Blue blood blues

TOLSTOY famously wrote: “All happy families are alike. Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The royal family’s way of being unhappy is certainly distinctive, involving thrones, crowns, a stroppy red-haired fellow and a smidgen of Oprah Winfrey.

Even rockstar Noel Gallagher has entered the mix, commiserating with Prince William for having such a woke snowflake for a brother.

Meanwhile, the Diary has decided to valiantly gallop to Harry’s defence by pointing out that he’s not the first blue blood to exhibit a certain, erm, "uniqueness" in his thinking.

Reader Gordon Casely recalls the possibly apocryphal tale of the time a certain Sandhurst instructor (and one time husband of Princess Anne) named Mark Phillips told his class of aspiring officers: “Humility is a virtue. It is important to be humile.”

Brought to book

WHILE we’re on the subject of our era’s most divisive political ideology, David Donaldson points out that its roots can be traced back to modernist Irish literature.

“Didn’t that Joyce guy write the definitive guide to political correctness?” he says. “You know… Finnegans Woke.”

Bean scene

FORMER sailor Malcolm Boyd from Milngavie once had a discussion with some other seafaring fellows of his acquaintance about the most dangerous cargos each of them had sailed with. Crude oil, aviation spirits and naphtha were all nominated. One of the chaps argued that ‘beans’ were the most volatile cargo.

“What kind of beans?” he was asked.

“Human beans,” he replied.

Bog awful behaviour

WE’RE improving the English dictionary by introducing newly minted words of our own devising. Harry Shaw from Airdrie suggests: Lavitating (verb): To spend an excessive amount of time on the toilet.

Family affair

POLITICAL thought of the day from reader Nigel Clarke, who says: “G7 sounds like Boris Johnson guessing how many kids he’s got.”

Green day

CONTINUING the G7 theme… The Prime Minister says he’ll promote environmental policies at the conference. Reader Dan Percy notes a certain irony in this. “Boris talks up his green agenda while roaring into Cornwall on a private jet. He couldn’t be less green if he lopped the top of Ben Nevis and replaced it with a chimney stack.”

Loopy lingo

THE Diary has been exploring the paradoxes of the English language. Jim Dunlop from Largs notes that: “Quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.”

Water silly joke

“HOW do you cut the ocean in half?” asks reader Bob Rushton. “With a sea-saw, of course.”