THE public sector can often be pompous in its pronouncements, points out reader Gordon Casely, who regularly receives emails from the government’s Rail Accident Investigation Branch. A recent missive described “overspeeding trains between Laurencekirk and Portlethen”.

Gordon is curious to know if such a thing exists as underspeeding. Or perhaps even perfectamountspeeding…

Talking turkey

CHRISTMAS is long gone. Or did it actually happen? It’s all so confusing. What isn’t confusing is the fact that festive scraps from the Christmas table often last well past December 25. Glasgow North West MP Carol Monaghan recently spotted a tinfoil turkey tray being used as a sledge.

The Diary is now curious to know what the children of vegetarians use to whizz down icy slopes.

Repurposed lettuce leaves?

Fine dining

A DIARY story about a waitress asking customers if they wanted pouring or skooshy cream reminds Gary Campbell, from Inverness, of the time he was seated at a top table at a west of Scotland wedding. The waitress arrived armed with two bottles of wine and proceeded to ask each diner: “Dae ye waant red or white, or dae ye waant to wait for the Asti?”

Market prices

A HIGHLY unlikely tale from reader Sandy Tuckerman who assures us he spotted a chap at the Barras recently selling coronavirus vaccines. “It was two pounds for an Oxford or three for a Pfizer,” says Sandy.

Syntactical tangle

MORE mixed messages from reader Paul H Costello, who has been explaining that confusion often arises using popular local phrases. For instance…

Hod up = Ready to carry bricks.

Haudup = I might be home late.

Hoodup = it's raining.

Footy faux pas

WE continue reminiscing about the late football manager Tommy Docherty. Reader John Whiteford recalls Tommy being interviewed on TV in the 1970s at a football ground where the crowd had rioted. “What should be done to stop this?” asked the interviewer.

“Bring back capital punishment,” was Tommy’s response.

“Don’t you mean corporal punishment?” the flummoxed reporter stuttered.

“Call it what you want,” said Tommy. “They’ve got to bring it back.”

Bombastic bloke buttoned

A RATHER nervous Arthur Frame, from Lanark, says: “Just wondering if I’ve got this right. The person who has all of America’s nuclear codes is deemed too dangerous to have a Twitter account… wow.”

(When Arthur says “wow” we assume he means “yikes”.)

Bags of mags

COVETOUS reader Mike Sharpe says he has saved stacks of old magazines in his loft. “Does this mean I’ve got issues?” he enquires.