Making his pitch

WE squeeze in a final GP story as Niall MacDonald tells us: "A doctor who practised on Paisley Road West had in his small consulting room a pair of footprints marked on the carpet. It must have confused some patients who thought it had something to do with some esoteric treatment. The truth was simpler – if he placed his feet in the marks he could swing his 5-iron without hitting anything.

"Must have been less pressured times in the NHS."

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Razor sharp

WE pass on an interview with former Labour leader Neil Kinnock on website Politics Home who recalled that, when he became involved in student politics, his father asked if he would be growing a beard, and urged him not to. Continued Neil: "I said this to my bearded Scottish colleague Robin Cook years later and he said, 'Comrade, you are ugly – but if you were as ugly as I am, you'd have a beard too."

Help from Boris

TALKING of politics, Bruce Skivington notes that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's dad Stanley is appearing in this year's jungle adventure I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here... and makes the point: "If Boris intervenes and tries to get him out, he's probably going to be in there for ever."

It's a steal

AN eagle-eyed reader spots that in The Herald story about Lewis shopkeeper Leona Rawlinson being pressured by the Lord's Day Observance Society to not open her shop on Sundays, the Bible sent to her is in fact stamped as being the gift of the Gideon's Society – in other words had originally been left in a hotel room. "So have these Christian protesters," says our reader, "not heard of the commandment Thou Shall Not Steal?"

Christmas spirit

NOT everyone is enraptured by the slew of Christmas advertisements on the television by the big retailers. An Ayrshire reader emails: "Nationwide retailers – make your Christmas adverts more realistic by making the parents drunk by lunchtime, having a blazing row, then passing out in front of the Bond film while surrounded by crying children."

Carry on nurse

AND, as our bus stories head for the terminus, a reader tells us: "As Western Infirmary student nurses in the 1960s, we lived in Knightswood Hospital and double-decker buses were hired from Glasgow Corporation to take us in uniform to the Western along Great Western Road and down Byres Road. It was a source of delight to go upstairs and roll round the destination board showing a random part of Glasgow then watching people holding their hands out in vain to stop the bus. We were rumbled though by our very noticeable uniforms, so Matron put a very scary stop to it."

She's murder

AMONG the movies out for Christmas is a remake of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. John Henderson recalls an interview with Richard Goodwin, producer of the 1974 original, and many say better, version of the film in which he said the only problem he could recall dealing with so many stars in the one film was Vanessa Redgrave, then a member of the Workers Revolutionary Party, trying to convert the canteen workers and making political speeches at lunchtime. Eventually, he said, the canteen staff marched on management to demand that Vanessa was sent to talk to someone else.

It's no picnic

A COLLEAGUE tracks me down and claims he has something for me to think about. I stare glumly at him until he asks: "How come if ants are always so busy they've always got time to show up at picnics?"