Please excuse the demob happy tenor of this article.

After 40 years writing columns of one sort or another in the Glasgow Herald, aka The Herald, I am standing down and leaving the work to others. I believe it's called retirement.

I had planned to go on for ever but the readers deserve a break.

I am not tired of writing. Just fed up with reading, the business of perusing the public prints required to pretend you know what is going on. In particular I will not miss the darg of monitoring the media of Middle England. It was essential to know what the enemy was up to.

I make no criticism of the Mail and Telegraph which are fine examples of English right-wing propaganda. They are useful tools for a columnist in these parts.

Take their point of view on any given topic, adopt an entirely opposite stance, and you have a ready-made Scottish socialist think-piece.

I will be demob sad not to have the privilege of using this space to air odd thoughts and opinions.

Penning bons mots for The Herald is possibly the best job in the world if you don't include food critic or chief football reporter.

The most enjoyable part of my career was putting together a diary column. It was a partnership between diarist and the witty and erudite Herald readers.

The readers did most of the work. I got most of the credit and a wage as well.

There is a legacy of those years, five collected volumes of the Diary, still available in all good charity shops.

Or second hand and cheap as chips online. This doesn't bring royalties but might help keep the postie in a job.

There is an e-book with a collection of these more recent short essays. It's on Kindle, called 57 Varieties of Tom. (There's that Shields bloke, plugging merchandises to the end.)

I will be spending a lot less time at the keyboard and many more hours in various kitchens with the Broken Biscuits Cookery Club.

Today my appropriately-named colleague Fin is showing a bunch of little chefs how to construct their own fish fingers with cod and smoked haddock from MacCallum's the fishmongers. I'll be washing the dishes.

l I have not entirely run out of ink and will contribute occasional pieces to the Sunday Herald. Look out soon for a cheery piece on funerals.