Novel achievement

WRITING can be taxing work, as reader Harvey Sandison discovered. On retiring, he planned to complete a novel. Every morning Harvey trudged to the attic with his laptop. After six months of black moods and white paper, untarnished by words, he called off the project. Back in the real world, Harvey’s wife descended with a lengthy list of tasks: pictures to hang, gadgets to mend etc. “I thought I achieved nothing in that attic,” Harvey sighs. “Looking back, I avoided a whole load of somethings up there, which was achievement enough.”

Room to roam

ROD Stewart has revealed the secret of his successful marriage to Penny Lancaster. A big house with numerous rooms to avoid each other. Although aware Rod lives in a mansion, the Diary is disappointed to learn most rooms are used for matrimonial hide-and-seek. We hoped they stored Rod’s vast and tasteful collection of clothes. One room packed with leopard-print trousers, for instance. Plus a gold-lame sock mezzanine. Perhaps even an entire wing of the house festooned with string vests studded with diamonds and rubies. Hey ho. There goes another rock rumour.

Dog day afternoon

DOUG Angus was so fond of his pipe he refused all entreaties to give it up, even when they came from his wife and daughters. He was deprived of baccy for several weeks, however, while suffering from flu. Fully recovered and relaxing in the lounge with his pet dog, our man decided to return to his errant ways. The mutt, quietly observing his master reaching for his pipe, stood up, pawed open the door and vacated the room. (We imagine the scene was much like Scarlett O’Hara flouncing from the presence of Rhett Butler, after a heated exchange of opinions.) Such doggy dismissiveness was too much for Doug. He hasn’t puffed his pipe since.

Moggie musings

Philosophical point of the day. Rhona Mitchell, from Cumnock, is dismissive of the phrase, the cat’s pyjamas. “Cats are nocturnal animals,” scoffs Rhona. “They leave the house in the evening, so why would they be in need of bedwear?” Perhaps we should change the phrase to the Guinea pig’s pyjamas. You seldom see those little fellows roaming the streets at night.

Hynde sight

JIM Kerr’s ex, Chrissie Hynde, admits she’s looking for love at the age of 68. As a charismatic rock icon herself, and frontwoman of The Pretenders, we’re sure she’ll have no trouble finding it. Until she does, we thought we’d cheer her up with a gag from reader David Russell, who says he went to see The Pretenders. “It was a tribute act,” he adds.

Blanket statement

ENDING with a note of hope, reader, Gary Chant, reveals he is optimistically single. “My bed is half full,” he tells us.

Read more: Within these walls: Duke Street prison, 1956-1959