THESE are precarious times for oligarchs. Once brash and flash, they are now in a mad dash to stash their cash, which is resulting in a desperate scramble to unload UK assets.

Financially minded Diary reader Ian Noble believes a certain English football club and its Russian owner could be about to part ways.

Does this mean a more positive future for the club in question? We’re not entirely convinced…

“I’ve just heard that Craig Whyte has offered Roman Abramovich £1 for Chelsea,” says Ian.

Fruity fella

WE’RE celebrating the rich variety of foods available in Scotland. A work colleague of Brian Logan, from Langside, Glasgow, once asked him to name four types of fruit beginning with T.

“I quickly got tangerine and tomato, then was stuck, “ admits Brian.

He was duly impressed when his colleague filled in the blanks by adding a tin of peaches and a toffee apple.

Animal magic

GADABOUT Glesga gal Deedee Cuddihy was visiting the city’s Oran Mor theatre to enjoy the latest Play, A Pie And A Pint production when she overheard a snippet of conversation that was west end warbling of a very fine vintage.

"No, can't do Saturdays,” said one woman to another, “that's when I volunteer at the alpaca farm."

Foody faux pas

UNFORTUNATE news for reader James Randall. “I’ve been banned from the Secret Cooking Society,” he sighs. “I kept spilling the beans.”

Cooky cetacean comment

FISHY tales, continued (To be strictly accurate, this story is actually about an ocean-bobbing mammal, not a fish. Though if you coated it in batter then served with a portion of chips it would probably look like a fish, which is close enough for us).

Now on with the narrative… Russell Smith, from Largs, was once in the Highlands when he overheard a man and woman we will conveniently name Hamish and Flora discussing forthcoming movies they could watch.

Hamish enthusiastically proposed Moby-Dick.

“What’s it about?” asked Flora in her Highland lilt.

“It’s all about whales,” explained Hamish.

“Och,” tutted Flora. “I can’t be standing bloody Welshmen.”

Piercing pronouncement

SCOTTISH Labour's logo change to a red thistle reminds Bryce Drummond, from Kilmarnock, of the days when Neil Kinnock led the national party and a red rose became the icon of choice. On satirical puppet show Spitting Image, Kinnock’s avatar explained that the flower truly reflected his party. Pretty on top with a lot of p****s beneath.