PM tension

THE last bloke to win a General Election for Labour is back in the news, grumping about the party’s current leader. Tony Blair’s main complaint about Jeremy Corbyn seems to be that he isn’t Tony Blairish enough. Perhaps Mr Blair forgets his own popularity waned towards the end of his time in office. Grace Maxwell, the wife of singer Edwyn Collins, does recall that period. Very well. Perhaps best underlined by the time her hubby was coming round from an operation and the supervising nurse asked Edwyn the standard question: “Do you know who the Prime Minister is?”

“Tony Blair,” said Edwyn. “And do you like him?” asked the nurse.

“No,” said Edwyn.

“Marbles intact, then,” concluded the nurse.

Lingo’s a no-no

OUR recent story about a reader’s conversation with a Vermont taxi driver surprised David Donaldson, who struggles to accept that a Scot could succeed in communicating fruitfully with any American. David recalls his own visit to Vermont, along with wife Marion, who was brought up in swanky Shawlands, and therefore has a mellifluous voice, much like dripping honey. (We exaggerate, perhaps. Though only slightly.) Even so, the locals struggled to understand the words coming out of Marion’s mouth. Attempting to buy face masks in a ski equipment store, she held the objects aloft and said to a shop assistant: "Where do I pay?" The young man reddened visibly, hesitated briefly, then replied politely. "Ma'am,” said he, “the ladies' rest rooms are over there."

Naughty nibbler

CHRISTMAS has turned River City actress Victoria Liddelle into a criminal of the smash, grab and gobble variety. “That’s the third selection box I’ve had to buy for my son because I keep secretly scoffing them,” she says, hanging her head in shame. (And no doubt stifling a chocolatey burp.)

Holiday hijinks

OUR quest to find new and improved acronyms for SAGA, the holiday company for greying groovers, continues apace. Bill Eadie says surely the name should stand for: Silly Again, Great Antics. Or perhaps: Scotch, Ale, Gin… Abroad!

Think about ink

THERE are many dilemmas to be navigated by the modern bride, says Rachel Martin from Musselburgh. She adds that one of the most important issues to be aware of is that when choosing bridesmaids' dresses, the colour of the material shouldn’t clash with the hue of the girls’ tattoos. The Diary doesn’t get out much and is surprised to learn that tattoos are now etched on the delicate skin of dainty damsels. We innocently believed that only Mike Tyson and Popeye were fans of body art. Then again, in our inclusive and tolerant society, there’s no reason why Tyson and Popeye can’t be bridesmaids, too.

Diamond geezer

PUN-LOVING Fife comedian Richard Pulsford reports that singer Neil Diamond has already had three of his five fruit and veg portions for the day. And what did Neil gobble up? “Swede, Carrot, Lime…” sniggers Richard.

Read more: Practice makes imperfect