Talk of the town: Be careful what you wish for, Kezia

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LOTHIANS MSP Kezia Dugdale was surprised to get a call from new Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont while she was visiting friends in London.

The call was to offer her the job of shadow minister for youth employment.

“I jumped at the chance,” said Ms Dugdale, who was elected for the first time in May. “I’m only just getting used to being an MSP and now there’s another new challenge.

“I had asked Santa for a Kindle, but I wasn’t expecting it to be full of official reports and unemployment statistics.”

Capital’s men challenged to sup on the spice of life

AFTER a bellyful of food and drink, it’s often easier to hibernate than to embrace the dawn of a New Year with zeal and vigour.

But in a bid to kickstart the motor, Edinburgh Round Table has released its definitive bucket-list of 40 things men should do before they’re 40.

“We wanted to ensure that men continue to aim high and accomplish amazing things,” said vice president Jason Thomson.

The list includes “eating a whole Scotch bonnet chilli” – enjoy.

It’ll go like clockwork

WE don’t want to spoil the surprise but someone somewhere in Edinburgh is getting a very special present on Sunday.

A vintage 1950s Rolex Oyster watch, mysteriously donated to a city charity shop, has sold in a silent auction for £720. And we know an Edinburgh woman is preparing to surprise her husband with it on Christmas Day.

The classic timepiece, made famous by James Bond in Ian Fleming’s books, was donated to Shelter Scotland’s Morningside shop last month. Staff dismissed the luxury wrist watch as a replica, but after an independent valuation realised they had stumbled upon something of a gem.

Pie-eyed before New Year

FORGET the turkey, the Brussels sprouts or the cranberry sauce – Edinburgh shoppers have their sights firmly focused on what will be on their plate come New Year.

More than 5000 steak pies have already been sold at Crombies of Edinburgh, in Broughton Street, meaning staff are working through the night to make several hundred more to meet demand.

“It’s incredible. Although times are tough, people are queuing up to celebrate New Year with the traditional steak pie meal,” said owner Jonathan Crombie.

“We’ve been working through the night to produce more. We will try to make another 750 so there are enough for everyone.”