Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Case of the Mysterious Roses

Since I sometimes talk about my strange encounters on Glasgow's number 62 bus, I thought I would mention the strange-but-nice happening as I travelled home from a hospital appointment yesterday. I was sitting next to a woman who was carrying a couple of bags of shopping and a bunch of pink roses. I was listening to my ipod when she tapped me on the shoulder. We exchanged a couple of polite sentences about the snowy weather and the filthiness of the bus windows and then lapsed into silence again. When she got up to leave she thrust the bunch of roses into my hand. "Here, I want you to have these" is what I think she said. I was too gobsmacked to properly register and all I could manage was a shouted "Thank you" as she got off the bus. I came home with a smile on my face.

I wish I knew why she gave them to me. Could she just not be bothered to carry them home? Had she bought them, only to remember that all her vases were already full? Had they been given to her by a man she'd just dumped? Had they been given to her by a lover and she was wondering how to explain them to her husband? Was it some test (that I presumably failed)? Was she just a really nice woman who likes to surprise people? Have they been coated in some horrible slow-acting poison that is now working its way through my system? I've plumped for the 'really nice woman' theory. If you don't hear from me again, you'll know I was wrong.

And now, on to the links.

2010 is the year to be cultured in Fife. I'm saying nothing about 2011... UPDATED: Please don't let this put you off. Fife is a lovely place to visit. Link courtesy of anonymous Fifer (who I will simply refer to by the anagram CLEANS LEMURS).

An interview with young adult novelist Gillian Philip over at, another with Peter May at The Big Thrill. And Charles Cumming talks to Crimestoppers.

Louise Welsh in Beijing on March 13th.

Alexander McCall Smith tells The Hindu that he likes writing
. Well, with umpteen squillion books a year, that's a relief.

Win books by Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith at a charity ceilidh. And, talking of Ian Rankin, he tells a newspaper in Sri Lanka how, as a child, he used to make up stories about an imaginary pop group called The Kaputs. Bless.

Controversy continues over the future of Scottish publishing.

I love this story - a woman tunnels her way out of a Dutch prison with a spoon (no mention as to whether it's tea, dessert, or table). The article says the woman had 22 months of her sentence left to go. I wonder how long she had left when she started (via @crimeculture).

And, finally, from the Herald Diary:

"We hear the folk in Airdrie are in a state of shock over the news that guns used in a gangland killing were found dumped behind a library in neighbouring Coatbridge last week.

They had no idea that Coatbridge had a library."


  1. very good blog, congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

  2. Many thanks Reus - for visiting and commenting!

  3. It's the poison, Donna. Has to be.

  4. Yeah, sorry about that song. How about the Fife equivalent of the roller coaster ride:

  5. Oops, link chopped off:

  6. J - that's brilliant - thanks for that. What jolly japes :o)

  7. I am sure your mystery woman recognized her favourite author but was too shy to say so :D

  8. Or could it be some kind of "pay it forward" gesture? You now have to give a bunch of roses to three strangers and they in turn have to give roses to three more strangers until there are no more roses left in the world to give. It is probably some Valetine's Day money-making ploy concocted by the Association of Florists.

  9. Dorte - you are too kind :o)

    Helen - Oh no! What happens if I haven't fulfilled my part of the bargain?

  10. Your bunch of roses will self destruct? Or maybe you'll get seven years bad luck. How does it work in these chainmail letters again? A plague or a curse or something similarly gruesome will get you. I think you should just play it safe and hand out some more roses.