DECIDING to become a historical scholar like the venerable Edward Gibbon, David Donaldson nevertheless eschewed researching anything so trivial as The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire. Instead, he picked up an old paperback and flicked through it until discovering this nugget of information. In the year 1961AD a gents’ outfitters in Govan sold Barlinnie blazer badges bearing the motto ‘Ad Sum Ard Labour’.

Our Latin’s a tad rusty, though we assume this translates as: “I shouldnae huv been turfed in the pokey cos it wisnae me wit done that bank job.”

Going (plant) potty

CRUCIAL advice from Robin Gilmour, from Milngavie, who’s been in touch with the Association Of Psychiatrists. They told him that as people are spending so much time at home, it’s perfectly normal for them to start talking to their plants. Although the head shrinkers ominously add: “Contact us if they reply.”

Robin, himself, remains entirely sane. And polite. Which is why he signs off with this cheery message: “My Aspidistra sends you his kind regards.”

Bulb-ous bonce

NIFTY nicknames continued. Reader David McCall admits only readers of a certain vintage will understand this one. At Kilmarnock Academy in the 1960s a boy in his year had a prominent forehead, leading to him being dubbed ‘neetabulb heid’.

Closet chaos

WE’VE been coming up with children’s books for actress and occasional kids' author Elaine C Smith to translate into Scots. Gordon Fisher, from Stewarton, suggests: The Lion, The Witch And The Mad Party at Wee Tam's and How I Ended Up In The Wardrobe.

Din-din dad

THE Diary has been collecting random snippets of conversation overheard by readers. Strolling in Sheffield years ago, reader John Gerrard overtook two yakking women. Said one to the other: “So there was nowt for it. We ‘ad to 'ave us dad for lunch.” That was all John heard, so we’ll never know if dad was served with potatoes and veg, or blended with eggs in a frying pan as a delicious pater pancake.

Nose knows best

SUAVE and sophisticated reader George Dale has used various aftershaves over the years. Old Spice in the 60s, Brut in the 70s. Later, Denim, and finally Jazz for the 90s. He had almost decided on Dior Sauvage for the 2020s. Upon further reflection, and after having had a preliminary sniff, he came to the conclusion Domestos was the only whiff-walloping product for the job.

Cutting comment

WITH an eye for a bargain, reader Tam Wilson bought a knife that cuts through four slices of bread at once. “It’s a four loaf cleaver,” he boasts.

Bubble trouble

“SINGING in the shower is fun until you get shampoo in your mouth,” points out Rachel Murphy: “Then it becomes a soap opera.”