WITH apologies to a certain W Wordsworth Esq, footy fan Matt Spicer supplies us with the following ode to the national team:

“Bliss it was on that night to be alive,

When Serbia couldn’t get to five.”

Boogie nights

THOUGH some people are never happy. On social media Steve Houston notes that the song Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, which has somehow become the Scottish team’s unofficial national anthem, may now be heading for the top of the charts.

“Scotland, eh?” grumps Steve. “Where you can have a say in what gets to nO 1, but no influence on who gets into nO 10.”

Short story

OUR readers continue to appal us with tales of how cruel people can be about those of a diminutive stature. George Smith, from Clydebank, recalls working with a chap who was 5ft something-or-other in height (The something-or-other being zero).

“The story was he had a Saturday job as a bouncer in an under- fives playgroup,” says George.

Ghost story

THIS is the season when brave folk share spooky tales round roaring log fires, though comedian Joe Heenan believes the only true terrors are supplied by parenthood: “Having a teenage daughter is a lot like your house being haunted,” he explains. “Every now and again you'll see a figure in the corner of your eye, followed by a moaning sound, and then a door will slam shut.”

Games people play

NETFLIX drama The Queen’s Gambit revolves around the fiercely competitive world of chess. Jonathan Mitchell wonders if the TV show will give a boost to the already popular board game. Unfortunately, our reader never learned the game himself. He once asked his father to teach him, though his disobliging parent refused on political grounds.

“Chess is all kings and queens,” explained dad to son. “You’re better off with Ludo. Much more democratic.”

Happy talky talk

WITH hopeful news about a coronavirus vaccine, the Diary is encouraging readers to devise upbeat and life-affirming phrases with a particularly Scottish flavour.

Ken Johnson, from Lochwinnoch, has been mulling over this task with his wife, and they both conclude that Scotland is already awash with blissfully buoyant expressions.

Two phrases that Ken recalls are: "I'm no’ too bad" and "I've never died a winter yet".

Ken’s wife contributes the even more rapturous: "Ach, I'm jist hingin’ thegether."

Rocky remark

AMERICA has many spectacular vistas, notes well-travelled reader Frank Fowler. “The beauty of Mount Rushmore before the carvings was unpresidented,” he points out.