20 Differences Between Glen Coe and Shakespeare
It is fairly well blown that the great W.H.Murray wrote his two famous books, "Mountaineering in Scotland" & "Undiscovered Scotland" whilst incarcerated in a German P.O.W. camp during WWII. However, there is also a tradition that he remedied the chronic lack of writing material by scribbling his tales of Glen Coe gullies & Cuillin crags onto the camp's lavatory paper. But this left Murray & his fellow internees nothing with which to wipe their arses - until, that is, someone came up with the bright idea of utilising the camp's only book, a Shakespeare Complete Works, as surrogate bogroll. Whether this story is true or merely wishful thinking, the choice of priorities puts into sharp focus a debate that has longed raged wherever Thespians & summiteers gather together (Take me to the place! - incredulous Ed.), & to which ace TAC reporter Perkin Warbeck now addresses himself:
- 1. Glen Coe is topped by the mighty peak of Bidean nam Bian, crowning glory of Argyll with outriders of Stob Coire nan Lochain & the 3 sisters.
- Shakespeare is topped by a baldy pate, a few wisps of stringy hair, and for outriders a couple of unremarkable lugs.
- 2. Glen Coe measures approx 3700 feet high & five miles long.
- Shakespeare probably measured about 5 feet six.
- 3. No one has ever accused Glen Coe of being somewhere else.
- Shakespeare frequently is accused of having his plays written by Sir Francis Bacon.
- 4. Glen Coe is girt about by crags.
- Shakespeare is girt about by a poncy Elizabethan ruff.
- 5. Glen Coe has Hamish MacInnes' cottage.
- Stratford has Anne Hathaway's cottage. It is not known if she climbed any mighty summits - but it seems unlikely.
- 6. On a clear day on Bidean you can see Skye, Ben Nevis, Schiehallion etc.
- On a clear day in Stratford-upon-Avon you can see the Avon, Stratford, and Anne Hathaway's cottage.
- 7. Massacres: Glen Coe 1 Stratford 0.
- 8. On the north side of Glen Coe there is the Aonach Eagach ridge: a breathtaking scramble among misty pinnacles teetering over the Glen below.
- On the north side of Stratford you have a bit of flat countryside devoid of features of any sort.
- 9. Shakespeare's plays frequently featured boys dressed up as girls.
- No member of Glen Coe Mountain Rescue Team has been known to act in such a fashion.
- 10. Shakespeare's so-called finest works featured mad, homicidal, or at least dithering members of the royal family.
- The British royal family tend to go to Kloisters, Stringfellows & certainly not Glen Coe.
- 11. Running through Glen Coe is the River Coe, gushing from the peaks & tumbling down the glen. It is plied only by the bravest of canoeists
- Running through Stratford-upon-Avon is the Avon, a stagnant watercourse plied by punts containing boatered Etonians & extras from "Room with a View"
- 12. Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" featured fairies & coarse imbeciles wearing cuddies' heads.
- Glen Coe's supernatural inhabitants are the shades of Highland warriors.
- 13. The road through Glen Coe is often blocked by rockfalls & avalanches from the steep sides of the Aonach Eagach.
- The road through Stratford is often blocked by coach parties of tourists carrying video cameras and guidebooks.
- 14. Glen Coe features 2 pubs: The Clachaig & The Kingshouse, where bohemian climbers discuss the peaks.
- Stratford has"The Bull & Ferret", where Old Sir Peter Hall discusses Lear's dichotomy.
- 15. Glen Coe has a mountain rescue team.
- Stratford has a croquet team.
- 16. Besides mighty climbers, Glen Coe is the domicile of majestic soaring eagles, graceful deer & leaping salmon.
- Stratford is the domicile of bookish eggheads, voles, shrews & a few ducks.
- 17. An ice climbing tool called the Pterodactyl was invented in Glen Coe.
- Shakespeare apparently invented a special type of inkstand, although some claim it was in fact Francis Bacon.
- 18. MacInnes says that the winter traverse of the Cuillin was one of his hardest climbs.
- Old Sir Peter Hall says that Lear was his hardest role, "what with having to keep the crown on and everything".
- 19. The entrance to Glen Coe is guarded by Buachaille Etive Mor, a rocky tower featuring many climbs.
- The entry to Stratford is guarded by the Dog and Duck pub, where the local poetry club can get fairly boisterous.
- 20. Glen Coe is in Scotland.
- Stratford is in England.
TAC 1 Index