I refer to the fact that our southern neighbours have just woken up to what my old chum, Alexei Salmonella, has in mind for them. Do none of them read the erudite chunterings of Magnus Links-Sausage, Loopy Rupe's North Briton lackey, who has been tearing his few tufts out at the thought of a Disunited Kingdom?
Mr Links-Sausage, like so many other misguided souls, labours under the dodgy notion that, were an independence referendum to be held tomorrow, the Gnats would lose.
I dare say he was of the same opinion shortly before the election last May. Expecting Mr Salmonella to lose strikes me as dangerously complacent.
Like others of his ilk, Mr Links-Sausage mentions en passant the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn and the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. What he neglects to mention is the Edinburgh trams fiasco, which, if resolved by 2014, would surely be a juicier electoral carrot to dangle before voters.
Be all that as it may, I cannot help wondering why there is such focus on 1314. What about 1414, 1514, 1614, 1714, 1814 and 1914? Did nothing of any joyous note happen Gnat-wise in them?
ANENT – etcetera – Raasay which, I surely need not remind readers of this throbbing organ, is off Skye. It is also, according to The Times, "a five-hour drive" from Glasgow. I do not doubt it.
Raasay, I gather, is about to get a new art gallery which will include scenes of heather and peat and a pot by Grayson Perry (a man who likes to look like Minnie Caldwell), generously loaned by Glasgow City Council.
Because the island was once visited by Dr Johnson, a Scotophobe, and his chum, Jimmy Boswell, the scheme has been dubbed "Project Boswell". Boswell liked Raasay, not least because the natives kept his tumbler full. It was there that he famously "danced a Highland dance". What, one wonders, did he expect to dance? The Twist? Project Boswell is the notion of a man called Fred Kohler who, in another existence, was a diplomat.
Having padded around the globe he has retired to Raasay where he has belatedly discovered there's not a lot going on beyond watching the Skye ferry come in and out. Had he but asked I would have forewarned him.
Once upon a time (and a hard time it was too) I holidayed on Raasay with my family. Alton Towers it was not. Rain fell incessantly. Watching washing try to dry was the main diversion. I was so stuck for anything to do I read Daniel Deronda, which I never finished. Has anyone?
There was one shop on the island. You may not be surprised to learn that it wasn't Waitrose. By way of intellectual nourishment it stocked the Daily Record, which arrived a day after publication, which did not improve its content.
It also stocked mince. Or so its proprietor assured me. If you wanted to buy some, however, you had to be up before the Jacobites. I never was.
TO the National Library, last bastion of civilisation in this cesspit of philistinism. There may be quieter cloisters. If so, where? Eager to keep in touch with world affairs I switched on my laptop only to have an American-accented quine bellow: "You've got email!" If looks could kill ...
MY dear friend Kenneth Roy, sagacious editor of the Scottish Review, is rightly exercised by the inability of teuchters to spell correctly.
In particular, he is concerned about Milne's Bar in Edinburgh, one of the so-called poets' pubs, formerly habituated by the likes of Hugh MacDiarmid, Norman MacCaig, George Mackay Brown and others able to rhyme "closing time" with "gin and lime".
Milne's, which makes much of its former imbibers on its signage, spells MacDiarmid "Mc Daimid" and MacCaig "McCraig".
Despite protests from the Scottish Review's vociferous readers nothing has been done to correct these heinous errors.
A complaint to the pub's manager resulted in the buck being passed to the council which passed it back to the pub, leading Mr Roy to the perfectly understandable conclusion that our national game is not gowf or fitba' but "pass-the-parcel".
Meanwhile, I dropped into another of the poets' pubs, The Abbotsford, which makes no mention at all of its late, great slurpers.
It does, however, have a quote on a wall from William Hazlitt, the English essayist and member of the "Cockney school of poetry", whom the editor of Blackwood's Magazine once described as "a mere quack". Nae wonder one's blood pressure is at boiling point!
AMAZINGLY, I still have enough hair to necessitate the occasional visit to a barber.
As J Alfred Prufrock could measure his life out in coffee spoons, I can measure out mine in scissors and combs and squirts of Brylcreem.
My latest favoured clipper is Kurdish. He is much taken with our countryside, which he visits when not in Sweeney Todd mode.
Over New Year, he tells me, he visited Fort William and environs, lifting his eyes to the hills whenever possible.
"Did you climb any?" I ask. Mildly affronted, he replies: "Of course. I have a 4x4."
RIVERS of tears have I spilled over the resignation of Philipp Hildebrand, heidbummer of the Swiss National Bwank.
Said Mr Hildebrand en route to the Zurich Labour Exchange: "This is a step that saddens me greatly. I would like to think I've been a damn good central bwanker."
He bit the bullet after it was revealed that his wife, Mrs Hildebrand, spent $500,000 "shorting" the Swiss currency, which netted her a profit of about £50,000.
When this came to light, her hubby said he knew nowt about it but couldn't prove it.
For her part, Mrs Hildebrand has apologised to everyone in Switzerland, including, presumably Roger Federer, as well as her deflated squeeze.
Doubtless many of you will share her pain and shame. However, many more, one suspects, will wonder at a marriage in which one of its members has 500,000 bucks to throw around without the other seemingly aware of it happening.
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