WE hear that this year’s Higher English prelim was a curious affair. In one part of the exam, school pupils had to analyse an old newspaper article, then answer questions about it.

And the topic of that newspaper article? It made the bold assertion that testing students by forcing them to take exams is a terrible idea.

We are curious to know if some of the Higher English pupils took the hint and scrunched up their answer papers before marching out of the exam hall.

Hitting the street

WANT to discover if you’re old? Reader John Marsh has the ideal method. “Fall down in the street,” he says. “If people laugh, you’re young. If people panic, you’re old.”

Train of thought

THE National newspaper recently pointed out that fuzzy-haired physicist Albert Einstein never set up home in Scotland’s west coast, even though bra-punting baroness Michelle Mone claimed he once lived in her Glesga gaff.

On social media this led SNP MP Peter Grant to relate a curious historical incident…

“Einstein never lived in Glasgow, but he did visit the city,” explained Peter. “It’s reported that he said later he was overwhelmed at the size of the cheering crowds that came to Central Station to welcome a scientist. Later he discovered Laurel and Hardy were on the same train.”

Earthy humour

GARDENS aren’t merely used for rest, relaxation and a bit of hedgerow snipping. They can also be the location of heinous crimes, as reader Joe Roberts discovered.

“My neighbour is digging a hole to make himself a sunken garden,” says Joe. “And I suspect he’s dumping unwanted soil in my garden. Or to put it another way… the plot thickens.”

Fighting talk

WE mentioned that Scottish thespian Alan Cumming returned his OBE, having realised – 14 years after receiving the award – that it has links to Blighty’s dastardly exploits of old, for the initials stand for Order of the British Empire.

This reminds Sue Wade, from Ayr, of her father, who seldom talked about his experiences in the Second World War, for which he was awarded an OBE commending his exploits.

As a young girl she asked him what the letters OBE stood for, and he quietly replied "Other blighters’ effort.”

(Though the word he used was slightly different from ‘blighters’…)

Simple for Shaky

EDUCATION was so much easier in William Shakespeare’s time, when he was still a schoolboy,” points out Gordon Murray, from East Kilbride. “For one thing, he didn’t have to study Shakespeare.”