French letter

WE mentioned the reduction of postcards these days, and Martin McGeehan in Gourock recalls a school trip to St Malo in the sixties which was the first trip abroad for most of them. Says Martin: "We were tasked on day one with buying a postcard and stamp to send news of our arrival and comfortable accommodation to home. A pal addressed his card to his family at 'Rue de Forsyth, Greenock' so that 'the French postman would know where to deliver it'."

Alter girls

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MIXED views on Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy magazine who died at the age of 91 last week. One reader does make the interesting point though: "It shows you how long Hugh Hefner lived that is first wife's name is Mildred, and his last wife's name is Crystal."

The Muppets

LONG-HAIRED TV presenter Neil Oliver has become the new president of the National Trust for Scotland. We recall his spat with historians Professor Tom Devine and Professor Allan Macinnes who questioned Neil presenting a history series about Scotland on the BBC as he was not in fact a historian. Neil did not take the criticism easily and remarked: "Every time I hear those two men's names it makes me think of the two grumpy old men on The Muppet Show. They truly are the Statler and Waldorf of Scottish history."

Ouch! But Prof Tom had the last laugh, merely replying: "The two old men were usually spot on in their lampooning of the Muppets."

Blow-hard

IT'S the Tory Party conference in Manchester this week, and former Tony Blair press officer Alistair Campbell, proud of his Scottish parentage, was there at the weekend playing his bagpipes at an anti-Brexit rally. As he commented afterwards: "The 'Boris Johnson is a Cock' pipe tune went down well."

Sticking oar in

SO what's been on the telly? Martin Morrison in Lochinver tells us: "I felt like relaxing in front of the telly, and was annoyed when I read in the TV listings that BBC2 was devoting the entire afternoon to 'live rowing'. Good grief, we get enough politics during the week - could we not get some sport at the weekend instead?"

Beyond the pail

A READER for some reason claimed that folk in Paisley were a bit frugal. Now Dougie McNicol in Bridge of Weir chips in: "When I joined Strathclyde Fire Brigade in the 1970s, I was a lad born and bred in Glasgow’s east end. For some reason I was posted to the fire station at Paisley, a town about which I knew precious little. My new colleagues, mostly Paisley Buddies, told me that when the town’s public swimming baths had burned down a few years before, the council asked for public donations to contribute to their replacement. I was informed that the council received a total of 96,000 buckets of water."

Flight of fancy

WISE words from a Bearsden reader who emails the Diary: "Do you have a fear of flying? Simply book a Ryanair flight and wait for it to be cancelled."

Keeping it real

NOT everyone is getting into the swing of the new trendy coffee shops. A reader in once such establishment in Glasgow's Finnieston heard the bearded barista ask the old chap in front who had asked for a coffee if he wanted regular coffee or decaffeinated. The old chap sighed and replied: "What do you think? Do you want me to pay in real money or Monopoly money?"