I THINK Sir Billy Connolly’s memory might be at fault when he says that the brightest children were positioned at the front of the room, nearest the teacher, and ranked in order of intelligence to the back ("Sir Billy: School axed my name over skits on religion", The Herald, May 11).

I did time in quite a few Scottish schools in the 1940s and early fifties, and in all, the swots alone were privileged to sit at the back. Those like me were kept at the front, with knuckles, ribs and ear-lobes in convenient proximity.

Sir Billy recalls being ‘hit with the belt as a punishment for graffiti". I remember being belted for submitting an essay not of the excellence of which I was known to be capable. (Inverness Royal Academy, since you ask.)

Robin Dow, Rothesay.

Slowly does it

I HAVE to say that I was unaware of the Confucius saying on golf brought to our attention by Ian MacInnes (Letters, May 13). Amazing the interests of the former!

I was aware, however, of another saying of Confucius along the lines of it does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop". I often reflected on it when one of the slow four in front, who had obviously taken that saying to heart, was taking forever to line up his third putt.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

AS a regular walker and average golfer (allow me to fantasise), I envy those who currently can safely traverse the fairways unencumbered by the tools of the trade, free from disappointment, self-doubt, and recrimination (Letters, May 13) How much more pleasurable it must be to find golf balls instead of losing them, and to finish one’s journey free from the sense of “a good walk spoiled”.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.

Pouring scorn

I AGREE with John Macnab (Letters, May 13) about the quirks of TV subtitling and about the hilarity it can cause.

With my original letter (May 12) I had included a photo of a BBC weather forecast for Scotland one night last month. The subtitle read "jibe whether flatiron budgeting the night". From the image, it looked like rain.

An extreme example but not unique, and I would not like to rely on subtitles.

Helen McCall, Lanark.

King Rosemary

ONCE we’re out of lockdown, perhaps a career in Hollywood as a horror film writer beckons for Rosemary Goring. Her description of a scary night in a country cottage ("Escape to the country for The Good Life? Better be careful what you wish for...", The Herald, May 13) rivals any Stephen King screenplay.

Stuart Neville, Clydebank.


WE live in times which are, to employ a word the frequency of use of which is unprecedented, unprecedented. Unprecedented too, perhaps, is the use of the word unprecedented as two consecutive words in a sentence, or three consecutively in two sentences. Can anyone do better?

Incidentally, this is my first ever letter to The Herald. Unprecedented.

Peter McKerrell, Kilmacolm.