Time’s up

OUR wise, weary, elegiac tales about the signs of growing old continue with this deft portrait by reader James Simpson, in Erskine, of how activities at one particular time of night change as we age: “9pm: Time to go to the pub. 9pm: Time to go home from the pub. 9pm: Time to go to bed.”

Well, hello

OUR tale of the bi-lingual reader in Lanarkshire who got rid of nuisance calls by only answering in Gaelic reminds Robin Gilmour, in Milngavie, of a tip passed on by a good friend in Kilmacolm some time ago. “Tell them: 1. ‘Can you phone back in 15 minutes, please? I’m making love at the moment.’ or 2. In a slow, low voice say … ‘I’m lonely.’”

Robin has tried them and reports: “They really do work a treat!”

Forecast in stone

READER Ian MacDonald was well taken with a stone hanging on a chain at Cullen harbour. Well, who wouldn’t be? Because beside this dangling artefact was a sign proclaiming it to be “Norman’s weather forecasting stone” and, beside it, was written the following intelligence regarding, first, the beastie’s condition and, second, the forecast: “Stone is wet: Rain. Stone is dry: Not raining. Shadow on ground: Sunny. White on top: Snowing. Can’t see stone: Foggy. Swinging stone: Windy. Stone jumping up and down: Earthquake. Stone gone: tornado.”

Says Ian: “I would say it’s pretty accurate.”

Suits you, sir

TOP Middle Britain store John Lewis is to offer men their own personal styling service, including advice on the latest clothing trends and the chance to try new fragrances. The store says the service will be “the world’s smallest member’s club”. However, consumer experts said that whether it will appeal to chaps with small members remains to be seen.

Rogue parcel

THE ingenuity of Amazon delivery drivers continues to amaze. Yesterday, it was reported that a woman in Houghton on the Hill, Leicestershire, had returned home to find a note saying a package had been “put through open window”. Only one window was open and that was an upstairs one.

As Claudine McLaren explained: “The window is ten foot up and there’s no evidence he used a ladder.” He must have chucked it through with deadly accuracy (and having assumed there was nothing breakable inside).

Miss MacLaren added: “He must have been confident. My mum says he was probably a cricketer.” Any Diary readers got tales of Amazon parcels left in unusual places? To coin a phrase

WE know The Sun is meant to be politically incorrect, but even it could not have meant the serious lapse that occurred in its online photo caption for the forthcoming 50p piece: “This is the silver poof version of the new Paddington Bear coin.”

Cop on the ball

CONTINUING our tales of unexpected exchanges abroad, reader Ian Craig, in Strathaven, recalls: “A few years ago, I was on holiday in Malta. During my stay, Valletta were playing Partizan Belgrade in a European Champions League qualifier which I decided to attend.

"On the evening of the match, as I approached the ground, I was challenged by a member of the local constabulary, who asked: “What team?’ To my glib response of ‘Glasgow Rangers’, the uniformed gentlemen replied: ‘Ha-ha ... third division!’”

Read more: 1952: Celtic player held for ‘ransom’ by motley crew of students