Thursday, 14 January 2010

"A collection of thugs and harlots"

...not the lovely Scottish crime fiction community, of course. No, the quote in the title refers to Glasgow, according to this article. I wonder which one I am. That was purely rhetorical, by the way. I particularly like this quote: "We have great anecdotes of people stopping fights to give tourists directions".

Yes, people in Glasgow are very friendly, and also very willing to share intimate details of their lives with complete strangers. I was once on the bus and a very loud woman behind me was telling her two friends that her man had got out of jail unexpectedly (she did not specify if he was released, or simply escaped).

When he turned up at the flat, he realised he didn't have a key, and when there was no answer to his knock, he started kicking the door in. As she put it "He decided to gi'e me a surprise, so he kicked the door aff its hinges." Now, I don't know about you, but if someone wants to surprise me I would prefer they bought me a bunch of flowers. Call me old-fashioned.

So, they went to the pub to celebrate his new-found freedom. Leaving the door...well, not so much 'ajar' as just 'propped up against the wall'. What really annoyed this woman was not that she now had no door but that, while they were out at the pub, the man from Scottish Power turned up to 'unrig' the electricity meter. They'd been getting free electricity for about a year, thanks to some illegal means, and had not bothered answering the door on the numerous occasions that the 'leccy man called.

Finding the door...well, just finding the door, the electricity man had stepped into the hall and fixed the meter.

The passengers on the bus were agog. Papers were put down, ipods were turned off, and you could see shoulders shaking.

Anyway, back to the news.

Alexander McCall Smith is appearing at the Jaipur Literature Festival later this month, before jetting off to Australia in February.

Wherever Orilla is (I'm assuming somewhere in Canada) they really like Scottish crime fiction authors, with Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, Kate Atkinson and Christopher Brookmyre all in their 'best of the decade' list.

An interesting article about Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle.

And finally, and totally irrelevantly, today I bought some stuff for my trip to Alaska - chocolates and pens for the children, and these beauties for me. I wore them all afternoon at work. They look rather un-fetching with a business suit, but I did not care one jot.


  1. Gotta love the Weegies. Best laugh ever.

  2. You've been on the bus again?

  3. J - thanks for your comment. You are absolutely right :o)

    Bookwitch - dollface, I LOVE the bus, it gives me some of my favourite moments.

  4. I was just reading in the newspaper a letter from a woman who doesn't ride the bus because of the people she'd have to ride with. She obviously doesn't have a blog in which to use the material. Keep riding for us.

  5. "Finding the door...well, just finding the door"

    Why go back to the news when you can give us lines like that?
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  6. Loved it, Donna. More. More. More.

  7. Oh Donna, you always make me laugh, and I know that bus is another world, ha. And your wonderful new boots! Wow!!! I want to see you in them and a business suit, great contrast and wonderful taste! :-) Seriously, huge congrats on going to see that place again. Bobbie

  8. Barbara - she just doesn't know what she's missing!

    Peter - I just couldn't resist :o)

    Michael - thank you, kind sir.

    Bobbie - next time I wear them I shall take a picture for you :o)

  9. Oddly enough, my 9yo son asked me just this afternoon, 'Mummy, what's a harlot?' (he was watching Xena, Warrior Princess at the time) After a moment's thought, I said, 'It's a woman who behaves badly to do with men.' That seemed to satisfy him. It was another ten miles down the motorway before it occurred to me that that applied to pretty much all of the women he knows...

  10. Val - that's brilliant! Thanks for stopping by and congratulations again on the Dagger.