THE Outer Hebrides are a very long way from Sussex.

One reader, visiting her mother-in-law on the south coast of England over Christmas, got chatting about the Western Isles.

"I'd love to go to the Hebrides," enthused the mother-in-law, before adding, "but I understand August is a bad time to go."

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Why, inquired the puzzled Scot.

"Because of all the midgets," came the earnest reply.

Early birds

"THERE are 362 days until Christmas," barked a reader down the phone yesterday.

"Yet already people have their Christmas lights up. Unbelievable."

Many rivers to cross

"I GOT an Amazon voucher for Christmas," announced the Glasgow chap in the pub the other night.

"I've ordered two piranha fish and a pygmy."

Shining beacons

OUR apprentice stories remind David Yule: "At East Kilbride police station in the 1980s, sending a probationer out in the middle of the night armed with a wee step ladder, a bucket of water and a shammy to polish the Belisha beacons on the zebra crossings was common.

"Many a citizen returning home in the wee sma' hours must have been intrigued to see a young police officer up a step ladder washing them while just up the street would be a patrol car full of sniggering older coppers."

Stamp of approval

UNUSUAL names continued. Says retired teacher Margaret Thomson: "While teaching in London, I had a pupil called Penny Black, and in the class next door was a girl rejoicing in the name Iris Tew."


THE gimmick this year at the Queen's Speech was that it was broadcast in 3D for those who have the appropriate equipment.

Reader Christine Reid tells us: "Just before the speech, my two daughters and I were in the kitchen getting the dinner ready. 'I'm glad it's just the three of us,' said one as she pulled three pairs of 3D glasses from her bag. 'It's all I could get hold of. Quick get them on!'

"Our look of amazement led her to explain that the Queen's speech was in 3D. We reminded her that no-one in our family had a 3D telly."

Lost cause

BUSY time in the shops just now, of course. A Paisley reader was in a large store when she came across a wee boy on his own and asked him what was wrong.

Through tears he replied that he had lost his daddy.

Thinking that an announcement could be made she asked the little one what his dad's name was.

Sadly her plan wasn't helped by his reply: "He doesn't have a name. He's just called daddy."