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* I reckoned Fort William Football Club players were doing the ‘Haka’ at Claggan Park before Saturday’s match. They certainly put on a complicated centre-circle synchronised routine. I was put right by Stewart Leitch, however. ‘It’s not a Haka – it’s a Clagga,’ he explained knowledgably. Whatever it was, it didn’t work!
* The ultimate Scotsman’s number plate – ‘J1MMY’ – went under the hammer in Glasgow on Monday, selling for £35,000 to – an Englishman called George! George explained the reason behind his purchase: ‘I bought it in memory of my late father,’ he said. ‘His name was Jimmy.’ As if that wasn’t enough, Andrew Mearns from Edinburgh – a Hearts supporter – paid £3,200 for the licence plate ‘H1BBS’! He said it was for a friend – a Hibs fanatic. And I see Fort William local Ally Cameron, an avid Aberdeen fan, is the latest recruit to the personal plates phenomenon. Ally has A11CAM on his motor.
* Pasha kept up his record of getting ‘wounded’ at the Cameron Highlanders Reunion. Last year, you’ll remember, Pasha hurt his leg in the Town Park. He was on the way home from the ‘do’ and attempted an action replay, with his trusty left foot, of one of his Argyll Rovers goalscoring feats. Much earlier on he had been presented with a match ball. At this latest get together, an old comrade, who hadn’t seen Pasha for years, came up to him and, for some unknown reason, clapped him on his gammy knee, rather than on his back. So Pasha was crocked again.
* The secretary of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team (LMRT) was having a problem with household rubbish – at Bohuntin. Miller Harris, in the LMRT van, went to pick up a team colleague at Taigh Tighe who was to accompany him on a rock climbing course at Glenmore Lodge. Mick Tighe, of course, is the team’s training and safety officer. ‘The majority of accidents happen on the roads en route to the mountains,’ Mick is often quoted as saying. Just then, Miller reversed the team van out of the environs of Taigh Tighe. And ran over Mick’s galvanised dustbin – demolishing it completely.
* The Tail Race Inn in Kinlochleven got the go-ahead from Lochaber Licensing Board on Tuesday. The decision-making process was an interesting one – and not lacking in levity. It emerged one local in Aluminiumville had signed the petition against the granting of a licence for the inn and also put his name to the petition in favour or it. There was a lull in the proceedings while officialdom attempted to find out if there is such an address as ‘Honeysuckle Cottage’ as appended by the gentleman who was both ‘for’ and ‘against’.
* Lochaber councillors were also discussing the arrangements for their 1991 Christmas lunch. Snowgoose Restaurant this year, the chairman thought. ‘How about lunch at the castle?’ suggested a committee convener, presumably tongue in cheek. ‘Ah, but will the names be going in a hat?’, Councillor Alister Rodger wanted to know…
* Going by the jargon and legalese currently being spouted about the An Aird lease regarding ‘purification’ and ‘suspensive conditions’, I’d say any of our lay councillors – ‘the common five-eighths’ – as Councillor James MacKay is wont to describe them – are having great difficulty deciphering the relevant clauses. That point was underlined during the Lochaber House discussion on a different topic – the 70 notices to be sited throughout Lochaber advising of the penalties for dog fouling. No doubt it was the unintelligible, incomprehensible, recondite, abstruse – there, I’m lapsing into the jargon myself – outpourings in the council chamber that prompted Councillor Drew Purdon to query whether the notices would be worded in such a way that folk would understand them. And Councillor Charlie King, in whose Mallaig ward the canines – and sheep – can actually read, went even further. ‘Shouldn’t we have a Gaelic text on the notices for my area?’ he queried. For the intelligent sheepdogs of Seagull City, no doubt.
* Bill Harrison has unusual problems with Lochailort’s local stags. And one 12-pointer in particular. Quite often Bill can’t get out of the house at night because of this great big, territory-jealous stag. When Bill approaches the 30-foot bridge which spans the burn outside his cottage, there’s the 12-pointer ‘stalking’ him in an un-neighbourly way – to go away. If he goes to hang out the washing, the Roaring Royal is there again, making very loud noises of disapproval. But the worst part of it all is that Bill sometimes has to forego his half and a half pint at the Lochailort Inn because he can’t get past the stag to make his way up the hill. And that’s particularly bad news for the bar takings – especially when there’s a ceilidh evening or a stag night.
* The ‘Bounty Hunters’ were giving it laldy at the Pulp Mill Club bingo on Friday night looking for the big money. Hope they had better luck than the workforce at one industrial concern not far from the club. This company recently achieved record production levels and every employee was given a Bounty Bar as a bonus. One each, right enough.
* The Scottish Daily Express invited us to watch, among Saturday evening’s TV listings, the highlights of that afternoon’s match between Aberdeen and Ibrox! I’m sure the Fitlikers would have enjoyed that telerecording.