I HAD a spot of sushi in Govan last week. Well, what do you expect when the BBC and Scottish Television have moved into the area? The purveyor of this Japanese delicacy in southwest Glasgow is Cherry & Heather Fine Food, a small establishment just off Paisley Road West, near the Cessnock underground station.

This part of the barrio may actually be called Cessnock, or Ibrox or even Bellahouston, but it's all Govan to me. It is not just TV folk who frequent the place; locals pop in for a box of sushi and a green tea.

Reiko, from Govan via Japan, makes the sushi; only the veggie version at the moment but she hopes to furnish it with fish sometime soon.

Her husband Iwan, from Govan via Indonesia, does most of the other cooking. So why is the place called Cherry & Heather and not Reiko & Iwan? It's cherry for Japan and heather for Scotland. The couple met in a bar in Ashton Lane in Glasgow. Reiko had come to Scotland for the whisky. Iwan came for the castles.

Their venture is actually a superior sandwich shop and a wee bit of a deli. They have a few tables, so you can have your miso soup to sit in (a curious concept, sitting in your soup). Iwan's signature sandwich is meatballs in bumbu kecap (a sweet and spicy Indonesian ketchup). Other pieces include kaffir lime and lemongrass chicken with roasted peppers and brie with spinach and caramelised onion.

The oven-roasted beetroot with lavender and Italian honey goat's cheese with omega mixed seeds alone makes the journey to Govan worthwhile.

The prices are more than reasonable; a coffee for £1, a box of sushi for £1.95. It's mostly organic but not organic as in twice the price.

Cherry & Heather doesn't do alcohol. It doesn't do Coke or Irn-Bru, partly on health grounds but also because Reiko and Iwan don't want to compete with neighbouring takeaway establishments who sell the stuff.

Reiko, like a good Govan woman, is a bit of a baker. In fact, she's a pastry chef to trade and turns her hand to cherry and pear tarts, banana and pecan cake, and such traditional Japanese sweets as Victoria sponge and caramel shortcake.

You may ask why I am pretending yet again to be a food critic. It's just that when I find friendly people serving good, healthy food at friendly prices, I like to tell the world.

Cherry & Heather is in Gower Street, beside Bellahouston Post Office, if you're passing that way.

LONDON mayor Boris Johnson has a bright idea for dealing with the plague of knife crime that has beset his city. He thinks he can wean the offenders away from their penchant for armed combat by teaching them Latin and ancient Greek.

Boris may be slightly off-beam on this one, since it is the victim not the perpetrator of a stabbing who should say: "Et tu, Jimmy?"

As a schoolboy, I was convinced it was the Latin that made me a victim of persecution. The school was supposed to be a comprehensive but it was rigorously streamed into wee swots like me who did Latin, while others served the rest of their scholastic sentence doing woodwork and chucking half-bricks at windows.

One such chap took it upon himself to wait at the school gates at four each day with malice aforethought and intent on giving me a doing.

This was no joke since, even way back in the 1960s, knife-carrying was not unknown in our vicinity. I survived by planning my escape routes in advance and by running fast.

I never did work out exactly why this fellow had taken against me. It is possible I had made some smart-ersed remark in his general direction. But I suspect he had an animus towards Latin scholars.

This practice in the art of running away in order to run away another day came in handy. In later years when Glasgow had no shortage of people who would stab you just to keep their hand in.

You had to develop a radar for detecting possible assailants. But most of all you needed to be lucky.

There were simple rules like never going to the Flamingo ballroom, or indeed any of the Glasgow dancing venues, apart from the students' union. Look the wrong way at somebody's burd and he might well reach for his weapon.

There was a firmly rooted chib culture. Chib is a generic word for the knife, sword, bayonet, tomahawk (shades of the cowboy and injun movies), or a rapier in a walking stick that a young Glasgow gentleman might take with him on a social occasion.

Over the years, Glasgow's casualty units have been a rich source of research into stab wounds. One medical student in the 1990s produced a thesis titled Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, in which he explored the similarities in wounds suffered by Glasgow victims and those received by combatants in mediaeval battles.

One interviewee had been attacked with a sword. He was asked what kind. "Just an ordinary sword," he replied.

My liberal inclinations are severely challenged when it comes to people who go into the streets tooled up in anticipation of violence. If they live by the sword, let them die by the sword.

The more the police stop and search the better. It would be even better if parents routinely stopped and searched their sons and daughters as they headed out for the night.

Their beloved offspring may be carrying a knife for self-protection, but this would not work as a plea in mitigation should the weapon be used.

Or it could be that their wean is just a nut job carrying the chib for offence, not defence, and deserves to be shopped immediately to the polis.

The prime minister, Gordon Brown, now acutely aware of the knife crime problem, wants to lock up anyone over 16 found in possession of a blade. But if this is to work in Scotland then we will have to build not just one new £100 million jail at Peterhead, but a few others as well.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan, head of Strathclyde Police's violence reduction unit, believes that banging offenders up will not work on its own.

DCI Carnochan, it should be said, is not trying to win votes on this issue. He says: "We need to do other things - if we want to change attitudes, if we want to change culture, that's not a role simply for the police. That involves everyone."

It's simple really. All we have to do is bring up a generation who will bring up their children not to carry knives. I'll leave the detail to those qualified in such matters.

At this point, there will be folk saying we should conscript the knife criminals into the army and send them to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I wouldn't go that far. But a spell (perhaps just a month or two) of SAS-type survival alone on an uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland might be suitable. They would need a knife, of course, for hunting and killing their own food.

They would also be supplied with bottles of Skin So Soft to keep the midges away. It would be a harsh regime, but not that cruel.

Or perhaps offenders could just be subjected to strict curfews. When they might prefer to be out causing an affray on Sauchiehall Street, they could be locked in a classroom somewhere learning Latin with Boris Johnson as teacher.