OUR tour guide stories remind Sonia Petersen, in Glasgow, of travelling on the Jacobite steam train to Mallaig with her sister Eva when the guide announced:

"Ladies and gentleman, please get your cameras ready for the famous Glenfinnan viaduct." As everyone rushed to the windows, Eva scanned the sky and shouted: "I can't see them!"

"What?" asked her confused sister. "The flying ducks!" replied Eva, and then wondered why the whole carriage was laughing.

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Ask a silly question

AND Bill Hall, in Largs, was on a tour of the inspiring neo-gothic Mount Stuart House on Bute when the tour guide asked at the end: "Are there any questions?" There was a silence which was then broken by a Scottish woman at the back who spoke up: "Where did you get your earrings?"

Learning the right way

MORNA Gourlay, in Strathbungo, was viewing Highland Council's website listing its schools, and under Arisaig Primary read that the school used "brain-based learning". Now she wonders what kind of tutoring techniques the other schools use.

Fire crackers

A CEILIDH is being held at Mearnskirk church hall on Sunday in celebration of Scots singer and one time Radio Clyde presenter Peter Mallan, who has been ill for some time. Fellow singer Alasdair Gillies, who will no doubt be called upon to give a song, recalls: "Some years ago Peter and I were performing along with Jimmy Shand, in Middlesbrough in a 4000-seater marquee, which shortly afterwards was destroyed in a fire.

"As Peter said afterwards, 'I've heard of setting the heather on fire, but that was ridiculous'."

Playing for large stakes

AFTER our story about the woman who couldn't make her mind up in the restaurant and asked for her steak "half medium and half rare" Ian Imrie, in Dumfries-shire, says he always tells the waiter when asked how he wanted his steak: "Medium to large."

Going flat out

A COLLEAGUE wanders over to tell us: "Flattery will get you nowhere. Do you know that when that rumour spread, the Flattery bus company eventually went bust."

Rubbish ending

WHO can blame England fans for looking forward to the World Cup this summer? An e-mail doing the rounds down south is worth passing on: "All right mate, are you free in June? You'll never believe it but I've just won an all-expenses paid trip to the World Cup Finals on Talk Sport. It's for me and three mates - three weeks all inclusive in Brazil with £2000 spending money. Flights leave from Gatwick, June 10.

"So if you're free,I wondered, could you put my bins out for me?"

Sanjeev's vote winner

EUROPEAN elections today. No, honestly. A supporter of the right-wing Ukip party asked folk to put on Twitter why they were voting for the party. Naturally, it was too good a chance to miss for those not enamoured by the allegedly racist party. Our favourite replies include:

I'm voting Ukip because:

l I once ate some French cheese that gave me a tummy ache.

l Because I'm incompetent enough to fear that my job actually might be taken by an unqualified Romanian who doesn't speak English.

But the most inspired was Sanjeev Kohli who wrote: "Because I'm hoping they'll repatriate my dad to India via Dubai, and I need a new digital camera."