Winner is a Lotto loser

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ELF-EVIDENTLY newspapers carry upsetting stories – accidents, illnesses, the Steelers losing.

But I was heartbroken/flabbergasted to read in The Star about the unidentified South Yorkshire National Lottery winner who has missed the chance to be a quarter of a millionaire. The deadline on their Doncaster-bought ticket has passed so they lose out on their 250k. Imagine how that’s going to feel when they realise. Stinger doesn’t even begin to describe it.

AFTER my column about incorrect use of the English language, reader Margaret French writes to ask how I justify repeatedly starting sentences with a conjunction.

To quote Samuel Johnson: “ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.” Thirteen years of schooling, three more at university, nine months in journalism college and half a decade on the job had never previously taught me that beginning a statement with a word such as and/or/because is frowned upon.

Or (oops, there I go again) more likely, it did teach me and I wasn’t listening. Still, it’s too late to learn now, isn’t it?

BIT of a surprise but I ended up going to Belfast this weekend where I enjoyed a music tour of the city.

We were shown the childhood home of Van Morrison, Ash’s favourite boozer and the venues where Ruby Murray made her name (who knew she was a real person and not just rhyming slang?). Very good it was too, although by the time we saw where George Best (“the fifth Beatle”) played football, I thought organisers were perhaps stretching ‘music’. It got me thinking, though: wouldn’t a similar thing here be great? With Pulp, the Arctics, Def Leppard, Human League and, um, Milburn there’s no lack of heritage. Indeed, perhaps the highlight of the trip could be seeing Boothy’s house as made famous by Little Man Tate. Or perhaps not.