STEPHEN Jardine once appeared in Taggart reading the news, much like he does in real life. Last week the broadcaster was delighted to receive a royalties cheque for his performance in the long cancelled cop show, after it was screened in a faraway country.

Unfortunately he was left with a pressing problem. How to spend his windfall. Was a splurge in order? Or would a canny investment be wiser?

Perhaps our readers can help the dithering fellow by suggesting how the money should be distributed. (Though with an instant Diary ban for anyone who writes in with the modest proposal that the dosh should be lavished on themselves.)

P.S. We should probably point out that the royalty cheque was for 46 pence. Which may limit the spending options, just a tad…

Noise coach

OVER on social media, an Edinburgh to London commuter reveals she was trying to get some peace on the train by sitting in the quiet carriage.

Of course, many view the word "quiet" in this instance as a casual suggestion rather than a stern command. One such rogue was in the carriage at the time. He had the volume on his vocal chords turned all the way up to 10, and was yelling with great gusto into his phone.

At which point the train guard entered the scene, spotted the noise offender and said to him: “Pal, take the call in Coach G. This is Coach H. H for haud yer wheesht."

Problem solved

A DIARY correspondent recently told us of the curious (and fair bamboozling) Ayrshire phrase: "If it's no bugs, it's reek." Ian Sommerville says his Lanarkshire granny’s version sheds light on the origins of the utterance. She would say: "If it's no bugs, it's black smoke," meaning the chimney was in need of a sweep, and the soot had caught fire.

Okay, we’ve got that sorted out. Now let’s deal with world peace…

Handy solution

ANOTHER extract from our Journal Of The Plague Year (A title we stole from Daniel Defoe, or he stole from us. We can’t remember which).

The wife of George F Campbell was listening to yet another lengthy news report on the car radio about the coronavirus and the shortage of sanitising gel. Shaking her head, she said: "The people who make and sell that gel must be rubbing their hands right now."

The salad shivers

FUMBLED phrases continued. Gordon Fisher from Stewarton was in a well-known Glasgow restaurant the other afternoon when he overheard a woman ordering a Seizure Salad.

“To be fair,” says our man, “the establishment is noted for prices so high they probably will induce a fit…”

Town-sized tiffs

A GREAT deal of violence could have been avoided in the Old West, points out reader Anne Bryson, adding: “If only cowboy town planners had built towns that were big enough for everyone.”