This land is your land...
- Captain Alwyne Farquharson, Laird of Invercauld, has the 201st stupidest name in Britain. He is also by some strange coincidence the 201st richest man in Britain, according to The Sunday Times. He is at present standing in the way of Denis 'Local Hero' Lawson's plans to make a movie on the island of Mull. Although the movie would be shot on someone else's land, Denis and the best boys and key grips would have to use a 250m track of the Captain's. In a fit of righteous conservationism, the Captain said: 'I don't agree with making vehicular tracks in national scenic areas'. The Captain is a director of well known scenic beauty spot the Glenshee Chairlift.
- In the wake of our recent revelations of widespread drug abuse within the narrow confines of Glen Coe (TAC8, p3), comes a phonecall from TAC stalwart David Downie. Could, he suggests, the similarity of the names of proscribed Olympic substance Clenbutarol and Skye midge haven Glen Brittle be in any way related? At the very least, some of the scores of Deet-covered climbers setting off for Coire Lagan ought to be randomly tested. A few rucksack-lifting baggers sent home in disgrace would at least go some way toward solving problems of overuse in the Cuillin...
- Errata and addendum, No.3278. Notable Gaelic scholar Lieut-Col Louis Mountbatten-Berghaus-Cake of Newman College writes to inform us that the twin-topped summit in front of The Devil's Point has gained a name - Ciochan-Fearghais Ceann Dearg - but lost a few metres in height. Now 666m, it loses its place in Munro's Tabloids and is reportedly no longer visible from the steeple of Crathie Kirk.
- The Glen Coe versus Shakespeare argument rages on. Once you know of its existence, you see it everywhere you look. Late July, the week before the Olympics, and the Beeb screens a documentary by Hugh McIlvanney, doyen of sports journalists and brother of wellknown thriller writer Ed McBain. The first section of the programme concerns pugilism: tedious stuff. Then onto football, with eulogising footage - if you'll pardon the pun - of demi-god Pele: the one where he dummies the goalie then misses the open goal, the one where he tees the ball up for Carlos Alberto, that sort of thing. Shug then muses on a hypothetical choice between Edson Arantes and - you've guessed it - the works of the bearded scribbler himself. And draws an astonishing conclusion: that, given a life-or-death choice, he would opt for the man from Stratford rather than San Paulo. How could he?? Did the so-called Bard ever play keepie-uppie down the wing, or sit on the ball, or nutmeg Francis Bacon? Of course he didn't, just as he never traversed the Aggy Ridge nor wandered down the Gearr Aonach zigzags late of a summer's evening. Yet Shug has obviously been deluded into thinking the pen is mightier than both the football and climbing boot. Astonishing.
- Readers may have seen some of the recent hype concerning so-called 'smart' ropes i.e. ropes which change colour to show they're becoming dangerously worn. Now, this sounds all well and good, but surely a little old hat. For instance, have we not for many years had access to 'smart' cagoules which go all blotchy and wet as a sign they're about to start letting in water? Or 'smart' tents with ridgepoles which snap and bring the whole edifice crashing down at the first gentle gust heralding a big blow? And talking of old hat, what about 'smart' hats - bunnets which automatically detach and propel themselves five yards ahead of your chase downhill as a hint that it's time to be getting a move on. No, nothing new there: what goes around comes around.
FAX YOUR FUNKY STUFF ON 041-423-9332