Bombshell discovery

CRIME novelist Liam McIlvanney is the son of that other fine Scottish writer, the late William McIlvanney, who authored many memorable books, including Laidlaw and The Big Man.

The stories written by McIlvanney Snr. were often gritty and violent. But did such activities overlap into his real life?

It certainly seemed to be the case when Liam, as a young boy, discovered numerous instruction books scattered round the house, all stamped with the letters IRA.

It transpired that those were the initials of Irvine Royal Academy. The suspicious volumes were textbooks from the school where William McIlvanney was at the time teaching English.

Mind your language

WE recently revealed Glasgow University was named Times Higher Education University of the Year.

When reader Russell Smith studied there he attended a professorial address given to roughly 200 students, which preceded the most important professional exam of the entire course.

The lofty professor began his speech with the words: “Do not…”

His words were interrupted by a voice from the back of the room yelling: “… indulge in fornication.”

Which definitively proves that Glasgow Uni is indeed our finest palace of learning.

For all other educational establishments are only capable of training young scholars to be potty-mouthed using one-syllable words, not four.

Egged on

NICOLA Sturgeon is looking for a suitable picture of kindness to use on the Christmas cards she sends this year. We continue coming up with appropriate ideas.

Lisa Milford says her dining table on Christmas Day would provide the perfect image of heart-warming generosity, as she’ll be replacing the traditional turkey feast with a Scotch egg.

“I’m sure my famished family will be delighted the UK Government has clarified what is meant by a substantial meal,” says Lisa.

Pot luck

WHEN reader Judith Prescott’s son left to attend university in London, she was worried about his lack of homemaking skills.

“Have you learned to cook yet?” she asked him, after he had been away for three months.

“I’ve added boiling water to a Pot Noodle,” he replied. “Does that count?”

Festive foolishness

MORE Christmas song lyrics to suit modern sensibilities. David Donaldson suggests: “Hark the herald angels sing, don’t land Nan in the emergency wing.”

Park life

ON a recent stroll, reader Michael Lynch claims to have come across a young lady running a battery kiosk in the local park. “She sells C cells by the seesaw,” explains Michael.

Visual gag

DAFT joke time. “What do you call a native Alaskan eye doctor?” asks reader Paul Miller. “An optical Aleutian.”

Read more: Issue of the day: Santa’s grotto