STORM Abigail is hitting the Western Isles today. People wondering about the name should know that the Met Office asked the public to name storms, and they particularly liked Abigail. If you take the time to chop it down into three words, you will realise why.

THE great American novel To Kill A Mockingbird has been in the news after author Harper Lee finally released a companion novel. Janey Murray recalls: "Our oldest son brought home the book from the school library, settled down to start reading and burst into laughter. I investigated, because the book is not that funny. He then showed me the title page, and pencilled in ahead of the title was '101 ways'."

THE archive picture in The Herald of holidaymakers bathing in Largs in the fifties reminds Malcolm Allan in Bishopbriggs: "The former bathing station in the picture was leased for a short time by local entrepreneur, Frank Roach, who transformed it into an aquarium. He had a pet monkey, Bimbo, which he kept in the entrance porch of his house, secured by a collar and lead. When the local postman once delivered the mail he left it in the porch, and told Bimbo, 'Here, son, give this to your Dad'.

"The following day the postman was called into the office of the Postmaster who informed him Mr Roach had complained."

WE asked for your Glasgow Empire stories after David Hayman announced he was holding a charity Empire nostalgia night at the Citizens Theatre for Spirit Aid and the Clutha Trust, and reader Sandy Thomson in Cromarty reminds us of the great tale of Dorothy Squires: "When she appeared as a support act at the Empire near the end of her career, the audience - impatiently waiting for the main act - greeted her appearance with jeers and catcalls. In a brief moment of silence, however, a lone voice from the balcony yelled , 'Shut up and let the auld bag sing'. Miss Squires' response? 'Well I’m glad to see there is one gentleman in the audience'."

Any more Empire memories?

OH for goodness sake, enough with the Larkhall stereotypes - it's a great wee town. So we must end it with Ray Russell in Dundee reminiscing: "I was visiting a friend in Larkhall, and as I walked up the path I could hear a flute band playing The Sash. When my friend opened the door I asked him if there was an Orange Walk on that day. He listened for a moment, laughed and said , 'No, that’s just the ice cream van'.”

AS others see us. The New York Post has picked up on the story that Scots haggis makers might change the recipe to make it available in the United States where sheep's lungs are banned. Perhaps the Post was not being particularly helpful as it described haggis as a "stomach-turning dish" and observed: "Whether Americans ever work up the courage to try haggis is a totally separate issue."

It ends with the quote from the film So I Married an Axe Murderer: "My theory is that all of Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.”

Hey, we don't make fun of their food, do we?

DAFT gag for Friday from Keith Chegwin who says: "Sign on shop door ‘Guide Dogs Welcome’. Greeted by a labrador who thanked me for shopping and took my coat."