WITH a new movie version of Rebecca on Netflix, Nicola Sturgeon has been reacquainting herself with the original Daphne du Maurier novel, which first entertained her more than 30 years ago. She admits to enjoying it just as much now.

The Diary recalls it to be a story of an innocent woman dragged into a sinister community of fiercely local types. They are hidebound by convention, backward-looking and suspicious of anyone from outside their closed-off society.

With all this being said, the Diary has no idea why such a work of fiction would be of interest to the head of the SNP.

Surely there can’t be any parts of the tale that would strike a chord with our glorious leader?

Naked ambition

EDINBURGH-based stand-up comedian Liam Withnail has received an intriguing message requesting he audition for a gig in November where he would appear on stage naked.

Apparently, a nudist chap is celebrating his 50th birthday and wants the entertainment similarly attired. The message adds the gig could lead to future opportunities with nudist organisations with “sizable memberships”.

Liam concedes the whole thing might be a wind-up. Though if not, it may still present difficulties.

For can a naked male comedian ever truly know if an audience appreciates his gags… or is chortling at something else entirely?

Mind your language

OUR readers have been despairing of the challenging Herald puzzles. Brian Logan suggests The Codebreaker should be renamed The Heartbreaker as recent words include nosology, zeugma and dybbuk.

We’re not sure about all of those, though dybbuk is easy. It’s that thing you read that takes slightly longer than dynewspaper.

The iron age

WE recently spotted an image on a BBC sports website claiming the "British and Iron Lions" would play Japan at Murrayfield in June. Reader Brian Fearon wonders if any of the players will be from Norn Iron.

Racy name

ONE of the many historians known to the Diary suggested it was surely Karl Marx’s smarty-pants daughter, Onya, who invented the starting pistol. It seems there’s no shortage of scholarship in this area. For Bob Jamieson gets in touch to reveal Onya’s achievement was only made possible by the supportive German company Greta Sett & Co.

Hat’s entertainment

WE’RE devising Hallowe'en costumes for senior political figures. Reader David Donaldson would like to see Rishi Sunak in a big white Stetson hat and a black eye-mask. He would, of course, be the Loan Arranger.


THOUGHTFUL reader Helen Wilson wonders if nuclear submarines could also be called fission ships.