SCOTTISH crime writer Liam McIlvanney has lived in New Zealand long enough to enjoy an indulgent chuckle at the foibles of his adopted country. He was particularly tickled by an Otago Daily Times article recalling the worst marketing slogans used to promote NZ towns and cities.

There was the vomit inducing: ‘Stop and taste Te Puke.”

Almost as bad was Porirua, which the local mayor insisted on celebrating as P-town (Was he taking the P?).

Liam notes Scotland hasn’t had many saddo city slogans. Perhaps it’s time we came up with some howlers of our own…

Chubby checker

PEOPLE can be cruel. Especially when those people happen to be girlfriends. Reader Murray Arnold’s other half told him it was time to shed a few pounds. To illustrate her point, she pinched his rippling waistline and said: “Look at that. You’ve got more rolls than Greggs.”

Bum deal

WE were sad to hear of the passing of that most lugubrious of actors, Michael Angelis, who trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (as the Royal Conservatoire was then called).

The Liverpool actor had a remarkable range, appearing in Carla Lane sitcoms, hard-hitting Alan Bleasdale dramas, and even narrating the Thomas The Tank Engine animated show.

The Diary was particularly fond of his villainous turn in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, where he snarls at a gang of workmen: “If any of you mess with me I’ll have your a**e for a hat.”

To which one workman responds: “It would suit you.”

Not bee-having

THE weather was hot at the weekend, though Mark Cain’s wife refused to sit in the garden. When asked why, she replied: “Have you seen those bees? I don’t think they got the memo about social distancing.”

Musical memory

READER Gavin Black claims he was in a 1990s band called Missing Cat. “You probably remember the flyers we put up everywhere,” he says.

Predictably unpredictable

BEECHGROVE presenter George Anderson agreed to provide tips for a Herald Magazine feature about wildlife-friendly gardens, and jotted down some thoughts.

Unfortunately, the perils of predictive text saw “old pantiles” changed to “old panties” when describing the materials used to create an overwintering site for garden frogs.

Said a relieved George: “Thankfully, the typo was caught. Otherwise it might have looked as if I was giving advice about gardening for a different kind of wild life.”

The great escape

“I HEARD about the astronauts who left the earth at the weekend,” says reader Terry Graham, who adds with a sliver of cynicism: “Good choice.”

Filthy animal

A WOEFULLY woolly witticism. “What do you do with a dirty sheep?” asks Beverley Parker. “Give it a baaaath.”