Hair-brained plan

A WHILE ago an acquaintance of Thorfinn Johnston from Stromness decided to set up a new business in Kirkwall. Wanting to reflect Orkney's Viking heritage, she was keen to name her hairdressing salon after the Norse god of beauty.

She wisely sought another solution when her research uncovered the name of this particular deity… Balder.

Dino might

HISTORICALLY-ASTUTE reader Marty Frost informs us that Robert Burns died in 1796, 28 years before the first dinosaur fossil was discovered.

“This means,” points out Marty, “that Burns never knew dinosaurs existed.”

Our clued-up correspondent adds: “Hopefully this helps clear up the mystery surrounding why Burns never wrote a romantic poem about a dashing Tyrannosaurus Rex falling in love with a curvy Brontosaurus.”

A fishy tale

THERE are many splendid paintings on the gable ends of the tenement rows in Scotland’s towns and cities.

These ambitious murals (or "muriels" as Coronation Street art critic, Hilda Ogden, more accurately labelled them) can be visually striking. None more so than the picture that has appeared in Greenock of a breastfeeding mermaid.

Apparently the image was chosen to emphasise the fact that breastfeeding is a normal and natural activity, which nobody should be embarrassed about.

“Quite right, too,” says Greenock resident Jennifer Walsh. Though she’s not entirely sure the colourful daub makes its pertinent point.

Says Jennifer: “The words ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ don’t necessarily spring to mind when you spot a woman with a giant fish tail in the centre of Greenock.”

Stock tactics

RETAILER Iain McDermid tells us that when he receives goods for his Dumbarton convenience store he sometimes uses redundant shelving to isolate the area whilst he stocks other shelves.

“You could say it’s a case of shelf defence,” says Iain.

Film fun

OUR correspondents are lopping letters from movie titles, in order to suggest better films that could be made instead.

David Donaldson wants to see a flick about the trials and tribulations of a salesman who punts household cleaning products.

It would, of course, be called… There Will Be Bloo.

Stage flight

TO placate all the colourful pet birds who regularly read the Herald Diary (our column often finds itself covering the bottom of their cages) we’re listing the prodigious achievements of parrots.

Barrie Crawford informs us that Polyurethane is a parrot who has successfully auditioned for Macbeth.

Monetary mystery

PERPLEXED reader Beryl Muir gets in touch to ask: “Which idiot came up with the phrase, ‘I need to spend a penny’ instead of ‘I need 2p’?”

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