NEVER let it be said that the ancient and venerable institution that is The Herald Diary doesn’t move with the times, albeit reluctantly.

When one of the young people who work the internet here (scruffy beards, tight jeans and an unhealthy attachment to their mobile telephones) mentioned memes, Lorne Jackson jumped straight to it.

Or he did, once he’d looked up the Merriam-Webster dictionary where he discovered this definition: Meme \MEEM\ noun. 1 : an idea, behaviour, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. 2 : an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.

Now each day, Lorne chooses his favourite meme and it appears on at midday. Don’t worry if you are a loyal paper-buyer – it’s free for everyone to see online and you’ll find it in the same slot as the Diary – in the Voices section, under Diary.

Have a look and let us know what you think.

The Herald Diary’s origins are lost in the mists of time and no-one here knows when it actually started, although our best bet is the 1980s with Tom Shields. At that time The Diary, or as everyone knew it, the Tom Shields’ Diary, appeared in the Herald twice a week. Incoming editor Harry Reid had a plan to increase this to five days a week in the late 90s when Ken Smith joined Tom.

Incidentally, Ken was the last reporter to claim for a dinner suit on expenses as invitations to awards events at hotels such as the Albany, the Hilton and whatever The Thistle hotel was called that week, rained in.

Now, the column is edited by Lorne Jackson, following Ken’s retirement, but the idea remains the same. To raise a smile, maybe even a guffaw, in a world of politics and pandemics.

In other words, The Herald Diary is a selection box of wacky, weird, way-out stories and images with a surreal Scottish slant.

Each day we provide amusing and quirky tales – both true and tall – from Scotland’s past and present, often provided by readers.

There is a mixture of celebrity stories, plus gossip gleaned from Holyrood and Westminster, with a few sporting yarns and arts-based anecdotes thrown in. All related in the Diary’s inimitable style; tongue wedged firmly in cheek, eyebrow raised in wonderment.

In this way it has become an integral part of both The Herald and Scottish society at large. The late movie star, Sir Sean Connery, was a fan. He once phoned the Diary desk hoping to discuss one of our tales.

To sum up the Diary – it is Scotland talking to itself. And, like most people who get into the habit of talking to themselves, the Diary is more than a tad eccentric.