Honourable member

More bus tour stories, and former Dundee West MP Jim McGovern recalls taking one round London with wife Norma after he was elected to Westminster in 2005. The guide was a proper “cheeky, chirpy, Cockney” with a lively sense of humour. Says Jim: “Going over Westminster Bridge, everyone could see the Terrace at the Houses of Parliament. Guide: ‘There they are, ladies and gentlemen. Quaffing champagne, spouting hot air and doing nothing but collecting our taxes.’

“Afterwards, I tipped him and said thanks for a great job. Recognising my accent, he said: ‘Just down visiting with the trouble-and-strife, Jock?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I’ve just been elected to Parliament.” Almost choking, he said he’d intended no offence. 'None taken,' I said, and we all had a good laugh."

Bacon the mickey

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by Diary readers that Theresa May now has a Raab in her Cabinet, being Dominic of that ilk, the new Brexit minister. John Dunlop says SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon should be happy now, while John B. Henderson, who has clearly watched too many episodes of Countdown, notes that Dominic Raab makes the anagram “midair bacon”. Adds John: “Quite apt for someone tasked with carrying out a policy that could only work when pigs fly!”

No lady

A powerful and authoritative article in The Herald about exercise reminds Kilbirnie reader Russell Smith of a cautionary tale told by a friend doing push-ups on holiday in Spain. “Grunting and groaning away in a horizontal position, he was interrupted by the maid entering the bedroom with ‘Excuse me, sir. The lady, she has gone.’”

Change the record

Our tales involving the thump-thump chorus on the Dave Clark Five hit, Glad All Over, reminds John Boyd of being at Barry Buddon training camp in Angus as an Army Cadet in the early 1960s. Says John: “A similar record, Joe Brown’s Picture of You, was on the Naafi jukebox. Problem was the jukebox was fixed to the wall so the record was played perpendicularly. When there was a bit near the end of the record that required the stamping of feet, the vibration sent the stylus back to the beginning, with the result that the record played non-stop. Hence the reason for remembering it!”

The big sleep

Our recent tales about numbers of sleeping partners prompts Jim Morrison to recall a recent wedding where the best man was typically cutting about the groom, but also had a dig at the bride by saying he’d confessed to sleeping with only two boys before meeting her betrothed – “the army boys and the navy boys!”

Word to the wise

The Diary is always happy to dispense advice about how to get through life. Here’s some: don’t blurt things out. Take the case of reader Janet Guthrie. She recalls: “While in the queue the other morning to buy my Herald, a young man and his wee girl were behind me. She was jumping about and I heard him say, ‘Are ye dancin’?’ Immediately, I heard myself say in a loud voice, ‘Are ye askin’?’ Stunned silence, followed by a weak grin from him and a hasty retreat by me!” Moral of the tale, readers: no matter how tempted, keep schtum.

Ken Smith is away.