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* I note the spelling above the stanchion outside Nevisport – whereon rests the gondola – has been corrected. For a couple of weeks the noticeboard attached to it extolled the virtues of the ‘gondala’! Years ago a couple of Scotland’s favourite trysting places were ‘Under the clock at Binn’s/Queen Street Station’. Is it now ‘Under the gondola at Nevisport’?
* A couple from Renfrewshire proved that, with the advent of Aonoch Mor, getting engaged in a gondola in Venice is a bit passe. Glen produced the ring and proposed at tower eleven on the cable car line. Caroline was admiring the scenery and, when she turned round to look at Glen, there he was on bended knee. All say ‘Aaaaah’!
* From betrothals to wedding breakfasts. Three bridesmaids and a couple of flower girls and pages had an interesting run to the Cruachan after a Fort William marriage ceremony on Saturday. Their hire car broke down. But they got to the hotel in time to join the rest of the principal party thanks to a Gaelic bus.
* Yet another couple, married for a while, on holiday ‘up here’. He decided to walk from Kinloch to the top of the Ben. Later in the day his wife came out of the gondola at the top station on Aonach Mor. She got into a right state when she realised she was ‘only’ 2,350 feet up our mountains. ‘But I’ve arranged to meet my husband at the top of Ben Nevis,’ she wailed. ‘And I understood the cable car went to the summit.’ Everything was sorted out eventually and the couple were reunited at what Brian Ball doesn’t describe as ‘ground level’!
* Early birds – in other words, the half dozen who may be reading this before 8.15 this morning – might be interested to know that, in five minutes- 8.20am – Ingrid Henderson, from Tigh a Chiuil, Badabrie, will be guesting on the Derek Jameson Show on Radio 2. Ingrid is the UK’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year and she and her clarsach will be featuring. So tune in and you’ll be in time to hear Ingrid strike a chord or two.
* Joe Gillies, courtesy of Dibs, had a len’ of the Smillie family’s Flymo so he could further beautify the green, green grass in his part of bonnie Glenfinnan. His instruction, when finished with the mower, was to ‘bring it up to the house in Henderson Row and leave it in the garage’. Job neatly done, Joe drove to Fort William and ‘repatriated’ the Flymo after lifting the up-and-over garage door. A couple of days later, Dibs asked: ‘Have you cut all the Glenfinnan grass yet, Joe’? To which, of course, Joe replied that he’d already left the mower ‘in the garage’. At roughly the same time a Henderson Row neighbour opened his garage door and found his way barred – by a Flymo. He took it to the police station. Meanwhile, after family consultation, Joe returned to check in which garage he’d chosen to park the mower. The upshot was that Joe’s next trip was to see the ‘polis’. At the station he had to file a description of the Flymo and, eventually, all was well. I hear Joe is writing a song about it for his next CD. It’s called ‘Flymo to the Fort’.
* It was a bit like ‘Bryce and the Spider’ at Brisbane International Airport. Bill, of that Ilk, kept persevering till he convinced the security authorities their airport’s group check-in facilities represented a real risk. So, fresh from designing refurbishments of cottages at Dorlin and mentoring the Clan Cameron Museum metamorphosis at Achnacarry, Bill has now had a hand – at least – in altering the shape of a major airport.
* Having moved from Ballachulish to Corpach (The Queen of Suburbia), a Radio Belford DJ decided to listen out to hear if his wireless reception was any better on the Heights of Drumfada. Switched on, and what did he get? Radio One as sound as a bell, Radio Clyde wonderfully bright – and Air Traffic Control at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.
* Scottish daily broadsheet, letters page. A double-barrelled knight of the realm kicking up blazes because he’d had to stand in the Sprinter all the way from Fort William to Mallaig. Currently, however, because of the West Highland Line problems, ScotRail has come up with an answer: ‘Travel by bus and avoid the s-train’.
* Royal Mail would have had no problem delivering Skeegan’s Wee Stinker teeshirt. Aye, Skeegan was one of this week’s winners in the fiendishly difficult Herald crossword competition and is listed as ‘Donald Skeegan, Hydro Electric, Airds Crossing, An Gearasdan’!
So Skeegan joins the elite. Good PR for the hydro and, indeed, even more than that, he has the choice of a medium, large or extra large tee-shirt. At the last count, Lochaber has had 15 Herald crossword winners.
* Meanwhile, Donnie Nicolson, of Mamore Crescent, another successful Wee Stinker entrant, has been getting fan mail from – Ghana. Last week Donnie received a letter, part of which read, ‘Dear Mr Nicolson’, I am as fit as a fiddle as I write this letter. How do you do? One day I read the Glasgow Herald of Scotland and I got to know you as one of the five winners of the Wee Stinker crossword. I am, therefore, writing to congratulate you, and make friends with you. Hoping to receive from you soon. Yours sincerely,
Asaah, Kumasi, Ghana’. I asked Donnie if he was going to write to him. ‘Him’! Donnie exclaimed. I’m hoping it’s a her’!
Donnie is now contemplating having his passport renewed.