A WEATHERMAN says that we should build snowmen in order to stop snow melting too fast.
I'll explain the science to you later. Meanwhile, I look out the window and there are my dear neighbours, Ken and Catherine and their daughters Kitty and Lucille, on the links beavering feverishly away. First they build a snowman as requested but this is clearly not enough for Ken who, like a hyperactive Inuit, begins to build an igloo, using a shovel and plastic recycling containers to gather and pack the snow. Or rather, Catherine does. Up it goes in no time and is eventually taller than Ken, which is tall enough. From a distance it looks like an ermine cloak worn by a king or, says the Home Secretary, the kind of thing that would scare you witless if you came across it half-cut in the dark.
To what use it will be put I know not. A granny annexe? A shelter for the homeless? Or for smokers? No matter. By the morn it's gorn, destroyed, one suspects, by Vandals and Goths.
TO my local Kurdish coiffeur, always an enlightening experience. He is looking a little glum, which is due, apparently, to teething problems. His face is swollen and there is a pained expression in his eyes. Generously, he spares me no detail in describing what ails him. From what I can gather, surgery, far exceeding the usual drill and fill routine, is required. My dear friend says he has decided to travel abroad to have surgery, dissatisfied as he is with what's on offer in Scotia where, he assures me, the chances are that the fellow (or fellowess) who will be in charge will be using Google to guide him (or her).
When I suggest that seems somewhat fanciful, my coiffeur looks affronted and clips on regardless. He has decided to go to Poland or Hungary or possibly even Bulgaria for treatment where, he is convinced, Google will be conspicuous by its absence. He hopes, he adds, to persuade a friend to stand in for him while he is hors de combat. When I ask if this friend has advanced beyond Google when it comes to the refined art of hair-cutting, my Kurdish friend insists he has. What a relief.
VISITING a friend in hospital recently, I was pleased to see he had access to a television which would allow him to pass a vacant hour or two. Alas, the remote was not working so he was unable to control what he watched.
When he was moved to another hospital, and to a ward instead of a private room, there was one television shared by all the patients, which never seemed to be off and which broadcast undiluted pap. Such as Deal Or No Deal or The One Show. This drove my dear friend, a man of some discernment, near to tears with frustration.
On the plus side, however, this service, appalling as it was, did not cost him anything. Recently another friend spent a night in Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary (there being no rooms in Premier Inns) where, if you want to watch television, there is a charge of £2.50 for two hours. Which is no doubt why so many patients are so eager to take up their beds and walk.
THE Dodos are in reforming mood. According to Posh Dave's Meenister of Prisons he is thinking outside the box. Though the MoP says we lock up too many folk he's eager to lock up even more. But where? Some Dodo backbenchers have suggested reviving the hulks which devotees of Great Expectations may fondly recall. Others would like to see the construction of super-prisons which could accommodate a couple of thousand inmates.
When I suggested he simply requisition a few of our more populous comprehensive schools he suddenly looked interested. It seems that my idea chimes with that of other Dodos who want to introduce a touch of class into the criminal justice system. Here, as ever, the private sector has a part to play. I am unreliably informed that schools notorious for breeding a better quality of criminal, such as Eton and Harrow, have been contacted to see if they would be interested in getting involved in the further education sector. Old Etonian Posh Dave is believed to have approved the idea and we could well have an HMP Eton in the not too distant future. Names of potential inmates, I gather, are already being proposed and the waiting list is growing.
BURNS Nicht, so off I traipse to the wilds of Tarbolton, home of Burns's own Bachelors' Club where I hope to find the solution to a thorny question posed in an English rag: should haggis be baked or boiled?
Chefs in favour of the former wax ridiculously over the crust which forms when the haggis is stuck in an oven. Those who champion the latter talk of authenticity, tradition, texture. None mentions frying. Or batter. Or HP sauce.
Sometimes one wonders whether one is living in a parallel universe.
A skull has been found on Musselburgh Links, whose golf course, as every wean ought to know, is the oldest known to man. This made the main news bulletins where the council worker who found it while digging in a bunker was asked if he had got a "fright". Conceding that this was the case, he added: "It's not every day you come across a head."
This is surely true but in Musselburgh and environs skulls are commonplace and barely worthy of remark, the route east taking you towards Wallyford, Prestonpans, Tranent and Haddington, the last-mentioned being probably the decapitation capital of Scotia. An archaeologist said the skull was probably that of a young woman, last seen leaving the nearby Iron Age disco in the early hours of the morning a wee bit the worse for wear.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police's historical unit said that while it is not ruling anything out it is also not looking for anyone in connection with the incident. Asked if that meant the case is near-as-damnit closed, he said: "That's for me to know and you to find out."
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