Drink to that

A READER passes on the comment from the driver on the bus from Inverness to Glasgow the other day who announced on the public address system: "Would you please listen carefully to the following announcement. For your comfort, safety and convenience I would advise you that I have a special name for anyone who smokes or drinks alcohol on my bus. I call them pedestrians. Enjoy your journey and thank you for travelling with us today."

May or May not

SO what do we make of the Brexit malarkey? Phi Swales reaches for an old Scottish saying and declares: "Ne'er cast a clout til May is out."

And Jonathan Coe comments on the PM's negotiating tactics: "If you’re being driven towards a cliff edge, it’s a bit pointless trying to insist gravity is taken off the table."

Finger on it

PROBLEMS that new technology brings with it. Says James Hinton: "The fingerprint scanner on my smartphone doesn't work if your finger is too warm, too cold, pressed down lightly or pressed down too hard. It's the Goldilocks of phones."

Glass act

WE read in The Herald news pages that a plaque in memory of that great Scottish protest singer Matt McGinn is being unveiled this weekend in Calton, the old Glasgow area where he was born. It reminds us of when Matt was invited to sing at New York's Carnegie Hall, and he flew over to the States, a bit worried that his Communist Party membership might present him some problems getting into the country. Matt cautiously approached the immigration desk clutching a bottle of whisky he was taking as a present to his New York host. "That looks like a good bottle of Scotch you got there," said the uniformed official. "Would you like some?" replied Matt, and without a word the official brought out a plastic cup from behind his desk, which Matt filled while the chap stamped his passport.

And, no, we don't think it works like that these days.

Got it taped

It's always amusing on social media when people reminisce about something in their childhood that would not be understood by children today. As John Rain recalled: "Winding films back before returning them to the video library. When I told my children about that they looked at me like I was Catweazle." But as someone else commented rather dryly: "A functioning government."

Hard to swallow

GROWING old, continued. Reader Willie Mclean in Dumbarton realised it was a sign of advancing years that he knew which day of the week it was by which square he was emptying that morning in his pill box.

Love it

OUR tales of libraries remind Amy Kinnaird in Ayrshire of years ago her village having no library, and instead a van would deliver a wooden crate with rope handles from the County Buildings in Ayr every few weeks with a selection of library books to cater for all age groups. Says Amy: "The headmaster would then allocate an hour after school when we, the pupils, were able to borrow books for ourselves and for our parents. I distinctly remember overhearing a boy ask the headmaster quite loudly for, 'Twa murders and a love'. After a rummage through the box, he was duly supplied with his request."

Breaking the code

STILL struggling with your trips to the gym in January? As Oonagh Keating puts it: "My gym instructor said I should do more resistance training, so I've learnt Morse Code, started watching self-defence tutorials on YouTube, and I'm memorising the faces of leading Nazis."

And a reader emails: "Beginning to think the poem is actually, 'Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have thirty-one, excepting January which has 104, with 30 still to go'."