Dig the shindig?

WITH Christmas and Hogmanay around the corner, reader Debbie Smith gets in touch to cheerfully say: “December is like one big party.”

Slightly less cheerfully, she adds: “It’s like a party because I can’t be bothered talking to anyone, plus I want to be home in bed.”

Cold comfort

ANOTHER reader who isn’t feeling festive is Gary Russell, who tells us that the atmosphere around his home is exceedingly chilly.

Not because of marital disharmony. It’s just that Gary and his wife, like many of our correspondents, have been forced to scrimp on the heating in the house.

Even more depressing, the kitchen fridge has broken down. “My wife wants to get it fixed,” says Gary, “but I’m not convinced. The inside of that fridge is now the warmest place in the house. I think we should move in.”

Hard time

INTERNATIONAL news. The financial world has been shaken by the arrest of cryptocurrency "guru" Sam Bankman-Fried, who has been charged by the American government with eight criminal violations, including alleged money laundering. If a court verdict goes against him, he could face a sentence of 600 years in prison.

Sympathetic reader John Irwin says: “That sounds terribly harsh. If Bankman-Fried is found guilty, perhaps the judge will show leniency and allow him to serve only half that time.”

Biblical blooter

NOT quite managing to commiserate with English footy fans afflicted with World Cup woes, reader Joe Knox says: “Many people in Scotland were delighted that Kane wasn’t Able to score with that second penalty.”

Uh-oh… free flow

A READER recently told us of a sign he spotted, which stated: "Harwich for the Continent". Over it someone had scrawled: ‘And Paris for the incontinent.’

Harry Shaw from Airdrie says surely it would have been more appropriate if the sign had read: "Harwich for the Continent and Cork for the incontinent".

Lost her bottle(s)

ON social media Edinburgh author JK Rowling has a confession to make. “My husband bought me a whisky miniatures Advent calendar,” she reveals, “and I'm concerned he might soon realise all the drawers are empty except December 24, and that'll be empty tonight.”

The Diary doesn’t think Rowling should be concerned. Surely there’s a young wizarding bloke she could get in touch with, who could magically make the wee bottles reappear…

Read more from the Diary: So does Ann Cleeves know the script?

A fangless task

INDUSTRIOUS reader Nigel Kent says: “I recently got a job making Dracula toys. There’s only two of us on the production line, so I have to make every second count.”