Warm reception

BIT chilly out there just now. Archie Tom in Ayr tells us that the heating in his church on Sunday was struggling to cope with the drop in temperatures. Says Archie: "The preacher made us all smile at the start of his sermon by mis-quoting Matthew 22 verse 14: 'Many are cauled, but few are frozen'."

What a performance

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SOME newspaper corrections require a wider audience. Ewan MacColl was a famous folk singer who, although born in England, was very proud of his Scottish parentage. He married Peggy Seeger, and The Guardian newspaper has printed the correction: "A review of Peggy Seeger's memoir quotes her description of her early impressions of Ewan MacColl and how they fell in love, saying he had a 'hairy, fat, naked belly poking out and was clad in ill-fitting trousers, suspenders, no shirt, a ragged jacket and a filthy lid of a stovepipe hat aslant like a garbage can.' The context we omitted was that MacColl was appearing in a production of The Threepenny Opera."

What the bleep

ACTRESS Julie Walters has been spotted at the Silverburn shopping centre filming for her role as the mother of a Scottish country and western star. We well remember when Julie spoke at a Herald book event and explained that she originally trained as a nurse before acting, but never felt entirely comfortable in the job.

This was brought home to her on night duty on a coronary ward when a heart monitor emitted a piercing note. Before she could react, a medical student started pummelling the heart of the patient - a large Irish chap who sat up with a start and abruptly punched the medical student's lights out. It was then they discovered that the lead attached to him had accidentally come adrift.

Being presidential

AMERICA is agog about the latest book published on President Trump which doesn't paint him in a flattering light. Entertainer Bette Midler read the book, Fire and Fury, and remarked: "It seems that Trump doesn’t start work till 11am, and takes 'executive time' breaks all day. Thank god he’s lazy and not devoted to screwing things up full-time."

Cryin' Time

HONESTLY, apologies for critical remarks about the music of that fine Ayrshire gentleman Sydney Devine. Michael McGeachy adds to the subject: "The Argyll Hotel in Campbeltown used to run a bus to London for the England v Scotland match. On the eve of the 1977 trip we were informed that we were having a brand new bus, and it had a tape deck, so we turned up suitably armed with cassette tapes only to find that the tape deck was in fact an 8-track, and only one member of our group had the foresight to bring along a tape of that format. It was Sydney Devine's Greatest Hits.

"After hearing 'The Crystal Chandelier' for the 73rd time, the bus driver stopped at a lay-by just north of Kendall, and to much cheering and whooping, he frisbeed Sydney into the long grass.. even no music was better than Sydney's."

Out the frying pan

AS others see us. Says Jean McDonald: "At a booking desk to take a trip on a yacht in Tenerife, I asked the young lad where he was from. After a game of 'guess my country' we established that he was from Latvia. On assuming we were English but being informed we were in fact from Scotland, he immediately shouted, 'Ah! Deep fried Mars Bars!'"