Jogle Blogle – Day 9

IMG_1751IMG_1753Day 9 of The Jogle Blogle. Will it never end? Bro and his missus set out just after 09:30 to continue their walk from Drumndrochit to the nights stop at Invermoriston.




IMG_1754If you recall (and how could you ever forget), Steve is walking for charity from John O’Groats to Land’s End with the 3 peaks thrown in for good measure. Wife Sue joined a couple of days ago and the two of them are now getting perilously close to their assault on the summit of Ben Nevis. With the weather distinctly ‘ish’ they donned wet weather clothing for the days trip around Loch Ness.


Sue posed for a pic with today’s wildlife choice – a horse.




Given a choice of ‘you tek the high road and I’ll tek the low road,’ they opted for the more difficult option of the route which was opened in 2014 at a cost of 1 million pounds to offer spectacular views above the tree line of the famous Loch and surrounding countryside. Given that the Jogler had spent a sleepless night worrying that his back was about to give up the ghost, this doesn’t sound like the most sound of tactics to me. But who am I to judge, lying here, typing on my iPad, recumbent on the chaise lounge, sipping Carling Black Label from a cut glass flute.

Well, I’m taking it easy aren’t I, after the traumatic day we all had yesterday for heavens sake! What? You haven’t read Jogle Blogle – Day 8 yet? Well I wouldn’t if I were you, it was hell on Earth I tell you, hell on Earth. I don’t know how I’ll cope with a bloody mountain! And they’ll be having a rest day when they get to base camp, but I’ll be expected to keep on Blogling won’t I? Oh yes indeedy! 

IMG_1770Anyway they called in at the Loch Ness pottery and cafe right on top of the escarpment there. where they settled for banana cake and tea. I guess they may have bought some pottery too, if they hadn’t had to lug it all the way down to Cornwall,  visit their Facebook page at it’s worth it just for the picture of the Lynx.

IMG_1811Back on the trail they paused only to get the obligatory selfie – notice my brother hogging all the limelight (needing a shave mate, or are you going for the Grizzly Adams look?) and Sue playing silly buggers in the middle of the ‘viewcatcher’ which frames the Munros some 25 miles north of Loch Cluanie and Pooh sticks on a bridge inspired by the drawings of local schoolchildren.





























And aside from the moody scenic shots that’s about all I can tell you. Apart from the days stats that is, which are, mileage 13.9 – not much by previous standards, but we’re still going up to a maximum elevation of 1426 feet for this part of the Jogle. They walked for 5 hours 30 minutes and 38 seconds in 29,905 steps, to get to their days destination at Invermoriston. Now I’ve had the abacus restrung the totals are 163.93 miles in 323,682 steps.

IMG_1853Oh Kate, could you top up the Carling please. Not right to the top, no. I don’t want the bubbles going up my nose.

We’ll call in and sample the tension tomorrow as they reach the foothills of the great Ben itself, as they’ll no doubt gaze up to see it soar into the clouds and regret they ever said that they would even attempt to scale its sheer granite walls.

Oh and by the way, Bertie Blister is, ‘o.k. with no more bits lost,’ so that’s all right then.

So I’ll leave it there, feel free to take a look at Steve’s ‘just giving’ page can be found at



Jogle Blogle – Day 7

IMG_1572Wow! Not only is the Jogler breaking through all sorts of barriers, 1 week in, over 100 miles and 100,000 steps walked, but now the Blogle is getting in on the act too. We started Day 1 with a meagre 16 views. Yesterday on Day 6 we attracted over 100 views on the blog site, that’s not counting all the interactions on Facebook and Twitter. Keep up the good work sharing, retweeting and generally spreading the word you wonderful people, my brother Steve is doing this for a great charity after all – check out his reasons for walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End along with the 3 peaks thrown in for good measure on his just giving page at

All proceeds are going to Macmillan Cancer Support and a big thank you from the Jogler for your support so far. I’ll let you know how far he’s got toward his £10,000 target at the end of this Blogle chronicling his Day 7 stage from Evanton to Inverness.

