Non-members will, inexplicably, not know that the union changes the colour of its diary every year so that teachers and lecturers can differentiate between each edition. This year the colour is purple - EIS purple.
The problem, however, is that the cover is not so much a dark majestic sort of purple, more a pale flowery lilac sort of shade.
Within hours of the diaries dropping through members' letterboxes, the switchboard operator at Moray Place had phoned the general secretary to report that a teacher had already complained that he couldn't possibly be seen pulling out a diary that colour.
"Quite right, too," responded Ronnie Smith, once he had located his own new diary. "Who chose the colour anyway?"
"You did," said the operator.
Sections of the female membership have, however, been congratulating Smith for "getting in touch with his feminine side".