Wednesday, October 15 It’s always worth noting the great efforts made by people from all over Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire in the name of charity. One such example was young Renfrew lad Samora Malinki who decided to have his treasured dreadlocks lopped off to raise cash for Yorkhill Hospital. His story reminded a bitter balding colleague of his teenage years when he too sported a couple of dreadlocks during his grunge phase. The story goes the dreads were a feature of his barnet for at least two years until the time came when he decided the dreads had to go. What inspired him to make the change? “Nothing”, he moaned. “A pal chopped them off when I was sleeping.” He’s still in mourning.

Thursday, October 16 I paid a recent trip to one of the Scottish SPCA’s cat and dog homes, partly because of the charity’s Staffie Awareness Week which aims to highlight the plight of these much maligned animals. A quick walk along the row of kennels made the problem clear to see as every single dog housed at the facility was a Staffie. It’s a sad state of affairs for sure but I’m stumped as to how the issue can be resolved other than to continually press home the message that being a dog owner is a big responsibility. If there’s one thing Staffies need more than anything else it’s to be placed in the care of someone who understands them and has the time and patience to keep them safe and under control. Too often, it seems, they fall into the wrong hands and unless that changes the breed will continue to suffer.

Friday, October 17 OUR Bonnie Babies competition is well under way and the number of cute bairns in the running to pick up the top prizes in the respective contests in the Barrhead News and The Gazette is growing by the day. It’s always popular with our readers who always look forward to seeing the adorable youngsters in our papers. Indeed it got me thinking that now might be the time to expand the idea and resurrect a Glamorous Granny comp or even a Knobbly Knees special. Look out Simon Cowell, there’s a new kid in town.

Saturday, October 18 THERE was a time, not that long ago, when email seemed like a complete revolution in communication. There would be no need to sit down at a table with pen and ink and patiently write out a note before popping to the nearest post box. Everything just arrives straight in to your computer in an instant. Alas, it hasn’t quite turned out to be that simple. My personal email inbox currently has somewhere in the region of 3000 unopened emails containing all sorts of promotional garbage. If I took the same approach to the letters that came through my door I’d have a mountain to climb every time I left the house.

Sunday, October 19 The Sunday papers turned the heat up on Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont with one national title describing her current predicament as being in “freefall”. The full impact of the referendum has yet to play out and it could be several years before the dust settles and we can reflect more clearly on what it all means for the political landscape. There are sure to be some casualties along the way and those of us who think of themselves as political animals will have plenty of meat to chew upon over the months to come. There are so many plots and sub plots going on across the whole of the UK that it’s anyone’s guess what unforeseen twists and turns are awaiting round the corner.

Monday, October 20 IT’S going to take a while before I get used to taking a bag of my own to the shops in order to avoid paying extra for the privilege of carrying stuff up the road. On the face of it, the Scottish Government’s bag tax seems like a good idea but there are plenty of people who have their doubts about the new legislation. The most astonishing comment I heard came from a woman who disputed the description of carrier bags as ‘one use’ items. She claimed that was certainly not the case as far as she was concerned because she uses her plastic bags twice at least. What did she use them for? Makeshift bin liners and for cleaning up after her pet pooch. I just hope she isn’t one of those bizarre folk who then chucks their dog’s gift-wrapped parcel into the nearest tree.

Tuesday, October 21 OSCAR Pistorious has finally been sentenced but it seems certain the fallen South African superstar will continue to make the headlines all over the world. His athletic ability in the face of adversity thrust him into the international spotlight and it’s hard to imagine what sort of life awaits him over the coming years. It was a tragedy from every perspective and you can be sure the story will continue to grab the headlines for a long time to come.