IT’S heartening to see horse racing return to Ayr after lockdown, says Sandy Tuckerman. “I’m particularly delighted for a friend who works at the racecourse,” our reader adds. “He’s been furlonged for the last three months.”

Ant-man muddle

ANT Middleton is a ruff, tuff ex-soldier and adventurer. Buff of bod’. Bushy of beard. Ant and Dec are a pixie-like pair of diminutive TV presenters. Entirely different types of people. Even so, author and broadcaster Damian Barr admits to getting them mixed up. “I have only just realised Ant Middleton is not one half of Ant and Dec,” he confesses. “I just thought he had really hit the gym.”

Town tiff

THE rivalry between Beith and Kilbirnie has been playing out in poetic form in the Diary, which reminds Andrew Cook of a chant used by the Boys' Brigade division of his youth:

“We’re a’ fae Kilbirnie

We’re hardy and we’re tuff

We’re better than the folk

Fae Beith, Dalry an’ Lochinyuch.”

We await with trepidation the reaction of the good folk of Lochwinnoch, who may be less than amused at the corruption of their town’s fine name…

Dodgy dating

“I RECENTLY got sacked from my job at a calendar factory,” reveals reader Harry Price. “I shouldn’t have taken that day off.”

Musical interlude

IN the 1980s midwives played cassette music in the delivery suite to help expectant mothers relax, explains Malcolm Boyd from Milngavie. After Malcolm’s son was successfully delivered, the midwife asked if the music made a difference. “Not really,” said our reader’s wife. “I had other things on my mind.”

The midwife was entirely sympathetic. "I know what you mean," she said. "Last week we had a baby born to the sound of Fleetwood Mac singing: 'You make loving fun.’"

Wild or mild?

OUR readers have been recalling amusing T-shirt slogans they’ve spotted. Jimmy Simpson once came across a hip and rebellious fellow in the James Dean/Marlon Brando mould. He was swaggering down the street wearing a white T-shirt. Across the front of the top was emblazoned a slogan that provided a rather mixed message. It read: “Edgy as Heck.”

Bar room banter

PUBS remain closed in Scotland. Gavin Weir, from Ochiltree, Ayrshire, notes some media outlets have reported the "bitter" disappointment of the nation’s thirsty inhabitants at this state of affairs. Our pedantic reader demands a clarification. “Surely it should be ‘Heavy or Light’ disappointment in Scotland?” he says.

Direct message

IT’S not a pleasurable experience when our shortcomings are revealed to us by a loved one. Reader Marvin Grant’s wife told him he lacked direction. “I wasn’t having that,” says Marvin. “So I picked up my bags and right.”