DIARY readers are highly astute when it comes to political matters, though that is not always true of their relatives.

Reader Harvey Douglas was chatting about the relationship between the UK and Ireland with his elderly mother.

His mother’s key contribution to the discussion was to say at one point: “I’m never entirely sure what the Taoiseach is. I always thought people meant the teashop.”

Sleep of reason

A BEDTIME story from reader Carol Stewart, who tells us: “When I was a young girl, bedtime was at 9pm and I couldn't wait to be a grown-up so I could go to bed any time I wanted... which turns out to be 9pm.”

Veg vanishes

THE one thing the UK is not short of is shortages. The latest glaring absence in our supermarkets involves turnips, of all things.

Which surprises reader Zoe McCourt, who says: “Perhaps naively, I assumed it was called a turnip because you could be assured that it would always turn up.”

Billy bites back

WE’RE discussing performers’ rapier responses to the heckling they regularly endure. Gordon Fisher, from Stewarton, is reminded of a famous "pit-dooner" from the Big Yin himself, aka Sir William Connolly.

After an audience member yelled a negative remark, Glasgow's most famous son quipped: "The last time I saw a mooth that big, Lester Piggott was riding it home in the Derby."

Casino canned

FIRST it was Roald Dahl’s books that were rewritten to obey the inflexible diktats of our judgmental modern society.

Now the James Bond novels are being re-released with numerous changes made to the text of the originals, which were written by Ian Fleming.

Diary correspondent Neil Black is eager to know if the titles of the Bond novels will also be updated.

He suggests the very first of Fleming’s thrillers will have its name changed to something far less elitist and snobbish.

“Instead of Casino Royale,” says Neil, “it will be called Bingo Proletariat.”

Language lesson

THE Diary’s cultured crew are discussing the Latin lingo they first came into contact with during schooldays.

Says Alastair Macpherson, from Alford, Aberdeenshire: “I recall the famous phrase Nil Sine Labore, which was often translated as Nae Sign of Work.”

Honey minus money

A BUSINESS transaction. Entrepreneurial reader Gordon Quinn has ambitions to produce and sell honey, so went to a bee keeper to purchase some of his wee, stripey, buzzy fellows.

“All the bees had price tags, except one,” says Gordon. “It was a freebie.”