WITH Christmas hurtling towards us, we mentioned tales of children giving their teachers presents. As reader Willie Downs passes on: “There was the wee lad who gave a small but lovely bunch of flowers to his teacher, saying, ‘I’d a got you mair miss – but the wumman chapped the windae’.”

Playing a blinder

WE mentioned the boy at his first football game who wondered where the commentary was, and Mike Ritchie shares with us the lovely story: “From the age of seven onwards, I was taken to Dundee United matches at Tannadice by my grandpa. His favourite spot was in the enclosure next to the two, smartly-dressed gents who commentated on the game for a group of blind United supporters.

“If a home team player was fouled, they would relay this in colourful language and the blind chaps would then angrily shout and swear at the opposition and, for good measure, the referee. If the opposition was awarded a penalty or a dodgy decision the commentators furiously relayed this to the group who would always dispute the ruling in uncouth terms and, yes, with the suggestion that the ref should get specs. It was wonderful to see their enthusiasm and often it was better entertainment than the football.”

Under pressure

EUROPEAN Council President Donald Tusk took to social media before the Brexit deal was agreed and declared: “As a motto for tomorrow, the words of Freddie Mercury, who passed away exactly 27 years ago, ‘Friends will be friends, right till the end’.” Says our old chum Alan Stewart: “You know you are getting old when you mention this in a random pub conversation and then add that the first time you saw Queen was when they supported Mott The Hoople at the Glasgow Apollo in 1973 and the barmaid chips in, ‘That was 20 years before I was born.”

That’s posh

MORE on being posh as Dougie Campbell tells us: “Two golf club members were discussing another member behind his back, and the matter of which school he went to came up. When he heard the name of the school one of them remarked that it sounded posh. ‘You’re not wrong,’ said his fellow golfer, ‘it was so posh the gym was referred to as James’.”

Fares please

WE published a Diary story last week about the mendicant who came up with a new line that he needed £2 to get a bus to the hospital as his catheter had burst. A reader walking down Sauchiehall Street a few days later was stopped by a chap who told her, yes indeed, that his catheter bag had burst and he needed £2 to get a bus to the hospital. “Did he get the idea from The Diary?” she asks. I’m telling you, it’s the first thing people read when they pull The Herald out of a bin.

Fur goodness sake

OUR story about the woman on holiday complaining about her husband’s hairy back reminds a reader of her pal saying her boyfriend had such a back and when her pals asked how bad it was she replied: “I’m worried that when we go on holiday, animal rights activists will throw red paint over him.”

Historic defence

NOT much to laugh at over Brexit but Emeritus Professor of History at Edinburgh University Sir Tom Devine did his best at a conference last week when he revealed: “Immediately following the vote I was asked what I thought of Brexit and I was still in a state of emotional and intellectual confusion about the decision that had been made by the British people on this issue and I said, ‘Don’t worry about Brexit. It’ll never happen’.

With the deal now looming Sir Tom added the important caveat that ‘The future is not my period’.”