Susan Morrison: Pinning down the moveable feast...

Meerkats celebrate Easter at Edinburgh Zoo. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Meerkats celebrate Easter at Edinburgh Zoo. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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SO what time is it really? I know it’s Tuesday now, but I’m still confused because I’ve put on a watch I don’t usually wear, and I seem to have mislaid an hour.

Have I been beamed up by aliens and probed? I don’t remember if I have, but then, that’s what happens, isn’t it? They can wipe your memory with the efficiency of two bottles of easy-drinking Californian white, a couple of double gins and one of those strange concoctions you set on fire at the end of the evening in an Italian restaurant.

Of course I haven’t. I just forgot to reset this watch when the clocks changed.

At least we usually know when the clocks change, unlike Easter, which has a tendency to wander about the calendar like a one-legged pigeon on Great Junction Street after its been gorging on the remains of a dropped pie soaked in high-octane cider.

Easter is a sneaky one. The date moves about because of lunar cycles, a bunch of people in the 5th century called the Pepuzites and Pope Julian who chucked out the previous calendar and brought in his own.

As a result, it does catch people unawares. We only realised it was on the horizon when the Son came home from school and announced he was off to his room for ten days or so.

It does mean that the celebration of Easter tends to be sharper, and swift, with minimal preparation. It really does boil down to just a nice lazy day or two off, a selection of ridiculously over-priced chocolate eggs and Ben-Hur on the telly.

Imagine if we were never actually sure when Christmas was going to be? What if we only had a vague idea that it might hit us around December, but because of an obscure row in the 8th century between some long forgotten sect of hermit-like monks in the Judean desert, an interfering Roman emperor with time on his hands and a faulty reading on a sundial, the date was never fixed?

Wwe’d have to rely on some cleric from a sub-office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, below, or something to suddenly pop up and fire an ecclesiastical starting pistol to get the festivities started, and we’d only have something like a week to do it.

Seven-day wonderful

Would that make the whole Christmas juggernaut easier if instead of the (increasingly) long and tedious road to the tinsel and tree, it was a sudden seven-day festive scramble?

Think of the things that would get junked. Christmas cards, Office parties and the relentlessly early appearance of things Yuletide in shops can’t happen in a seven-day window.

You know what, this idea is growing on me...

What ho! The Night Manager puts kibosh on Bertie

For decades now I have been a huge fan of PG Wodehouse. Can’t tell you how often my spirits have been lifted by that accident prone upper-class twit, Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves.

Back in the 80s, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry became Wooster and Jeeves not just on the screen, but in my mind, since no-one else could even get close to sounding like them ever again.

Hugh Laurie is, was and I thought always would be the terminally dim aunt-bullied Wooster.

But now, when I reach for my trusty Wodehouse at the end of a long, difficult day, I no longer hear the voice of young Bertie in my head.

Now I hear the rasping voice of super-villan Roper, the immoral arms dealer from The Night Manager, played with unbelievably chilliness by the same Hugh Laurie.

All I need now is for Stephen Fry to pop up as a twisted serial killer and Wodehouse is off the menu forever.

Her husband has the last laugh...

Bertie is forever getting accidentally engaged to women considerably cleverer than him who view the luckless lad as a project to be worked on and improved.

In many ways, that’s what I thought about my husband when I clapped eyes on him. I sussed that he was suitable as marriage material, but realised that certain things would have to change. That coat had to go for a start. After he’d had his hair cut. He could keep the moustache.

I thought it an old-fashioned view of mine, until a young friend, married only these last few years, cheerfully referred to her husband as her “project”. And he agreed. She’s a terrifically good comedian, but oddly for our guild, highly organised.

She quickly realised that the chap in question was bright but really shouldn’t be allowed to wander the street unaccompanied.

She’s a sort of theatrical producer to him, and you can see her work, and his, in action this week at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Her husband, Keir McAllister, is an incredibly talented writer and his fantastically funny play, The Last Laugh is on for one night only, on Thursday. Treat yourselves!