Naughty nauticals

LIKE an archaeologist grubbing around in the soil, the Diary continues to unearth curious fragments of information, perhaps unknown to the world at large.

Reader Malcolm Boyd was chatting to a chum who served in the Royal Navy. Malcolm told this fellow that the Royal Navy was known by those in the Merchant Navy as "The Grey Funnel Line".

The chap responded by revealing that members of the Royal Navy referred to themselves as "Auntie Bessie’s World Cruise Line".

We wonder if Auntie Bessie herself (aka, the Queen) knows about this most mutinous of monikers.

Wee mistake?

WE’RE discussing occasions that were undermined by inappropriate musical accompaniment.

Hilarie McCallum visited the automatic street loos in Paris where recorded music is piped into the cubicles to add to the chic ambience of the experience.

At the time of Hilarie’s visit the song being played was a moving rendition of … Yellow River.

Floaty fella

A BARBIE doll has been made of Dame Sarah Gilbert, the creator of the Oxford Covid vaccine, to honour her and her work. Reader Joan Dale would like to see a toy inspired by Boris Johnson.

“An over-inflated balloon would be perfect,” she says.

Fruity comment

THE Diary tends to avoid mentioning anything as disgustingly healthy as fruit, and we would never encourage our readers to eat anything that hasn’t been deep-fried into submission first. Yet somehow we found, to our horror, that in an unguarded moment of reckless abandonment we happened to mention apples this week.

And not the pie or toffee variety, either.

Compounding this grievous error in editorial judgment, reader Russell Smith says: “If an apple a day keeps the doctor away is it fair to ask: What does a pear at night do?”

Colourful confusion

LET us hastily move on to a subject much closer to our heart ... booze. Reader Gordon Coleman says: “Yellow-coloured wine is called white wine and is made from green grapes and is best drunk when you’re feeling blue.”

He adds: “Just thinking about all that makes me feel drunker than when I’ve actually knocked back a bottle.”

Two’s company

WE stubbornly stick with the subject of alcohol. Reader Ken Dean was visiting his local hostelry when he overheard a wobbly imbiber at the bar say to the fellow serving him: “Well, I’m certainly no an alky cos I never drink alone. You’re always with me.”

Just desserts

CURIOUS about all things culinary, reader Paula Clark is eager to learn how to make ice-cream. “I’ve decided to go to sundae school,” she says.

Read more: Herald Diary: A tale of Orange and silver screen