Mind you, the saddest sight of the affair came after the Scottish food innovation awards evening, when a group of luminaries from both sides of the border were seen at Glasgow's Moat House hotel chatting up ladies of a certain age who had just drooled at a Barry Manilow concert. Decency prevents me from naming the would-be groupies. Suffice to say that four are household names in the Scottish food trade, and there was even an esteemed editor who got a verbal handbagging for cheekily suggesting that the US crooner was "over the top" and that he preferred Kylie Minogue. Sad! Meanwhile, one of my colleagues found her bartering skills were tested closer to the English border than might be expected this week in the course of a visit to a Welsh c-store chain. A toll of the princely sum of £4.40 ­ no plastic ­ for crossing the Severn Bridge was already a nasty shock, before she even checked her finances. With only a fistful of loose change it became apparent that she was not able to scratch together the requisite. Luckily, a discounted rate of a first class stamp, a second class stamp and some £3.31 was arrived upon, and she got to keep her Sainsbury Reward vouchers. {{COUNTERPOINT }}