Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I am of course normally quite self-effacing. But I just could not resist giving this a larger audience. While on holiday recently in the Scottish Highlands I stayed for a night in Fort Augustus where I went to school.
(Whenever I go back I usually have a few beers with the 'village boys' with whom in earlier days we had regular fights)
Anyway I picked up this book called 'Abbey Boys' which has a nice
picture on the front cover and is basically a re-write of the school
magazines,  which I cannot think anybody who did not go to the school
would wish to read. And even I had a problem.  Anyway here it is on page
'Unusually early snow and frost upset the normal outdoor
activities. For two weeks from 22 November organised games were
impossible because of snow and ice. Sledging became the sport of the
moment and produced two casualties. A. Drummond, trying to avoid some
girls, ran his sledge into a fence and suffered a fractured arm.  F.F.
McGarity broke his arm too ( but with less gallant intent).'
Poor old Fraser McGarity.  He must be the first casualty of
tabloid journalism in my long and chequered career.  I wonder what he
did to get such a poor write up. Was he avoiding the boys? Or wait a
minute, why was I avoiding the girls? Is there a hidden message here?
Can I sue?
From what I recall of the incident there were three of us on the sledge,
all  lying flat on top of each other (well it was a public school) with
me sandwiched in the middle so I could not dive off which is what I
wanted to do. This incident was no doubt accompanied by screams of
terror. The run was over a mile long on a public road down Glen Doe. No
'elf and safety'. No sane person would do it. I spent the last week of
school in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.
I later started dating the canal keeper's daughter one of the girls we
tried to avoid (FA is on the Caledonian canal at the southern end of
Loch Ness. Canal is to the left of the school. Her house is not quite in
view  but I could get there through the hedge, but once there did not
get much past her knee).

The author of this book was my History and English teacher at prep
school near Edinburgh. There is no similarity in styles. He was however
 a splendid chap I recall.

When did all this happen? Well long before my wife was born.

Apologies. This site will get back to reporting the
real news when I have fully recovered the jet lag and re-adjust. I just
liked the picture (above) ....and finally...

Elf and safety note: My brother who
is a consultant engineer building farm buildings and dairies in the UK
has to ask all his labourers if they are wearing the appropriate sun
screen before picking up a tool, something I think we should introduce
to Somchai in Isaan.


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