A fishy tale

THE Diary recently reported the terrifying true story of a breed of huge spiders that proliferated near the Hunterston A power station in Ayrshire.

We realise our readers are a delicate tribe, so we won’t reveal precisely how massive these arachnids were – though we will say that the eight-legged freaks would have come in handy during the current crisis over fuel prices. Instead of driving to work, it would be cheaper to saddle-up a Hunterston spider, then gallop the beastie down the M8.

Meanwhile, optimistic reader Brian Chrystal says: “Nuclear power stations can be good for us. A chap fishing on the shore near Torness told me he enjoyed an excellent leg of cod for dinner.”

Gutsy performance

THE Diary’s Book Nook is proving wonderfully inspiring. We imagine that thousands of people are now tossing their mobile phones in bins, preferring to read great works of literature rather than scroll through endless messages on Twitter.

(We certainly hope people are discarding their mobiles, for the Diary has ordered a crack team of investigative reporters to rummage through the trashcans of Scotland, in the hope that we can pick up a bunch of phones to play with back in the office. We’re getting bored reading all those pesky books.)

Carl Williamson from Largs isn’t merely a lover of literature. He has also been enjoying Wimbledon, which is why he suggests we add to our library of terrific tomes a volume titled…Trials of a Spanish Tennis Player by Buster Gut.

Not gobbled

HAVING decided to go on a diet, reader Julie Wright says: “I don’t eat sandwiches any more. I quit cold turkey.”

Brought to book

JK Rowling is a rather famous Edinburgh author you may have heard of. Though it seems her own family sometimes need a crash-course in facts about mum’s books.

“One of my children was at a loose end one afternoon and went on one of those Potter walking tours with their best mate for a laugh,” reveals JK, who adds: “They came home with a ton of information that was news to me.”

Cleaning instructions

THE daughter of reader Gwen White attended university in London. Gwen was worried that she wouldn’t embrace student life. A fear that was allayed when the teenager made her first phone call home after one week and without preamble said: “Mum, how do you get sick out of a coat?”

Boaty badinage

HISTORICALLY-MINDED reader Alicia Hogan gets in touch to say: “Not many people know that the Titanic had a sister ship called the Italic. Luckily it didn’t sink. It just leaned to one side.”

Ironic interlude

PHILOSOPHICAL thought of the day from reader Ken Garner, who says: “The only thing fire drills actually teach people is how to sarcastically leave a building as a group.”

Bam means Nam

GLASGOW taxi driver Mark Rushton gave a lift to an American tourist this week who said: “I love the simmering tension in your city. I was in the self-service queue at Sainsbury’s and some drunk guy started screaming that he was being overcharged for Frosties. Felt like I was in a Vietnam movie.”

Liquid launch

HOLIDAY hijinks. Glasgow playwright Catriona Duggan was struggling to enjoy a boat trip while nursing a hangover.

“So when they handed out wee cups of water I gratefully necked one,” says Catriona.

Alas, the liquid she was gurgling turned out to be grappa.

“This is the story of how I died at sea,” groans the pitifully puggled playwright.

Movie bores

THERE’S a game played on social media where film fans describe favourite movies in the most boring way possible.

Diary correspondent Ben Warrillow suggests: ‘Pub owner bumps into ex-girlfriend.’

The flick Ben’s referring to is, of course… Casablanca.

Dead reckoning

OVERHEARD in a Newton Mearns coffee shop by reader Rebecca Townsend…

Elderly Lady Number 1: Remember Albert?

Elderly Lady Number 2: Of course. Lovely man. Always so witty!

Elderly Lady Number 1: Well, yes. That’s what I used to think. But he’s just no fun any more. I’ve bumped into him at loads of funerals, recently, and he’s not cracked a smile once.

Chickening out

THE Tory leadership contest is heating up and the nation is eager to discover who will be next to mess up in 10 Downing Street.

It could be Rishi Sunak, in which case we will all end up miserable and broke. Alternatively it might be Penny Mordaunt, and we’ll be broke and miserable instead.

Our optimistic readers point out that as bad as everything will undoubtedly get, it surely won’t be as hideous as their childhoods.

Winston Clarke says: “When I was a youth we were so poor we went to Kentucky Fried Chicken to lick other people’s fingers.”

Liquid laughs

JET-SET reader Hamish Auld recalls being on a flight to Portugal and requesting a glass of water.

A cabin crew member replied: "Still?"

“Yup,” said Hamish. “Haven't changed my mind in the last few seconds."

• Read Lorne Jackson's Diary in The Herald every day.