Carbon copy

WILDLIFE photographer and cameraman Doug Allan has won Emmy and BAFTA awards for his images. (Maybe you think getting kids to sit still for a family snap is a tense affair. Doug’s done the same thing with polar bears.) However, the Dunfermline-raised adventurer is a worried man. “I’m more conscious, these days, about the impact of flying and about my own carbon footprint,” he explains. Alas, we don’t think Doug will quit flying anytime soon. Camera technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. But you still can’t take pretty pictures of a penguin down a telephone line.

Napoleonic code

BREXIT. It continues to bring us all together in cosy harmony, like a nationwide kumbaya sing-a-long. Or perhaps not. Thomas Musson was in one of those dull, generic coffee shops, when he overheard a dull, generic Brexit argy-bargy playing out at a nearby table. “It’s terrible,” said a man to his lady friend. “Political parties are split, voters are split, families are split…” Attempting to bring some levity to this mopey monologue, Thomas piped up: “Bananas are split.” The Brexit conversing couple glared at our man. “It’s probably too soon for Brexit humour,” Thomas concedes. “Next time I’ll stick to gags about the Napoleonic Wars.”

Sweet service

OUR tale of a curmudgeonly café proprietor reminds Dr Duncan Sim of the service he and a female colleague received in a Bridgeton cafe. Plonking down two cups of tea, the waitress informed her customers: “The sugar’s in.” At which point Doc Sim’s colleague piped-up in protest: “But I don’t take sugar.” The waitress was not unduly distressed by this turn of events. “Ach, jist dinnae stir it, hen,” she said, and sauntered off.

Saturday night haver

MORE entries in our competition to discover celebs of stage and screen with ridiculously feeble Scottish connections. Reader, George Smith, suggests we include the perky, blonde singer who played Sandy in classic musical, Grease. You got it, folks. We’re referring to Olivia Newton… Mearns.

Cap that

OUR story about a little lad’s linguistic slip reminds reader Lewis Brown of his young son’s confusion watching a football match on telly. “The commentator keeps talking about the skipper,” said the confused kid. “Which player’s he?” Dad explained that skipper was another name for the captain. “Oh,” came the disappointed reply. “I thought maybe it was someone good at skipping round the pitch.”

Dust or drink

WOMEN in their fifties are happier than their twenty-something counterparts, according to a new poll. Reader Beverley Gannon disagrees. “My middle-aged existence is wrapped up in work, washing dishes and hoovering,” she sighs. “When I was 20, the only thing I hoovered-up was the seventh cocktail of the night.”

Read more: The Queen Mary, 1934-1936