Modesty blazing

IN his simple yet transcendental poem, The Red Wheelbarrow, William Carlos Williams notes that the harmony of existence depends on those barely noticed, yet essential, details of life we experience on a regular basis.

For Williams this means a farmyard tool rusting in the rain.

Though it could also be religious ritual, or the routine of meeting old friends.

For many of her subjects, the Queen provided this sort of quiet comfort with her increasingly old fashioned values of modesty, fortitude and dignity.

Even staunch republicans would mostly agree that she provided a counterbalance to this loud, brash and self-centred era.

For that she will be missed.

Meanwhile, the Diary also tries to follow the William Carlos Williams formula, as the following modest little tales from our archive prove…

White out

ACTRESS Helen Mirren, who memorably played the Queen, was once in Glasgow filming a movie. She and some of the crew dropped into the Press Bar where she asked what wine was served.

This was decades ago, so the reply was: “Red or white.”

She opted for white, took a sip, and with all her actorly skills, kept a smile on her face while discreetly pushing the glass further up the bar.

Saucy drama

THE west end of Glasgow can be home to the occasional luvvie. A reader was in a diner there when a chap leaned over to the next table and asked the customer sitting there: “Are you..?”

Before he could finish, the diner loudly replied: “Yes, I’m in the touring production at the Theatre Royal this week.”

The confused chap who started the conversation told him: “No, I was only going to ask, are you finished with the ketchup?”

Plumbing the depths

MOST folk begging on the streets of Glasgow are poor souls sitting placidly on the pavement. But occasionally you meet a more aggressive drunk, demanding cash.

One reader heading home after a night out was approached by a swaying chap looking for money. Patting his change pocket, our reader amicably said: “Sorry pal, I don’t have a washer.”

“Do I look like a plumber?” the chap replied.

Just desserts

A READER in a Dundee pub heard a visitor, not enamoured of the city, ask a local: “Can you tell me one thing Dundee’s famous for?”

He felt the reply “Piece of cake” was genius.

Disc dissed

A SHAWLANDS reader realised he was getting old when he told his whingeing young son he sounded like “a broken record”, and his son asked: “What’s that?”

Bar room badinage

THE lottery was being discussed in a Glasgow pub when one regular said: “I’m gonna use the numbers from my gas meter reading for my lottery ticket. Seems to work for Scottish Gas.”