• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

If a Yes vote means we all get official nicknames you can put me down as Fudge Doughnut Boy

Wonderful things, podcasts.

Miss a radio programme, in this case an edition of BBC Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent from earlier this month, and you can catch up with it at your leisure. Which is how I learn today from the Beeb's man in Mogadishu, Justin Marozzi, about the Somalis' love for nicknames - like Field Goal, for a man with a gap between his front teeth. From president to pirate, everyone has one and they're so important in Somali culture that they go on all Somali passports too. Worth adopting here if there's a Yes vote in September? At the very least it would give immigration officials a laugh if David "Golden Balls" Beckham ever flies in to sign for Albion Rovers. Don't scoff, it could happen.

Arrive early enough at the official launch of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival to actually hear the speeches and ensure a bacon roll. Joining Sydney-born Festival director Sir Jonathan Mills on the stage for the grand unveiling is Janet Archer, head of Creative Scotland, and Steve Cardownie, deputy leader of Edinburgh City Council. Cardownie uses his speech to read out a long list of numbers which are either (I can't quite make out over the sound of 100 people chewing bacon) the odds on his beloved Hearts avoiding relegation or some survey the council has conducted. Given the subject at hand, I suspect the latter. But you never know.

Stump up £27 for a return ticket from one half-demolished railway station to another - Edinburgh Haymarket to Dundee, since you ask - in order to buy a fudge doughnut from Fisher & Donaldson.

Now if you don't know the place or the confection, the first is located on Whitehall Street in Dundee city centre and the second is a delicacy much loved by those of us who spent our formative years in and around Fife and Tayside where F&D, which makes the best fudge doughnuts in the world, has a number of outlets.

(Let me break into this sweet-toothed reverie to say this isn't actually the reason I'm in Dundee. The real reason is to meet with Fleur Darkin, artistic director of the Scottish Dance Theatre, but as she's a vegan and insists on dragging me to a cafe where I have to watch her sip water and eat a plate of rice and vegetables, you can understand why my thoughts turn to fudge doughnuts. When in Rome and all that.)

Back on Whitehall Street - calamity. So popular is the fudge doughnut that by the time I get to the shop they've sold out. Horror of horrors. The Fisher & Donaldson fudge doughnut has its own Facebook page but staring longingly at a 2D facsimile on my phone isn't quite the same as getting stuck into the cream-filled 3D version. I'm trudging out the door and heading for the train home when a shout goes up. "Hang on, there's one left in the window. Do you want it?"

Do I ever. Suddenly even the half-demolished station seems cheerier.

The first day of spring! I know this because Google marks it on its home page and because through the dining-room window I can see the wind and rain threatening to uproot a magnolia which has dared to think about blooming.

Gripping though this battle between nature and elements is, I'm more concerned with figuring out what happened in the final episode of Line Of Duty last night.

Along with three million other addicts of Jed Mercurio's gripping police corruption drama I tuned in expecting to see all those flailing loose ends tied into a single knot, preferably one securing Keeley Hawes's character Lindsay Denton to a lengthy prison stretch.

Not a bit of it. Denton went down but is she actually guilty? As Mercurio admits in a live post-screening blog, some big questions were left unanswered.

Martin Compston, one of the show's stars, is less apologetic. "Been a helluva ride," he tweets this morning. "Some cheeky loose ends in case we come back." You can say that again.

Gabby Logan, who isn't in the series but is on the telly from time to time, is another who is puzzled. She tweets: "I have rewatched the end of #LineofDuty - what about The Caddy? And who threw the grenades in the car?" Who indeed?

London-based Scot Phil McGarvey isn't on the telly or in Line Of Duty but, there being no branches of Fisher & Donaldson south of the Border, he has been into Greggs for his sugary mid-morning treat and it's there that he encounters another of the show's stars, Vicky McClure.

She poses for a picture with him, which he posts online. Fans of Line Of Duty who aren't lucky enough to meet a flesh-and-blood cast member today mark their love of the show in other ways. My favourite? An Instagram snap of a Lego Lindsay Denton, complete with fetching prison boiler suit.

Knowing a little about a lot is one of the side-effects of working as a journalist. Thanks to a long-ago assignment in another century, among the lot about which I know a little is Norland College.

It's where they train nannies to drive Silver Cross prams and minister to the sainted offspring of the creme-de-la-creme, and its graduates traditionally wear leather gloves and distinctive brown uniforms.

Or they used to: the Norland College graduate recently engaged by supposedly hands-on parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is not only Spanish - kind of a Maria Poppins, then - but wears, according to one report, "slacks and a knotted pashmina".Among the 21st-century skills she will have acquired in her four years at nanny school is how to use an Aga and how to control a skidding car. Times change, even if the market for nannies doesn't.

Reflecting on the week's Budget coverage as I peruse the Saturday papers I'm most struck by a comment from Pensions Minister Steve Webb. Let pensioners blow their cash on a Lamborghini, he said, in defence of George Osborne's proposal to allow people more say over how they spend their pension pots.

A Lamborghini? Fat chance. Back-of-the-envelope maths tells me a lamb bhuna is about the best I can hope for. With extra naan, if I tighten my belt from now to 2040.

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

221326