John Gibson: Good goss from the two big players

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Nomadic Norrie Rowan hadn’t been to Berlin before. So when he got back from a brief break there I expected some of the Germanic thing would have rubbed off.

But no clatter of goose-stepping jackboots down Niddry Street. No Adolf moustache, no Fuhrer lick of hair on his rugby-ravaged forehead. Nothing in Berlin’s restaurants to compared with the Dome’s mince and tatties.

He’d brought with him an old mate, former Kelso and Scotland hooker Gary Callander, and even to an emphatic non-aficionado of the foolhardy stop-and-start sport (every match should have a direct line to A and E at the Infirmary), their banter over lunch was a feast in itself.

Hawick legend Jim Renwick, well retired and revered for his 52 caps, recurringly figured in the conversation. “I’d rather be a lampost in Hawick than Provost of Gala,” Jim once pronounced.

Priceless stuff, some of it, and the joint communique from the pair at the table was good for the digestion: “Life’s too short for bad wine and ugly women.”

Board stupid

Last quango in Paris. In Monte Carlo, Rio, Vegas, Acapulco. You name it. The better-dead-than-Clegg Coalition promised a “bonfire of the quangos” to oust the public sector non-achievers from their £700,000-a-year cushy numbers.

What were quangos about anyway? What for? Done nothing. The Coalition have reneged on their promise. This in mind, I’ve asked Engelbert Humperdinck to fit new lyrics to Quango, Quango, Quango. Seven hundred grand. And they’ve just doubled their pay!

Of course, your blood’s boiling as you read this.

Afterwords . .

Hanging on in there, inevitably, Crombie’s the much-lauded Broughton Street butchers, features in the upper reaches of the 2011 Scottish Craft Butchers Steak Pie Evaluation held in Perth.

Manager Jonathan Crombie is fair chuffed to have clinched the silver award for traditional steak pie. The title of the competition is a mouthful in itself.

I can only add that every time I eat steak pie, I sigh a little. It’s a song.