Wrist action

WE mentioned the Great Scottish Run at the weekend in Glasgow where many of the serious runners had swanky Garmin wristbands which record your speed and direction while out pouring the pavements. Runner Graham Richmond tells us his favourite sign held up by spectators encouraging the contestants was one which read "Don't worry. If you collapse I'll step in and pause your Garmin."

Bear necessity

GUEST speaker at the Conservative Party conference yesterday was survivalist Bear Grylls in his role as Chief Scout. Inevitably it led to writer Oliver Westwood commenting: "Bear Grylls at the Tories? I'm just waiting for the policy announcement that Universal Credit claimants waiting for money will have to hunt for their own food."

Held to account

A GLASGOW reader tells us his pal was complaining: "My wife has insisted that the security question on all my on-line banking and insurance accounts is 'When is your wedding anniversary?' as she reckons that's the only way I'm going to remember it."

Unknown factor

RODNEY Bickerstaffe, the retired leader of the trade union Unison, who has died, was one of the better orators at trade union conferences. We remember him lambasting a Tory Foreign Secretary – and the funny thing is we can't remember who it was – but anyway, Rodney's line at a conference speech was: "Three years ago he was unknown throughout Britain. And now he's Foreign Secretary he's unknown throughout the world."

Paging Elaine

UNUSUAL name Bickerstaffe. Singer Elaine Paige, famous for her role as Evita, is appearing at Edinburgh's Queen's Hall later this month, and she recounts: "My first job in the theatre was in ‘The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd.’ I auditioned under my real name Elaine Bickerstaff and didn’t get the job, but Aida Foster, who ran my stage school, was convinced I was right for the show and suggested I went back under another name. I thought she was mad. Wouldn’t they recognise me? How naive. Well I got the part, a Chinese urchin, and kept the name – Elaine Paige."

Mars attack

SO now we are into October, and a Lenzie reader tells us: "The first weekend in October is the date when I traditionally eat the first bag of mini Mars Bars I've bought to give out at Halloween."

Ride 'em cowboy

WRITER Deedee Cuddihy's book about that great city on the Tay, entitled Only In Dundee, is published, and includes a great story from the Courier which begins with the memorable line: "A man wearing a pink cowboy hat and covered in fire extinguisher foam was discovered straddling an airplane when police responded to a possible terror alert at Dundee Airport in the early hours of the morning."

A bit p.c.

POSTCARDS continued. Dave Carson recalls the yarn about the boy on holiday at Millport with family friends for a fortnight who ran out of money and sent a postcard to his dad with the message: "No mon. No fun. Your son." His dad fired a postcard back stating: "How sad. Too bad. Your dad."