Small-time sorceress

CRIME writer Helen Fields next novel, The Last Girl to Die, published in September, is set on the Isle of Mull.

Researching the book, she discovered a number of legends connected to the isle, including one about a local witch, Doideag, said to be more powerful than a Clan Chief, and responsible for the sinking of a Spanish galleon.

Which sounds impressive. Less impressive is the fact that Doideag means "Little Frizzle", which is a disappointing name for a mighty sorceress.

Surely with all that power she could have called herself Big Frizzle, or even Medium-Sized Frizzle.

That’s the problem with Scottish witches. Too darned modest.

Corny present

WITH Father’s Day fast approaching, Diary correspondent Deedee Cuddihy browsed the Internet to discover which gifts were proving popular for dads. Suggestions included mugs, slippers and… popcorn seasoning.

Clearly dads remain less popular than mums.

For if it was for Mother’s Day, surely an entire lump of popcorn would have been suggested as a generous prezzie.

Slumber number 1

LETHARGIC reader Martha Ross says: “Having a little nap on the sofa before heading to bed is called a snors d’oeuvre.”

Mind your language

THE ancestors of firebrand polemicist Douglas Murray hail from Scotland, though his cut-glass accent was forged on the playing fields of Eton.

Yet the Diary has noticed a curious evolution in the political writer’s choice of words since relocating to America from England.

During a recent broadcast he used a phrase adored by all State-side commentators: “Do the math.”

Does this mean Douglas is lost to these isles for good? Perhaps not. For on another occasion he was more patriotically heard recalling an argument, which he referred to as “a bit of a ding-dong.”

Once a citizen of Blighty, always a citizen of Blighty.

Blending in

WE mentioned that reader Bill Matthews once presided over a hotel bar where the locals came out with garbled gab after a gid gargle.

On one occasion a worker, whose employer was experiencing financial difficulties, morosely informed his fellow tipplers that the liquidisers had arrived at the factory.

Brandishing Kenwood Blenders, no doubt.

Chocs away

WILDLIFE fans will be wildly delighted that David Attenborough has received a SECOND knighthood, though reader Jason Mink is outraged. “Two is just greedy,” he says. “Especially since some of us don’t even have one. I bet Dave’s also a likely candidate to gobble up the last Rolo.”

Makes scents

SCIENTIFICALLY trained reader Bob Garnett says: “Did you know that candle flame smells like burnt nose hair?”