John Gibson: A beaver’s tale for Christmas?

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Who can I turn to when nobody reads me? I know you’re out there, so have a cracking Christmas and New Year to one and all. May the good Lord take a liking to you but not too soon. The quill is far from dry, by the way.

And so to the erstwhile Fat Lady. So what’s it to be for Clarissa’s repast on Christmas Day? Not for her anything as naff as turkey and sprouts. Could be any of the delights she’s chuntering about in her latest tome, A History of English Food.

You need to have the stomach for it. And the nerve. Clarissa Dickson Wright, you’d suspect, appears to have an accommodating tum. Mind you, she seemed to have shed a stone or two last time I saw her.

In the book she mentions swan (“very fishy, rather stringy’’), beaver’s tail and badger casserole. While it’s entirely a matter of taste, I must say I prefer my badger with chips, liberally sprinkled with salt and vinegar.

Whatever’s in her pot come Sunday, the mind boggles, the stomach rumbles. Valvona & Crolla, one of her favourite Edinburgh restaurants, assure me they’ve never had badger or swan in their kitchen. A blessing at this time of year.

Smile, it’s JK

Something enigmatic about the smile. Could be the eyes. But I’m among the observers of a demure, almost regal portrait of JK Rowling (Joanne to me) saying she’s not unlike the Mona Lisa. She’s no relation of Mona, far as I know.

According to a source, Mona allegedly kept all her money under the bed.