Friday, 22 January 2010

How To Get A Bed In Glasgow Without Really Trying

I'm hoping I'll be able to get back to my normal posting schedule next week.

Edinburgh's One City Trust charity - set up to fund initiatives in some of the most deprived parts of Edinburgh (a city where one in five children are being brought up in poverty) is in danger of closure. A shame - their collection of short stories - CRIMESPOTTING - was excellent. I hope the charity manages to stay open. This in a week where it's revealed that more than one million people in Scotland struggle with literacy.

A blog has started up recently about Alexander McCall Smith, who, meanwhile, is in Jaipur for the Jaipur Literature Festival. And later on in the spring he's in Toronto. His Edinburgh neighbour, Ian Rankin, is in Sri Lanka. Hopefully, he'll be able to get some milk there. Helen Fitzgerald, on the other hand, gets to go as far as Newcastle.

And Rankin and McCall Smith, amongst others, talk to the Courier Mail in Australia about their approaches to the televised versions of their books.

A preview of Louise Welsh's NAMING THE BONES.

An interesting interview with poet John Burnside. Unlike some other writers of the Scottish literary establishment (I'm looking at you, Mr Kelman), he does not sneer at genre writers.

An interview with my Dad's favourite, Caro Ramsay.

Top agent Stacia Decker says how wonderful Ray Banks is. And she's right.

Ian Pattison's creation Rab C Nesbitt is back.

And finally, a wee Glasgow story. My friend Eleanor was telling me that she was walking along a quiet street yesterday, thinking how she needed to get her bed fixed, when a white van screeched to a halt beside her.

"Haw, hen, do you know anyone who wants a double bed?"

She hesitated. Was the double bed fairy smiling down on her?

White van man jumped out of the van, beer gut swaying in the breeze. "Here, have a wee swatch at it." He flung open the back of the van and there was this double bed, orthopedic mattress, cream satin headboard, just sat there in the back of the van. Although, it was a bed, so I guess that should be 'just lying there'. "That mattress alone is worth four hunnerd quid. It's yours for a hunnerd and fifty."

"Well, I do need a new bed, but I don't live in this bit of Glasgow."

"Hop in, hen. I'll take you to yours."

So she did (my mum would have killed me - getting into a van with a strange man and one who had a double bed in the back of his van, no less). He then proceeded to drive to Eleanor's with his elbows on the steering wheel, as he was using his hands talking too much.

Half an hour later, deal done and new bed nicely ensconced in her bedroom, white van man took off. "Here's my number, hen, if you want another bed any time, gi'e me a call."

That's Glasgow for you. It doesn't fall off the back of a lorry - it comes to a stop beside you, invites you in, and takes you home.

If you work in a bed shop and read this, light dawning as to why you're a bed short, don't sack him - he's an entrepreneur.


  1. Fabulous, Eleanor is my mother and I was horrified when she told me about her white van man escapade. Visions of her wrapped in clingfilm floating in the canal filled my head. " but he was an old man " she says. Maybe she didn't see the old man of 85 arrested for slashing the 74y old object of his affections.

    In all seriousness though it is a really nice bed.

    xx Em xx

  2. And I thought you were inviting me to come and stay.

  3. Emily - how lovely to hear from you! (See, when your mum comes over she calls you Emily, so it feels funny for me to call you Em :o) )And congratulations by the way. I can imagine how horrified you were - if it was my mum I would have her locked up. Mind you, having said that, I don't think there's any way my mum would have been able to get her lug up into a van, so I think I'm safe on that front. She might, however, be tempted by a man in one of those motorised scooters.

    Bookwitch - any time, my dear.

  4. Normal posting schedule? Well, I suppose that will be okay, but please don´t try to write normal posts, because that is NOT what we want (or expect);D