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Alison's Diary; I'D a bit of a Highland fling to myself last week. First we'd a great day at the Royal Highland Show... even if they charged Wimbledon prices for strawberries and cream. Then it was off to Aboyne for a Highland wedding - oh, what a night. Ceilidh, disco a...



HAVE written off trying to work from home today. I've started on a book about my life and am finding it very distracting. It is all about the reality of being a "normal working girl" and then finding out I was pregnant and the general mayhem that ensued thereafter, including a naive belief that having a baby wasn't going to change my life. A full day of laughing and gossiping with chums on the phone, reminiscing and talking about their own funny stories. Laugh? I nearly passed my fags round twice - except I stopped smoking 14 months two weeks three days and 16 minutes ago.


MEETING Barbara Wallis, BBC producer extra-ordinaire. We hit Harvey Nichols restaurant and have a lovely lunch. Once we get work out of the way we do some serious gossiping. She was telling me about a series she made for Radio 2 with Adam Faith and what a lovely, charming bloke he was. Everywhere they went women would start giggling and going to pieces and all he had to do was ask for a cup of coffee and a bun. I could see she was welling up as she spoke of his recent untimely death. We had a glass of wine to cheer her up. I hate to see a woman drinking alone.


ATKINS mad. They say you can get bad breath so I'm sucking about 400 extra strong mints a day. People ask have you just stopped smoking? And I answer no, it's 14 months two weeks five days and 13 minutes since I quit the cancer sticks - I am on the Atkins diet. Friend Fiona comes to Alison- sit... I hate staying on my own so I draft friends in when Dave is away. Pathetic but true. We go out for a bar supper. Fiona is on another diet which consists largely of beetroot, grapefruit and beansprouts. As she wolfs into that I scoff steak (still no chest hairs as result of increase in red meat consumption), blue cheese and wash it all down with mineral water. As the chat gets to fever pitch the lady who owns the restaurant keeps asking: "Can I replenish your drinks, ladies?" Out of habit we say: "Yes please" and get straight back to the chat. Before we know it we've had well over a bottle each. Self- control disappears when the bill arrives with four pieces of home-made tablet. I stuff them all into my face before you can say: "I haven't had sugar in a month and I love the bloody stuff."


SO guilty over my sugar high. Have stuck to my diet for ages and one wee leap into sugar heaven can blow it completely. Damn. Going to the premier of Nicholas Nickleby tonight and so will be in a dark room away from food for a couple of hours. Spend the day working and by tea- time am going a bit mad, have red eyes staring at computer and empty stomach. Wolf down half a hundredweight of cheddar to keep me going.


TAKE Louis and his chum Lewis to the Royal Highland Show. My cousin - the B&B landlady by the sea - comes along, too. What a great day out. It was sunny and the wafts of food stalls went round my heart like a hairy worm. Being virtuous, we went to strawberry stall and bought four tiny wee cartons with cream and almost passed out when the guy said: "That'll be eight quid." I looked at him in shock and would have handed them back had we not already started eating them. "It's not even bloody Wimbledon" was all I could manage before walking off. I was sorely tempted to eat the carton but thought there may be carbohydrates in it. Saw lots of large beasts and that was just the farmers showing their prize- winning Highland cows. Got sidelined into the Car Is The Star Museum - otherwise known as little boy heaven. Saw the Batmobile, Herbie, Noddy's car and some James Bond cars, too. Back outside the boys sat on every quad bike, combine harvester and tractor they could find. We came upon a woman demonstrating an ironing press thing. In mid- demo another lady came up and said: "Och, I bought one of those last year. It changed my life." I asked her if she was a plant but she denied it. On a whim B&B landlady bought one... and not wanting to be seen out with her looking like a bag of washing I bought one, too. Worry seriously about ourselves... but two sticky-faced boys and two sticky- faced ironing women wend their way home happy.


OFF to a wedding in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. Och aye.It's the longest day and it's pouring with rain. Can't believe it. Want to emigrate. Arrive in Banchory in time to get changed and head to the Victory Hall in Aboyne. A great night dancing and carrying on. Ceilidh band followed by a disco. The bride and groom, Susan and Tom, look wonderful and it is a lovely night. Susan's cousin is in Morrissey's band so he gets up on stage and plays and Susan's brother Steven Whyte sings - the boy's voice! Swoon. All Susan's friends sit at the foot of the stage like Osmond fans - which, of course, we were. Declare I am going to be his manager which probably scared the poor lad to death. Retained a vague air of maturity till the 1980s disco music started. Can you get all the girls off the dancefloor? No. I leave Dave discussing fish batter with a pal who has just taken over a chip shop in Braemar. I think I'm in Sister Sledge. We do We Are Family, Lost In Music and then harass the DJ when he plays dance music. He escapes unhurt but only just as he reverts back to The Clash.


SORE neck. Must have been playing air guitar. Staying at hotel which hosted another wedding so the guests are in the dining room all shrieking with alcoholic fun from the night before. Think I might throw up so slink off after a nibble of bacon. Feel rough. Back to Edinburgh. My folks are looking after Louis so Dave and I go hide in the cinema. Watch Anger Management with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler. Ridiculous film, ridiculous plot but no need to work out anything deep. Drank lots of water and in bed after Big Brother. Next weekend is Dave's birthday, Louis is on school holidays and everything will go bananas... and I've still got a book to write. Aaaaarrgh.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 29, 2003
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