I DID have one of those laugh out loud moments this week when I saw that researchers were looking into making an anti-booze drink from sea buckthorn.

Being from Glasgow, the mind automatically associates the word 'buck' with the jaikie's favourite tipple, made in a certain abbey in Devon ... Buckie (not the famous North-east town!). However, could we be about to have a home-grown, but non-alcoholic version?

Researchers at SRUC Embra are helping with a new business, Seabuckthorn Scotland, which hopes to produce tasty and healthy juices from the berries. But, it won't be an easy job as the plant is famous for its long and treacherous thorns – which would render any inebriated attempts to harvest the berries for the production of a proper alcoholic drink a bit of a bloodbath.

The first new products are a water-based pre-biotic kefir drink and a ginger beer – which will tick a lot of boxes for people looking for healthier alternatives to soft drinks that also promote gut and general health. Founder, Kirstie Campbell, has already concocted something called a Buck Russian, her take on a Russian hangover cure – but first, you need to create the hangover!

Jimmy D's 80

THE LEGENDARY Jimmy Douglas celebrated his 80th birthday recently, which just goes to show that whisky can be a great preservative.

The Raider fondly remembers Jimmy holding court telling stories in the Members' Bar at the Balmoral Show (in the old venue), with Robbie Wilson acting as interpretor for those of us from south of the Howe of Auchterless. I can remember him teetering on that famous stick of his after hearing a particularly non-PC joke about a dwarf, when a dimensionally challenged person walked through the door.

News has not reached the Raider yet of any miss-haps at the celebrations, but no doubt we will hear and keep you informed.

Missing the 'toon

OUR VERY own silverback gorilla and talented cartoonist, Jim Oswald, is taking a few weeks out due to ill-health and that's why there's no thought-provoking cartoon this week.

We wish Jim a speed recovery and we're sure that readers will be well provided for when he returns. His pawky sense of humour is awaited every week and we will all look forward to seeing normal service being resumed.