Corny cards with cryptic messages are all very well. butto bring that brighter shade ol pink to your beloved's cheeks this Valentine’s Day, try a singing klssagram -they rarely lail. Picture the scene you are innocently eating spaghetti in a crowded restaurant or sitting at your desk, minding your own business, when suddenly a scantily-clad creature pounces on you and bursts into aloud song exposing all yourblzarre predeiictlons . . .

Janie and Lisa Bacon, a lormidable mother and daughterteam, run Glasgow’s only singing telegram company, J J Promotions, irom their home in Crookston. Janie is curtly dismissive ol rival lirms, whose telegrams deliver no more than a peck

on the cheek: ’That's just money lor old rope, isn't it? We've been going successtully lor lour years because we only use high-calibre pertormers with good voices.’ The Bacons’ tunelul retlnue includes three boys and eight girls, including Lisa who co-writes the personalised lyrics with her mother. Each telegram, they stress, should be like a mini version at ‘Thls is Your Lile’, and demands no little preliminary research into the victim’s habits and hang-ups.

‘We don’t aim to embarrass people though’, says Lisa, ‘usually they soon relax and enjoy themselves, but it they tremble a lot I hold them like this’. With a serene smile she demonstrates a stylish vice-like grip on our nervous looking photographer.

Yet in the gram game the recipients are not always the vulnerable ones. Robin Begg, a drama student who earns a tow extra quid as Telegram Tarzan, nearly lost his loin cloth at an olllce Christmas party. ‘I kept saying I'm not a stripper, l’m Tarzan, but they were pretty lar gone and barred the door— it was terrible’. Lisa has never sullered such problems: ‘When I’m in my high heels l'm larger than lile - l’m deliberately theatrical and they don’t dare touch’.

The Bacon's specially composed Valentine’s Day tune will be sung by girls in red and white and boys in romantic Cavalier costumes brandishing cards and heart-shaped balloons. This service costs £25 but lor the truly extravagant there is a £500 version which includes a personalised video, a champagne dinner, a piece at gold jewellery and a deluge oi roses and balloons. It this seems excessive, one customer, who shall remain anonymous, is sending his sweetheart a £5000 trinket on the end at a balloon. ‘Now that’s whatl call chlc', says Janie. (Lucy Ash)

Arabesque at 56 Bell Street, Glasgow, has a wide selection at hand-made


44 The List 7 - 20 Feb

cards. Personalized Valentines made to order (95p—E1 .20).

fiégK LIST

As well as a card, more and more people are exchanging gifts on St Valentine’s Day. These need not be on the scale at the lat diamonds Richard Burton bestowed on Elizabeth Taylor, but even the smallest gilt may cause a llutter. This yearthere are more St Valentine’s-type presents to choose lrom than ever betore. They range from the cheap and cheeriul to the rather more expensive. Examples of the lormer are the red, Blow-up heart (509); Pink love letters (99p); ‘I love you’ mug (£1.99); plastic heart box (65p); red and white tin heart boxette (359); clip-on hearts (20p) and box at


New Year’s Day may now be a memory (best lorgotten) lor most at us, but the ‘closed’ signs at many local Chinese takeaways act as a reminderthat the Chinese New Year is yet to come (on 9 February), and The Year ol the Tiger will be celebrated in style both in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

At Woodside School, 147 Berkeley Street in Glasgow (1 .30—4pm), local children participate in a concert at Chinese song and dance lollowed by street lestivities, while in Edinburgh, a variety show at The Playhouse Theatre includes Chinese Folk Dancing, A Martial Arts Display (by the Chinese Wu Shu Champions), singing and an operetta. ’Lucky money’ will be distributed among the youngsters, representing luck and (rather


coming year. A disco lollows tor the

younger generation (lrom 4.30pm, ; Playhouse), while lor adults there will

be a dinner dance in the Sheraton, Edinburgh.


sweets (£1.50) all lrom Sandven, 8


it has been scientilically proven that

eating chocolate makes you leel more

loved, which makes it a good choice at a

, gilt on 14 February. Foil-wrapped ; chocolate heart (400); Gold heart box at ; chocolates (£4.95) irom Le Dan Bon

Chocolatier, William Street,

Edinburgh. Lesslikelyto melt but

I indisputedly romantic are the Crystal

heart earrings(£18) and Cupid bootlace ties a must lor retrospective Bomeos and stylish studs (£8.99) both lrom Bait Modes, Wilson Street,



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