Bryan Ferry live. Dave thought he was Bryan Ferry when he was about 14 so we will get a chance to do a direct comparison tomorrow.


UP early and down to the classic car club where David picked up the Honda. It’s a soft- top, two-seater which goes like the wind. Obviously we only drove it at 69mph – with the roof up as it was pouring. But as we approached Banchory the skies cleared so we wheeched the roof down, put Sheryl Crow on the CD at 5000 decibels and by the time we arrived at my pal Tracy’s house we truly believed we were 18 again. Off to see Bryan Ferry at Crathes Castle There were only a few hundred people there so it was like a private party. Horse supported and Bryan was magnificent. We were right up at the front, shouting, dancing and singing. Yes, drink had been taken. After he finished the set we met some pals and rather than stop there – because we’d only been at it for nine hours – we got a taxi back to Tracy’s house and spotted the local hotel was still open. “Stop the cab,” we screeched and went in for more. Why?


I KNEW it was a spectacularly bad hangover when even the smell of my moisturiser made me feel sick. Padding round Tracy’s cottage hunting for water in my bare feet when I stood on something. At first glance I thought it was a tomato until closer inspection proved it was actually a severed bird’s foot and half a leg. The cat had had a midnight feast. Hopped into the kitchen and dangled my fat leg over the bucket and shook my foot until it fell off – the birds foot, not mine that is. Yuk

Graeme, Tracy’s boyfriend, couldn’t speak at all so he cooked a massive breakfast to send us on our way home in our groovy only this time the stereo was off, the roof was up and we had to stop intermittently as I needed fresh air. Apologies to the farmer in Edzell whose field I had to rather unexpectedly inhabit for 15 minutes. I hope I didn’t ruin his crop. Sophisticated woman of the millennium where are you?