THE Arctic conditions besieging Scotland are proving a hindrance to our readers, who now mostly spend their waking hours huddled beneath the bed covers, clasping two hot water bottles. One filled with hot water. The other loaded to the gunnels with malt whisky.

Occasionally a foolhardy reader will leave the sanctuary of the eiderdown to stagger outdoors, before immediately slipping on the ice and crashing on the bahookie. (Perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea to drink all that whisky.)

Sharon Daniels advised one elderly chap she passed on the street to “walk like a penguin”, an icy-weather dictum she heard on the radio.

“Walk like a penguin?” sneered the old fellow. “Why should I? Penguins urnie so smart. If they had oany brains they’d learn tae fly and wing it tae the Bahamas.”

Excuses, excuses

ATTEMPTING to travel into Glasgow city centre on Monday, reader David Wright was stopped in his tracks after being informed by the Muirend station-master that the train had stopped in its tracks.

A problem on the line, apparently.

David’s wife, standing next to him, whispered delightedly: “So it’s not a rail strike? What a refreshing change! I do like to hear a new excuse why I won’t be getting my train, once in a while.”

Bobble babble

ANOTHER winter tale. The husband of reader Janet Harris has more to outrage him than icy conditions and trains that never arrive.

The other day he muttered to his wife in irate tones: “Bobble hats… bobble hats. Everywhere I look… bobble hats.”

“What’s wrong with bobble hats?” enquired Janet, defensively. (She happened to be wearing one at the time.)

“Shoes don’t have bobbles,” harrumphed hubby. “Trousers, shirts and jackets don’t have bobbles. So what good is it doing on a hat?”

Fading stars

TV fan Bert Adler tells us: “I only recently discovered that Strictly Come Dancing and Pointless Celebrities aren’t the same show…”

Paris match

A MENTION of France in the Diary reminds Harold Mann of the time he visited Harwich, and noticed a sign which stated: "Harwich for the Continent."

Over it someone had scrawled: ‘And Paris for the incontinent.’

Mitey mystery

IN the dim and distant past reader David Donaldson was taught that the way to remember the difference between stalactites and stalagmites was that, “Tights come down.”

What mites do, he has yet to discover.

Festive funny

GEARING up for Christmas, reader Owen Lewis quizzes us: “How much does Santa pay for parking?”

We don’t know.

“Nothing,” says Owen. “It’s on the house.”

Read more from the Diary: The problem with royal titles...