TO Prestwick airport, which has been saved for the nation by Nicola Spit-Fire, Alexei Salmonella's co-pilot.
Henceforth, said Ms Spit-Fire, announcing the news to an entirely empty but otherwise agog chamber at Holyrude, Scottish patriots will be able to fly anywhere they want free of charge, including Ibiza, as long as they can prove that they voted Yes at the forthcoming referendum.
This is exactly the kind of boost the Yes campaign needs and for which I have been campaigning in the boondocks. Quite why Prestwick has fallen into the doldrums I know not. Among those who have loyally championed it is my dear amigo, Dugald Cameron, artist extraordinaire, whose wonderful exhibition of planes and trains at the MacLaurin Art Gallery, Ayr, closes today.
I myself flew from Prestwick to Barcelona last year and, apart from the criminal cost of a roll and sausage in the departure lounge cafe, it was a wholly pleasurable experience.
MY dear chum, Sir Magnus Lastslonger, erstwhile editor of the North British Times, has told in heart-rending detail how he clocked up a bill of £1500 from Vodafone while on his hols in Turkey.
He did it, he says, by phoning loved ones back in Blighty, texting and accessing the internet, especially Wikipedia. On his behalf I am outraged and have made a mental note to myself to pay for the coffees when next we reconnoitre. However, I am also shocked that a man of Sir Magnus's eminence and erudition uses such a suspect source as Wikipedia for his information.
This may explain a lot, not least his antipathy to Scotia going it alone. You will be relieved to learn that when I venture into foreign parts I always pack a full set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
PRINCE 'arry, who is fast dropping down the regal succession line, has been in Oz, acting on behalf of Queen Tupperware. Why do they bother?
The Aussie press, which makes ours read like the Book Of Job, welcomed him with open arms, telling the new Australian prime minister - a tube called Tony Abbott - that he should lock up his three daughters. The advice, alas, fell on deaf lugs as Aussie women turned up in their millions to shout provocatively at 'arry, who couldn't quite believe his luck.
There must be something in the barbecued air that affects their hormones.
Meanwhile, it has been authoritatively reported by scuttlebutts that Cressida Bonas, a dancer, has overcome her worries about marrying 'arry, and is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice and think of England. If you think you read this here first, you need to get out more.
I am often asked how many there are of me, given my prodigious output. Usually, I smile embarrassedly and say three or four. Or perhaps five. A perceptive reader asks if I am by any chance the same Alan Taylor who directs Game Of Thrones. To which I can only reply that my contract insists I say "no comment".
Other Alan Taylors with whom I have been linked include a West Ham footballer, a folk singer, a historian and a fashionista who "enjoys dabbling in women's wear". I may be all of these or none.
SINCE no-one has yet called it Trewsgate I feel I must. I refer, alas, to the sorry tale of Alexei Salmonella and the curious incident of the missing trews. According to Woodward and Bernstein, Mr Salmonella arrived for a dinner in Beijing, whereupon his first words were: "Hello there, China!" Actually, they weren't. What he did say was: "Where's ma trews?"
This, it is believed, was said to the Keeper of the Trews, who may or may not be his elegant wife Moira. It was soon realised that said trews had been left in Scotia. What to do? Fly back and get them? Not for nothing is Mr Salmonella First Meenister. Instantaneously he sourced a local tailor who could run up a pair of trews for him, albeit in Clan Mao tartan. They cost £250 or thereabouts, which the great Scottish taxpayer paid for initially.
Only lately has it come to light that Mr Salmonella took his time to repay this. It is the stuff to set opposition spokesfolk frothing at the mouth. Said Ruthie Lamontable-Rennie: "We demand an explanation and it had better be a good yin, otherwise the trews will out."
As yet, Mr Salmonella has not commented on the affair. Said his spokesperson: "The matter has been referred to the Trews and Reconciliation Committee, in which case it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage."
WORD reaches me that Tam Cowan, presenter of Off The Ball and Daily Roger columnist, has been freed and will be back on air toute de suite.
You may recall that Mr Cowan was removed from the airwaves after he wrote a silly column casting aspersions on women's ability to kick a ball. Little could he have appreciated what a can of worms he had opened as heidbangers and numpties took to the internet to display their inability to conjugate sentences.
Mr Cowan, it was asserted, hated women and as such he had no right to be on Radio Teuchter.
Meanwhile, the Roger insisted he bash out another column in which he was forced at gunpoint to apologise abjectly and humiliatingly at excruciating length. Thereafter nothing was heard from Mr Cowan.
Indeed, it was assumed by concerned chums that he'd been spirited out of the country on a rendition flight and was now sharing the same B&B in Guatemala as my old chum, Cardinal Keith O'Brien.
Alternatively, there were those who said that he was undergoing radical reprogramming at a safe house in Helensburgh, at the end of which he would emerge with an Old Eton brogue and be assigned to covering the dressage at the Commonwealth Games. This is not as far-fetched as it may seem.
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