Now this should be interesting, the only thing I know about Inverness is that four and twenty previously chaste young ladies once returned from there with their reputations tarnished. Well something along those lines anyway, if the song is to be believed.

IMG_1605So, setting out from Evanton our Jogler continued along the lesser known trails he’d discovered the day before. Ominously there were warnings of ice once more, but none encountered – lucky that as our brave walker had left his crampons at home.

IMG_1608Eventually though the inevitable happened and as Steve traversed an unmanned level crossing he found himself once more on the dreaded A9. 

IMG_1617Eventually the road crossed the Cromarty Firth, via the aptly named Cromarty Bridge. What a strange coincidence they should both be in the same location. Mindful of the ice warning, Steve was keeping a keen eye out for penguins, but only managed to spot this solitary heron. That’s the wildlife done for today then.


fullsizeoutput_790IMG_1628The Jogler now found himself on the ominously named Black Isle, but contrary to expectations found a warm welcome at the local Spar in Culbokie where we give a shout out to the kindly serving ladies who allowed our elite athlete to sit and devour his mars bar and orange lucozade (disclaimer – other confectionery and energy drinks are available) in the chair in the corner reserved for collapsing old folk. What!? No, I never said a word, but I know what you’re thinking. You lot can be so cruel sometimes!

IMG_1636And so on to the highlight of the days adventure. As mentioned yesterday, as part of a covert operation, Steve’s wife Sue, a trained medical professional was dropped in to meet up with our Jogler in a secret rendezvous earlier in the day. Pausing only to bury her parachute beside a convenient haggis nest, our ‘Jogleress’ made her way to the meeting point and duly stuffed her face with a cheese and onion cob. Nothing untoward there you may think, but she was in fact attempting to use the onion smell to mask her unenviable task in examining Bertie Blister. She needs a citation in my opinion, her husband has now been walking for a week and she was only just about to re-supply the Hobbler, sorry Jogler, with a change of socks!

IMG_1655After a thorough assessment, Bertie was pronounced ‘not too bad,’ and the pair set out, past the Black Isle brewery (Steve does appear to have become quite addicted to their produce, perhaps in attempt to mask the undoubted pain in his foot). Over the Kessock Bridge, Steve – as he did on Day One – failed to spot any of the dolphins which are supposed to frequent these waters. Perhaps the Whale and Dolphin Society of Scotland should revoke his honorary membership.


IMG_1649They passed the home of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, took a wrong turn and bumped into Cromwell’s clock tower, restored and all that remains of Ollie’s citadel which was demolished at the start of the Restoration of the monarchy. (Not only do you get geography and nature here folks, we also give you history!)



IMG_1663At this point Steve bid a thankful farewell to the A9, on Day 7 he and his travelling nurse set out along the Great Glen Way.

It’ll be Scottish Cup Final day, between Celtic and Hearts at Hampden Park, so keep your heads down on Saturday night guys, the natives will be very boisterous whichever way it goes!



IMG_1653IMG_1657IMG_1658And so we leave you, dear reader, with a few random views of Inverness and the days statistics:

Mileage 18.4 so now a total of 113.13. He walked for 5 hours 34 minutes and 20 seconds and get this – did 38,658 steps, the total will be given tomorrow once the figures have been confirmed by a team of specialists, convened especially for this event.

Now then, it has been pointed out – first from the Jogler, but I thought he was joking, and then by Jogle Blogle follower, Andy Barr that the step count total may be incorrect. Therefore I have sent my abacus away to be recalibrated and hopefully normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

Oh yes – at the time of writing Steve has raised a staggering £5605 which is 56% of his £10,000 minimum target. Thank you all so much from the Jogler, the Jogleress and the Blogler. Keep up the good work spreading the word.

