Ancient column – dusted down, hoovered and published on here….


DINNER at Howie’s with Pete Irvine, author of Scotland The Best and eventmeister of Scotland Hogmanay, Capital Christmas, Lomond Shores and general tourist guru. Talked about everything… food, TV, holidays, music and only at about midnight does it slip out that Pete was made an MBE MBE (in Britain) Member of the Order of the British Empire. Huh! Modest or what? I would have been wearing my “I’ve got an MBE” T-shirt at all times – which probably is exactly why I’ll never get anything like that. Good chat, too much wine, but it almost all came to a premature end when we realised we hadn’t taped Six Feet Under. After an emergency call to the babysitter we resumed our evening.


DRY. Felt like I was 6ft under after I got up. Did two voiceovers in the morning. I was required to sound husky in one, which was my speciality today… sounded husky and coincidentally looked like a husky. Got a call from Dave who suggested lunch. A cursory look at my old black jeans, off-white t-shirt and rumpled sweatshirt made me say, “OK, but just a wee sandwich in the back of the car.” So he took me to The Bonham, a super-smart hotel in Edinburgh. I sat in a corner trying to hide. Fabulous lunch and I was just starting to relax when I heard an “Alison, is that you?” Luckily, it was Marie, a good friend who also had a hangover. She sat at a neighbouring table, shaking and drinking water . Had a lovely lunch. Normally the pressure to wear shorts keeps me on the straight and narrow but I’m still swathed in woolly jumpers cos it’s cold, so what the hell.


TOOK about two hours to drive to my cousin’s house cos the Open golf was on and I forgot. Spotted lots of people in Slazenger V-necks. Saw Robbie Corbett again… he’ll think I’m stalking him. Got tickets for Saturday, drove home and collapsed in the bath when David answered the doorbell. It was John Whittle, from Optical Solutions, with my new glasses. He knew I had to drive to Glasgow tomorrow so delivered them personally. As I lay in the bath David plopped them on my nose. Now that’s what I call service.


GUESTING on Fred MacAulay Show with Steve Irwin, the mad Aussie who wrestles crocodiles and snakes for fun, and Pete McCarthy. His new book, The Road to McCarthy, is the follow-up to his incredibly successful McCarthy’s Bar. He’s very entertaining and I know from personal experience he has a great sense of humour On Room At The Top a couple of years back a researcher asked him if he had fully recovered after being held hostage. Yes, he mixed him up with John McCarthy. Last Playing For Time this week, then off to Aberdeen to do Radio Scotland’s afternoon show for a few weeks. Cousin phoned very excited, Tiger Woods has been going to her health club to train… though she was not quite as excited as her husband Mark as Tiger was there with his gorgeous Swedish girlfriend. God, it’s enough to make you turn to drink… or at least food. Dinner out with pals when I got a call from the babysitter… the wee man Louis was ill for the first time ever so had to whizz home. He wasn’t well, poor scone. He clambered into my bed where he stayed, sweating, tossing and turning.


LOUIS slept brilliantly but I was like a half-shut knife after 12 hours brow mopping. Decided not to be Snow White in panto Am I mad? Probably, but everyone says it is ten weeks, two shows a day, only Christmas day off. Thought long and hard, but it would mean no Christmas, no life, no Louis, no chance. It’s bound to be the last time he believes in Santa. I won’t miss it for anything.


OPEN golf. It was like monsoon, 3ft deep in water. No way I was going to watch men hitting balls with sticks… so I just hit the hospitality. Call from friend Fiona who was to have her 40th birthday party in Queen Street Gardens in Edinburgh… rained off. Panic – where can we have it? Happily, friend Derek volunteered his pad which was duly decked out with stuff, including copious quantities of food and drink. Danced the night away. Still enjoying someone’s hospitality at 1am.


GULP. Woke up fully clothed on couch. Asked long-suffering husband why he didn’t put me to bed. He said he tried but couldn’t – and besides my snoring would have kept him awake. Does Kylie have such problems? Tired. Old. Face strange shape. Yuk . Off to Aberdeen tomorrow to do Tom Morton Show on Radio Scotland for three weeks. Going on Slimfast diet as I’m becoming like a house – a two up, two down with large outside patio.


Writer & broadcaster.

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