SCOTLAND is proud of sassy septuagenarian songbird Lulu. Her grandchildren? Not so much. “When I’m in the car with them they say ‘Don’t sing that, nana’ to songs on the radio because I don’t know the words,” she sighs. At least Lulu waited until her eighth decade to be afflicted with Embarrassing Grandparent Syndrome. Musical contemporary Paul McCartney, jumped the gun early, getting involved with the Frog Chorus years before his grandsprogs arrived.

Brush with success

THE son of reader, Graham Dorlan, was grumbling to his dad that he didn’t see himself amounting to anything. Whereupon father guided his gurning youngster to the bathroom, and gestured to the dental ware on display. “Cheer up,” said dad to lad. “In the last year you’ve gone from a manual toothbrush to an electric. I think we can safely say you’ve already transcended your humble origins.”

Lazy boy

ANOTHER story of youthful achievement and parental pride. Rita Bradbury wanted to briefly pop down to the local store. Her 14-year-old son pleaded with her not to go, as he was scared to be home alone. “Come with me,” said Rita. Son declined, not fancying the exhausting five-minute stroll to the corner shop. “I was so proud,” Rita tells us. “His laziness trumped his cowardice. My son really has grown up!”

Dead annoying

MANY well-worn phrases have worn out their welcome. Jan Barker is exasperated by people who say "avoid like the plague". “If the plague was something that could be avoided, it wouldn’t be much of a plague, would it?” she argues. Good point. After all, it’s unlikely the Black Death could have been dodged by telling everyone to stay in bed a few nights with a box of Kleenex. Pestilence, it’s a tad peskier than the sniffles.

Pot luck

WE’RE sad to hear of the death of Café India restauranteur, Abdul Sattar, who did much to popularise Asian cuisine in Glasgow. The Diary scribe, himself, is a lover of a good curry. As a young journalist, I was despatched, one evening, to an Indian restaurant to interview the owner. As the interview wound down, I mentioned, in a nudge-nudge sort of way, that I hadn’t eaten all day. Restaurateur looked puzzled for a moment, then smiled benevolently: “No worries,” he said. “There’s a Tesco round the corner. You can buy a Pot Noodle to take home.” Journalism. It really is that glamorous.

Jack’s back

OUR campaign to introduce modern phobias into medical textbooks continues. Diane Lamb suggests we include her fear of having to read Jack and the Beanstalk to her four- year-old daughter for the thousandth time. “It’s my fee-fi-phobia,” she says.


ENDING on a whimsical note, Anne MacLeod jokes: “I recently took a pole and found out 100 per cent of the occupants were angry when their tent collapsed.”

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