Talking Point with Ron Harris

Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison

Find out why Ron’s no’ called Smellie Harris!

ALTHOUGH mah maw was a nurse in The Law in the Fifties, ah’m eternally thankfu’ she didnae follow the example o’ Florence Nightingale’s folks and name me after the place ah was born in.

If she had, at this moment you’d be reading a column written by Smellie Harris, a name that would, ootside the area served by yon former maternity hospital, lead tae serious doots aboot mah standards o’ personal hygiene.

Whitever, if ah were a product rather than a person, ah would certainly have the words ‘Made in Lanark, Scotland’ proudly stamped oan mah bahookie.

Perhaps they are; as ah’m not a contortionist, ah’ve never got round tae looking...

Mah point is that I am the genuine article, unlike some o’ the goods that have been lurking in oor supermarket freezer cabinets, pretending tae have coo’ and no’ cuddie content.

This column has a lang tradition o’ seeking oot even the thinnest silver lining tae the darkest cloud and ah suppose the positive ootcome o’ all this horsemeat stushie is that ah’ve seldom seen oor local butchers here in Lanark and elsewhere doing such a roaring trade than in the past few weeks.

Folk trust them and mony rightly took umbrage when a retired Tesco boss pronounced last week that oor traditional high street shops were a ‘thing of the past’.

It’s a bit o’ a cheek him lecturing the likes o’ oor wee local businesses oan flogging a deid horse when that appears tae be EXACTLY whit his big supermarkets have been up tae, albeit unwittingly.

Mind you, it’s been a lang time since ah entirely trusted whit it says oan labels.

Ah can still remember the near ootrage ah felt at, having patriotically purchased a box o’ matches wae the name ‘Bonny Highland Heather’ emblazoned oan it, noticed in the sma’ print the additional words ‘Made in the Czech Republic’.

Just a fortnight ago ah discovered such a pretender tae Caledonian origins in the bosom o’ mah ain hame, mah fridge tae be exact.

It was a wee tub o’ spready cheese that had caught mah hyper-patriotic Good Lady Wife’s eye in the supermarket, ticking all her boxes wae its weel-kent Scottish tradename and Saltires aplenty.

It was only oan closer inspection that the tiny words ‘Made in France’ were detected by your eagle-eyed reporter, sparking aff a right auld rant aboot marketing deception.

Just oan Saturday, oan a visit tae oor capital city, ah purchased just aff the Royal Mile something proclaiming itself tae me and tourists tae be – and ah quote – ‘Highland Toffee’.

The earlier matches and cheese incidents now having given me a nasty, suspicious mind, ah closely inspected the wrapper tae discover the actual place o’ manufacture.

Weel, dootless yon fine resort toon o’ Blackpool has mony things tae recommend it, the Golden Mile, the Tower Ballroom and Pier amang them; whit it lacks, however, is commanding views o’ the Pentland Firth!

Weel, at least your auld Carluke and Lanark Gazette is written right here although, in February, ah sometimes dream o’ a wee branch office in doontoon Barbados.