THE journalists covering the Scottish Parliament have been sent

a memo by the folk in charge, urging them to keep their offices tidy

– recycling old newspapers, taking crockery back to the canteen, that sort of thing. The memo adds under General Housekeeping: “Finally, a plea to keep your offices and shared areas clean and free of foosty things.”

We commend the use of a good Scottish word, although one scribe tells us he is wondering if this is a reference to out-of-date Creme Eggs or his more elderly colleagues.

Sticking to the letter

OUR picture of difficult-to-read doctors’ handwriting reminds pharmacist Malcolm Allan in Bishopbriggs: “I remember receiving a prescription that defied my deciphering skills and, admitting defeat, I phoned the GP. There was a long pause before he replied it had resulted from a referral to a hospital consultant. He had been unable to decipher the consultant’s handwriting but had copied it as best he could in the hope the experts in deciphering doctors’ handwriting would have better success.

“I can’t recall what the patient eventually received, but hopefully she is still around.”

Hair raising

IT is the 50th anniversary this week of the great cruise ship the QE2 being launched at John Brown’s in Clydebank. Singer and musician Jimmie Macgregor once told us he and his late partner Robin Hall recorded an episode of the White Heather Club, complete with dancers, on board the ship before its launch. Descending the gang plank afterwards he was stopped by an apprentice who asked: “Where’s a’ ra birds?” When Jimmy explained he had just missed them, the apprentice replied: “ here’s me went and combed up a’ ma herr an’ a’ tae.”

In the dog house

WE liked author Aaron Gillies’s observation this week: “The best thing in the world is dogs with human names. A woman on my train was screaming, ‘Stop it Norman! You never do this at home!’”

Bit of a car crash

AMNESTY International is launching a picture book of John Lennon’s Imagine lyrics on International Day Of Peace today, with his widow Yoko Ono declaring: “Today we need peace more than ever.”

We are reminded of Ken McNab’s book The Beatles In Scotland, which recounts when John and Yoko were hospitalised in the north of Scotland after a car crash with a German tourist driving on the wrong side of the road. Ken explained Yoko had the crashed Austin Maxi they were driving transported down to their home in Ascot where she had it smelted down and mounted on a plinth in the garden because it had been “a happening”. As you do.

Sun, sea and...

DAFT gag of the day comes from a Lenzie reader who says: “My girlfriend says that sex is better when you are on your holidays.

“Well that’s a postcard I wasn’t expecting.”

Double trouble

YOU never know when Scottish colloquialisms are going to come in handy. An Oban reader tells us his niece in Glasgow has twins who were having a birthday. Says our reader: “My mother mentioned to their sister we would have to sing Happy Birthday twice. Their sister disagreed, saying we would only

have to sing, ‘Happy birthday to yous’, which would cover it. She’s

a smarty pants.”