GLASGOW-BASED doctor Tim Parke was running in the Belfast Half Marathon at the weekend. As he later told friends: "There was an encouraging shout directed at me at the top of the Falls Road. 'Go on yourself - pretend you're a young fella'."

Legging it

LABOUR MSP Neil Findlay has launched his book Socialism & Hope which has a foreword by Jeremy Corbyn. Our attention is drawn however to a tale about the late great West Lothian MP Tam Dalyell who once drove to a Labour Party conference with his breeks at his ankles. He confided to Neil that it meant he arrived without his trousers being badly creased.

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Head start

WE mentioned Judi Dench reprising her role as Queen Victoria in the new film Victoria & Abdul. Blair Miller in Clarkson was leaving a Glasgow cinema the other night when he heard someone's succinct review of the film. "It's like Mrs Brown, only this time the male lead has a turban rather than a glengarry."

Tower inferno

A READER heard some young lads in the pub at the weekend discussing how suspicious their girlfriends were. One lad topped the stories by declaring: "I took the girlfriend for a romantic weekend in Paris and when we got there I pointed over and said, 'There's the Eiffel Tower.' She just threw me a dirty look and snapped, 'I thought you said you'd never been to Paris before?'"

Flagged up

PARTICK Thistle were playing Rangers last night for the second time in five days. Jags fans on a supporters' on-line forum were discussing claims that Rangers fans at the first encounter had nicked some Thistle flags from the stand. Lindsay Young in Bishopbriggs says the most succinct remark was the fan who said: "We should feel some sympathy for them. After all it is probably the only flags their club will get for quite a few years."

And Jags fan Alan Fraser pointed out: "Claims by Rangers supporters that the Thistle mascot Kingsley cupped his ears provocatively at them on Friday were refuted. Also, he doesn't have ears."

Seeing orange

OUR mention of the late Harry Dean Stanton being in Glasgow to film Bertrand Tavernier's sci-fi classic Death Watch reminds a colleague of Tavernier saying in an interview years later that there was an Orange parade going past their hotel when they were in the city. Harry, he said, found it so astonishing that he immediately phoned his friend, film-star Jack Nicholson. Said Bertrand: "I could hear Nicholson on the other end of the line, only half awake, and trying to understand what was happening. Stanton made him listen to the Protestant parade. What a wonderful moment."

It's a dug's life

OH and a reader who saw Death Watch - not a huge hit but well regarded nonetheless - says there is a scene in it where actor Harvey Keitel's character is approached by a Glasgow street urchin who says: "Mister, can ma dug be in the film?" Our reader reckons it seemed so natural that it must have happened in real life and was just left in by Tavernier rather than it being scripted.

We'll buy that

WE don't often make political points in the Diary but we pass on the observation by Karl Sharro who says: "Under Communism, you buy everything from a single state outlet, whereas under fully-mature Capitalism you buy everything from Amazon."

Watt?

We feel his pain. A reader in a Byres Road supermarket realised he was beside a group of students as it is only students who actually go shopping in a group. Anyway, one of them held up a frozen meal and asked the question we all ask at sometime: "How does anyone ever know the wattage of their microwave?"

Doctors' handwriting: Jean Miller reads a note to her husband from his GP and wonders whether he is to take wine or urine to their next meeting. Mind you, we know a few folk whose sample would cover both eventualities.