I should have known parly pundit Rae would have something to say.

Rae Stewart

It’s been some considerable number of years since I was last involved in any sort of drink-fuelled tomfoolery with STV’s rumbly voiced parly correspondent Rae Stewart.

Ever since his days as a student and right through a career which saw him start out as PR operative for the Scottish Conservatives to his current role as Scottish Television’s man in Westminster, he’s never been stuck for words.

So I was unsurprised to see that Tain’s finest now has a blog, entitled Rae’s Ramblings, on the STV website. Among the topics he’s already covered is the name of quirkily titled new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. An apt subject for a quite fanatical Bond aficionado.

Recently I exchanged a long overdue email with the highly-entertaining Mr Stewart, as I’d only just learnt he’d been initiated into the joys of fatherhood, after the birth of daughter.

 I cheekily suggested that since he’d now have no time for watching of telly he might fancy donating his Bond video/DVD collection to me. The response was typical Rae: “By the way, you can’t have the Bond collection. I still use it to plan out almost every minute of my life.”

Rae is a man with a wealth of stories and a sense of humour that has him inclined to share them. Here is another peach from that recent email, on the unexpected pressures of fatherhood:

Not long after my daughter was born, I was getting my hair cut in a new, swish barber’s in Wimbledon. My personal crimper, a middle-aged man with a pot belly and a George Formby accent, was smiling and chatting away pleasantly while he snipped and clipped my hair, asking about holidays, expressing his preference of the Costas and saying how liked the old songs the best. Then he asked:

“Are you married yourself, sir?”

“Yes. Yes,  I am.”

“Been blessed with any children?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact I have. A daughter,  just a few weeks ago.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful, sir. Just wonderful. Amazing, isn’t it, fatherhood? It’s when you realise for the first time that you could kills someone.”

He was still smiling, but a strange look had entered his eyes and suddenly he didn’t remind me of friendly old George any more. He seemed to be gripping the scissors that little bit tighter too. I don’t really remember what he said after that. I haven’t been back.

You get the picture. No simple monosyllabics from the STV man. He paints his word-pictures with sweeping brushstrokes and an extremely colourful palette.

So, whill his blog has been fairly intermittent to late, I don’t think it will be too long before Rae finds out just how engaging an outlet is can be for those thoughts, observations and stories currently dammed up inside him.

Two observations, though:

1 – STV seem to have slightly missed the point on their blogs by failing to provide any sort of linking or blogroll facility for Rae and other bloggers. Which kind of defeats the purpose really.

2 – Now, I’m not saying that Rae loves the sound of its own voice – but he does have a very impressive, chocolately baritone! So when can we look forward to the Rae’s Ramblings podcast?


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