THE Diary was sad to hear of the death of Bertie Auld, a great Celtic footballer in a great Celtic team. Nowadays football is a glamorous game, and highly lucrative for its practitioners. It was much the same in Bertie’s day. His first wage packet as a professional kickabout artist contained the grand sum of half a crown, roughly twelve pence in today’s money.

Unfortunately he couldn’t spend all of his vast wealth on fun and frolics. As Bertie once pointed out with a wry smile, being a professional footballer meant “you had to buy yer ain boots”.

Boxing clever

WE are told the story of a former nurse who found herself a patient in hospital, and asked her visiting husband to "bring the big box of chocolates in the kitchen cupboard". This was to be a "thank you" present for the ward nurses.

Hubby knew the very box. The following day he brought it, carefully wrapped with ribbon, plus a card conveying thanks. It was duly presented and gracefully received.

Some minutes later there were peals of laughter from the reception area.

The cause of merriment was the contents of the box: Fuse wire. Scissors. Bandages. Sticking plasters. And a 13 amp plug.

It transpired that hubby didn’t know the very box. Just the very wrong box…

Kid’s stuff

OBSERVANT reader Michael Ross points out that “baby powder has a surprisingly low percentage of baby in it.”

Food for thought

ENGLISH rap music star Zuby recently heard about Scottish well-fired rolls. He isn’t impressed. Dismissing our proud nation’s greatest baking innovation, he says: “They rebranded burnt toast...”


THE husband of reader Mary Kay was soundly defeated playing online chess against a computer. Looking on the bright side, he said to Mary: “Bet it can’t beat me at golf, though.”

Mac snack

LORD Macfarlane, who died earlier this month, was an illustrious fellow, sitting on the board of many top companies and a keen patron of Scottish arts.

Reader Ron Cowley, like Lord Mac, was a member of Glasgow Arts Club. Ron once attempted to buy certain delicacies from the organisation’s restaurant, but was informed that Lord Mac had already gobbled the goodies.

And did the tasty morsels in question include steak, truffles and caviar?

Not quite. It was Scotch pies, beans and chips.

He may have been a peer, but Lord Mac was also delightfully down to earth.


“YOU never see owls getting amorous in the rain,” points out reader Bill Henley. “Clearly it’s too wet to woo.”

Read more: What's in a name? Steven Gerrard will tell you