SUMMER HOLIDAYS in Girvan for the Glasgow Fair fortnight remain the most vivid of my childhood memories. A few years back, I made a little pilgrimage to this South Ayrshire jewel for the first time in decades.

Girvan was still handsome in its mid-century finery but it was a depressing visit, like calling on a revered old auntie and discovering that she’d taken to the whisky and was receiving lodgers. A combination of changing holiday habits and municipal drift had left the old place looking like a flyblown frontier settlement after the gold rush.

This week, though, it seemed that Girvan had lately been taking care of itself a bit better. The harbour, perhaps the most charming of all the Ayrshire coastal piers, had rediscovered something of its old charisma and down on the beach dozens of families were doing their best to recreate the thrum of the 1960s with Ailsa Craig shimmering on the horizon.

There were even busloads of day trippers from Glasgow with their trademark heh-hehs and haw-haws and children’s entertainment on the old putting green. Best of all was the boating pond just behind the beach which had been empty the last time I was here.

At one time, you could circumnavigate this little firth twice in a motorboat for less than a shilling. This miniature marina was where generations of Glasgow and Lanarkshire children had first taken to water. Now, you can propel yourself around it joyously in a pedalo.

The main street which still thunders to the procession of freight heading for Stranraer remains devoid of the old cafes and hotels which might make you stay a while longer. This street needs a restoration job if more families are to consider spending a week here. Twice around Girvan’s boating pond in a blue pedalo last week followed by a fish supper. It won’t get better than this for what remains of the summer and I’ll be back before the autumn.

French revolt

IT WAS during these holidays when I began to grow comfortable with being called Kevin. I was the only Kevin in my class at school and wondered why other families seemed to be avoiding it. On holiday, though, other Kevins emerged and I embraced it.

In later years, Kevin began to gain in popularity – but not in a good way. Kevin seemed to radiate mundane simplicity, someone who folded his underwear. Kevins would drive everyone home after another lumber-free night out. Pretty girls out of their league would only turn to them when soliciting information about other boys.

Now the French Kevins are feeling what it’s like to endure the slow social disdain that seems to come with the name. The Guardian reports that being called Kevin, even with a sexy wee acute accent over the “e”, makes you a target for mockery and class prejudice

However, the French Kevins are revolting. A new documentary is seeking to restore the dignity and poise of Kevin and imbue it with some elan and maybe even brio. Behind the crowdfunded project is Kevin Fafournoux who is calling his film “Save the Kevins”.

He said: “Kevin in France is clearly seen as a name of working-class origin – working-class families chose more American-sounding names ... and that’s what’s being mocked.” Several hundred Kevins have already contacted him, many with harrowing reports of being made to feel like social pariahs.

Perhaps the French need to be more strategic. I’ve always found that you can lull people into a false sense of security when they find out your name is Kevin. And thus you would always be given more leeway to be a bam.

‘Woolly bulls**t’

I’M CONSIDERING featuring a slot here each week which will provide wretched examples of leadership-speak. These foul verbal excrescences have a unifying common purpose: to render a concept so elastic and inexact their authors can safely elude any blame if the project fails.

First up is this from a Glasgow councillor called Angus Millar about the 194th blueprint to freshen up the city centre.

Mr Miller said: “Some great engagement today on our plans for a more sustainable city centre, including designing a greener George Square and delivering a People-First Zone …”

When “sustainable” is used by any politician and public official you know that much of what will follow can only be woolly bullshit. When it’s accompanied in the same sentence by “engagement”, “delivering” and “people-first” you know that the people will not be first at all, but last.

Angus O.G.

ANGUS MILLAR seems an affable and enthusiastic chap, though. What’s more, in the moments after highlighting his literary transgressions, I’ve realised he follows me on Twitter. This leads to one of those moral dilemmas that would have affected the former spineless, virtue-signalling Kevin. Happily, the moment passes and I proceed on this darker, more belligerent path.