THE Diary has always felt a great deal of admiration for Harry and Meghan, that multimillionaire couple eking out a frugal, selfless and charitable existence in a California mansion with nine bedrooms and sixteen bathrooms.

As you might be aware, H & M are currently appearing in a fair and balanced Netflix documentary, which the publicity-shy couple will be fervently hoping nobody watches.

Reader Susan Barr says: “Maybe Nicola Sturgeon should make a similarly objective and unbiased documentary, arguing her case for yet another independence referendum. And if Netflix refuse to broadcast it, she could always launch her own TV channel… Natflix, perhaps?”

Games people play

AS the old year draws to a close, notes Malcolm Boyd. from Milngavie, it’s useful to reflect on the events of the last 12 months.

Adds Malcolm: “My thoughts immediately go back to the night when I nearly lost my wife – what a card game that was…”

French for beginners

WITH Mbappe and chums beating England in Qatar, our readers are now feeling proud of the "Auld Alliance" between Caledonia and Gaul.

David Donaldson tells us that, as a teenager, his wife Marion hitch-hiked across France. One lorry driver stopped and bought her lunch. When he asked if she would like anything more to eat, she declined on the grounds that she was full up, which in school French became, "Non merci. Je suis pleine."

This got a startled response from M. Le Camionneur, because the phrase actually means: “I am pregnant.”

Raising Kane

WORLD Cup warblings, continued. Before England got MMM-bopped by Mbappe, the senior-section of Whiteinch Indoor Bowling Club in Glasgow were growing increasingly nervous that the Harry Kane Collective might end up raising aloft the solid gold trophy.

Diary correspondent Jim Morrison overheard one elderly bowler mutter grumpily: “If England win this World Cup, I’ll no just eat ma hat, I’ll eat ma flipping coat an’ shoes, as well.”

(P.S. The elderly bowler may have used a spicier word than ‘flipping’. Those senior-section bowlers are a rough 'n' rascally bunch.)

Fishy conclusion

ENJOYING a tipple in his local hostelry, reader Nigel Henderson overheard a chap at a nearby table say to his pal: “I’ve always been curious tae know, what were electric eels called before electricity was invented?”

His pal considered this for a while, then replied: “Steam-powered eels?”

Money to burn

PROUD homeowner Liz Manning tells us she’s getting a new chimney built. “The original price was quite reasonable,” says Liz, “but now it's going through the roof.”