Insect repellent sold out today as the temperature north of the border rose above zero, Spring sprang and Edinburgh played host to the annual swarms of midges.

The usual plague was worsened after the news that Scotland’s capital, known as Auld Reekie, is way ahead in the poll to find the UK’s most attractive city was splashed across billboards across the country and pheromones in the ink permeated skywards.

Shortages of calamine lotion were also reported. “A wuz gunnae buy 50 bottles o’ calamine lotion this morn, ken?” said an angry shopper on Prince’s Street “but the shelves were aw bare, ken? It’s just like the breed shortage a week ago, ken? Wa panic buys breed onyway when yu’ve goat midgies tae wurry aboot, ken?”

Edinburgh Council Leader, Filin McKiltup, said that it was welcome news and that “anything that puts Embra on the map is a good ‘hing, ken?”

Ordnance Survey officials were seen racing to the City, hoping for a lucrative contract joining the dots on the faces of midge bitten tourists.

Cardiff Council was forced to pretend that nothing had happened north of the border and anyway, calamine lotion was ineffective against dragons, clearing up the conundrum that Cardiff shops were overrun with that strange pink liquid.

The London Mayor declared that being the most attractive city is not everything and leafy squares littered with chip papers, syringes and used condoms had a quaint unfathomable charm.

The organisers of the survey, InsectRepellentsRus, said that they couldn’t keep up with the unexpected demand and may have to go into liquidation, or lotionation, or something.

Ex-nuclear scientist showing classic signs of radiation overdose. Wrote pantomimes till someone shouted that I was behind them. Believe in luck at first sight. Guinness Book of records for sucking ends of pencils. Brilliant at putting off doing things. Can witter on for ages . . . . . and ages . . . . .