THE SCOTTISH Chess Championships take place in Glasgow's Trades Hall this summer, with a £2000 prize for the top player.
It's a great game, chess, but alas, not everyone agrees. We remember comic Matt Kirshen at the Edinburgh Fringe declaring: "I was playing chess with my friend, and he said, 'Let's make this more interesting.' So we stopped playing chess."
Justice for all?
OUR tales of Justices of the Peace remind retired police officer Alan Barlow in Paisley of a JP Court sitting one January. Says Alan: "I called the first case and the accused stood in front of the bench.
"The JP then remembered it was the first sitting of the New Year. He called all the officials together, shook our hands and wished us a happy New Year. Not wanting to leave the accused out he called him to the bench, lent over, shook his hand and wished him all the best for the future – before finding him guilty and sentencing him."
AND Tony Sykes in Glasgow was in court when a young man who had been charged with being drunk and incapable in the nurses' hostel at the local hospital asked if he could call the nurses as witnesses to confirm he had not been incapable as "ah've ma' reputation to think of," as he explained.
AS we put away our Burns songbook for another year, we wonder just how well known Robert Burns is amongst younger Scots. The online newspaper for Scottish schools, The Daily What, asked readers for their favourite Burns poem. The first reply from a schoolgirl was: "I like Donald Where's Yer Trousers."
Hail the chief?
ITALY'S second largest newspaper La Repubblica, in its coverage of Scotland's independence referendum, compares First Minister Alex Salmond, not to Braveheart, but to cartoon character Chief O'Hara, the police chief in early Mickey Mouse cartoons.
As the newspaper describes O'Hara as "Il Corpulento" we fear it is Alex's growing girth rather than his law-keeping skills which the newspaper has concentrated on. Well, can you see any resemblance?
TATTOOS continued. An artist of the needle and ink tells us he tattooed a chap's name on his arm only for the chap to phone in an agitated state when he got home to claim that the tattooist had "pit the name oan backwards".
"Are you perhaps looking in a mirror?" the tattooist asked. After a slight pause the phone was put down with no further discussion.
Flushed with success
ARTIST John Gahagan opens an exhibitionin Bar Gandolfi on Sunday of characters he has sketched while taking an irreverent look at one of Glasgow's favourite pastimes: drinking.
At a previous exhibition John was delighted to be told that half a dozen of his pieces had been sold to a chart-topping singer.
Says John: "I met the guy a few months later and told him how chuffed I was that my artwork was hanging in his mansion. 'Oh yes' he replied, 'we were doing up one of the loos and your pictures were just perfect'."
"No problems for high-sided vehicles in this car park at Longniddry beach" says local Nita Marr.
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