OUR story of cashing cheques in the Press Bar reminds legendary journalist Stuart "Bullet" McCartney of photographer Alistair Starrs frequently cashing cheques there despite having an account at the Clydesdale Bank a mere 50 yards away.

Eventually the bank manger asked Alistair why he used the pub instead of the bank for his financial transactions.

“They keep better hours,” replied Alistair.

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Bird brain

AND on matters avian, Moyra Gardner tells us that some years ago in the west end, a very distinguished chap in tweeds was carrying an imperious, leather-hooded hawk which was sitting on his gloved hand. Passers-by were struck dumb until one wee wummin asked: “Does your budgie speak?”


Football pay-offs

IRELAND qualified this week for the European Championships. Our football contact phones to tell us: “They have been put in a section with Italy, Greece and Portugal. It’s already been dubbed the Group of Debt.”


All in the name

IT will soon be amateur time in the country’s boozers as office staff head for a Christmas drink. A reader recalls last year when an office group came in and the boss asked a giggling girl what she wanted to drink. She couldn’t think of anything so he suggested: “Gin and tonic?”

“What’s in that?” she asked.


Hidden treasure

PEACOCK Visual Arts in Aberdeen, funded by the local council and the Scottish Government, has opened its winter exhibition of paintings.

Well done the organisation for hanging a painting which defends the at-risk Union Terrace Gardens and attacks local SNP MP and councillor Kevin Stewart. So the PVA cannot be accused of pandering to its paymasters by leaving the painting out.

But just to be on the safe side, the painting is at knee-height below a wall-mounted telly in a corner between two cupboards.


Fit for life

JOB interviews again, and a chap in human resources in Edinburgh claims he was interviewing one young chap and asked him: “What would you say your strengths are?”

“Arms and back” the admittedly fit young man replied.


Ropey tale

THE woman asking the bus driver to wait until she “got her clothes on” -- she had bags of washing -- reminds Ian Duff in Inverness of the very, very classic, ie very, very, old tale of the auld wifey whose pulley had broken, and had called in the local handyman to fix it.

You know the one. Reminds Ian: “He did a fine job, stood back to admire his work and said, ‘There ye are, hen. Ye can get yer claes up noo.’

“’Och son, ah thocht ah’d maybe just gie ye a hauf boatle,’ she replied.”