THE archive picture in The Herald last week of a belly dancer in a Glasgow restaurant reminds Douglas McLeod in Newlands: "I wonder if the belly dancer is the same one who featured in a Turkish restaurant near St George's Cross in the early 80s. Friends were there one damp cold February night. Apart from them there was only one other couple in the restaurant.

"When the time came for the belly dancer to start her exotic routine in the unheated room, she sidled up to our friends and asked, 'Would it be okay if I kept on my cardigan?'"

CRIME novelist Alex Gray, currently on the road promoting her latest Glasgow-set book The Darkest Goodbye, tells us: "Travelling around Scotland I amuse myself by reading unusual car registration plates. I liked the lady with the optimistic streak who owned the one spotted in Aberdeen - SN02BAD - a reflection on where she lives or life in general?"

THIS week is the 75th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz. Not much to smile about in that horrendous time, but we do feel the need to recall the classic Clydebank Blitz tale of the couple leaving their top-floor tenement flat when the air raid siren sounded. At the bottom of the stairs the wife stopped and declared: "I'll need to go back up. Ahve left ma teeth."

Disabusing her, hubby replied: "It's bombs they're dropping' - no' aipples."

DIARY chum Deedee Cuddihy was at the Aye Write! book festival at the Mitchell Library where Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson gave the sage advise that although she is addicted to the social media site Twitter she has learned not to mix Tweeting with alcohol: "And my candidates for the forthcoming election have been read the riot act about that!"

Her counterpart at Scottish Labour, Kezia Dugdale, said at Aye Write! that one of her favourite books was "Things Can Only Get Better" by John O'Farrell which was subtitled "18 miserable years in the life of a Labour supporter 1979-97". She added that she had highlighted the part in the book where the author said that voting Labour for the first time was "like having sex for the first time - I was pleased to have done it, but it was all over far too quickly."

NUISANCE phone calls continued. Says reader Jim Morrison: "Another nuisance phone call this morning. 'Mr Morrison I am calling you from Recycle Scotland'. 'Now before you go any further,' I said, 'I don't ride a bike any more. I'm too old.' There was a muffled shriek then she hung up. Seemed to work OK though."

WE mentioned the death of Beatles producer George Martin, and former Nazareth guitarist Billy Rankin, from Lennoxtown, told in an interview of meeting George at his Air Studios in London. The canny Scot said that Nazareth had been recording at the Air Studio in Montserrat where the drinks bill sent to their record company was so huge that the record company was disputing as no one could have drunk so much. Billy had even received a letter from George Martin saying: "Dear Billy, you know you drank it. Own up and pay up."

So naturally on meeting George Billy didn't even say who he was and desperately turned the conversation to George's favourite songs in order to distract him.