John Gibson: It’s trifle for afters for Maisie

Maisie the cat. Picture: Comp

Maisie the cat. Picture: Comp

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What’s Maisie getting for Christmas? I know what she’ll be having for pudding and she’s smacking her whiskers at the prospect. But without the jelly, thank you very much.

Bumped into Maisie’s creator, Aileen Paterson, on the bus, keen to impart her chat (and she does have a cat in the house, besides the Maisie character known to a vast, all-ages public).

“We’ve been doing Maisie’s book together in the Botanic Garden – people still wonder who ate all the pies at that picnic, Maisie herself the suspect – and there’s talk of a follow-up.

“Meanwhile I’ve done a booklet on John Muir, Dunbar-born explorer who became well known and revered in America where he was brought up after emigrating, truly one of the great Scotsmen.”

Adds Aileen, 79 on St Andrew’s Day: “Maisie’s going to have her happiest Christmas. Loves trifle but it has to be sherry, never jelly.”

Now ear this

Wot’s all this ear? Every other day the hacking trial throws up – regurgitates, if you like – a juicy morsel for our amusement. One of the more savoury items is the rumour involving Charles Clarke with his comely blonde special adviser, Hannah Pawlby.

You look at Charles and look again, wondering what a woman like her could possibly see in a man like him, the former Home Secretary. The attraction was sticking out a mile – those cute little ears. Magnetic to a woman’s eyes.

Of course there wasn’t a shred of truth, the trial heard, on the alleged sexual relationship.