STOP PRESS: News has reached me that a part of Bertie has become detached and may require surgery (Gruesome I know, but you loyal readers deserve the truth, no fake news here – well, not much anyway). Unfortunately at the time of receiving this news the Jogleress, no doubt exhausted by her epic journey north – it was probably paddling her RIB up the Cromarty Firth with her oars muffled that did it – and is herself in no fit condition to take remedial action. I’ll keep you all posted on this alarming development tomorrow. Over and out!

Going Home

Those of you who have taken the time to visit my website may recognise this. It started life as a radio sketch which I’ve now rewritten as a piece of flash fiction.
Whatever for?’ I hear you cry, ‘It was bad enough the first time!
Well I’ve done it for The Bloggers Bash competition, okay? Write about the royal wedding they said, three hundred words maximum they said. So here it is in three hundred words exactly. Well you know how pedantic I get about things like this. It’s called, ‘Going Home’ and I expect to get hauled to The Tower as soon as I press ‘PUBLISH.’ The last words I’ll hear will probably be, ‘Orf with his head.
It’s been nice knowing you.


A lone piper played, ‘Donald where’s your troosers?’ the melody skirled along the glen.
A single shotgun blast transformed the refrain into a discordant wail as the bagpipes deflated.
‘Philiip!’ Faintly against the breeze.
‘Wha..? Bloody woman! Who the hell does she think she is?’ A servant squirmed uncomfortably beside him. ‘Go man, chase them out as we discussed.’
Discharging spent cartridges and reloading, he watched the gamekeeper hurriedly depart whilst his wife approached from the opposite direction, skirt flapping above wellingtons.
‘Phillip, are you shooting musicians? Again?’
‘New headscarf dear? Haven’t seen you in ages; been Googling yourself?’
‘Musicians, Phillip!?’
‘Bloody racket. Mercy killing I call it. What do you want anyway?’
‘Didn’t you get one’s email?’
‘You know I’m not a Golden Graham.’
‘The term is silver surfer. We’re going home. Now.’
‘We are home you stupid…’
‘Not this home. One of the big ones. In London. And no pot shots at the tourists either.’
‘London! Hateful place. Besides there’s a corps of buglers in that copse, I sent gillie to flush them out.’
A roar escalated, rushed overhead and faded, chased away by two gunshots.
‘Bloody Red Arrows. Following us about, frightening the damn horses!’
‘Come, we have to pack.’
‘One’s grandson is getting married.’
‘Married! Is the filly preggers?’
‘Then what’s the damn rush?’
‘Must we?’
‘It’s expected. One has subjects.’
‘We need another war, sort the buggers out. We’ll be singing that bloody song I suppose?’
From Balmoral Castle the opening strains of ‘God Save The Queen,’ echoed across the grounds.
‘That’s the one,’ Phillip sighed.
‘Oh Lord, Brian May is on one’s roof again.’
‘Allow me, my dear.’
The shotgun barked and the chords died away.
‘Oh, good shot, Phillikins.’ she patted his arm affectionately.
‘One aims to please, ma’am.’

All round to Ritu’s then…

Sorry, I can’t quite…
Yes, it is a bit loud isn’t it?
It is amazing the volume you can get from an old Dansette. And Abba always seem to get a bit screechy when the volume is wound up don’t you think?
No, I don’t know whose it is really. I met some chap down the pub with a carrier bag full of booze. Told me he was going to a party so I thought that I’d tag along just to see if it was any good.
No, I wasn’t going to stop but I might as well now seeing as how I’ve been here six hours already.
Yes I bought some, how about you?
A party can of Watney’s Red Barrel!
Well I hope you bought a can opener. Oh dear. Yes I do suppose that when you have to rifle through someone’s drawers to find a suitable implement it can be quite difficult.
So it sprayed where?
I wondered what was dripping from the light fitting.
No, I didn’t go quite that far. Like I said I wasn’t expecting to stop so I just bought along a small bottle of tonic water in case someone fancied a mixer. I should have bought two I think, I feel a bit mean now, especially as I seem to have drunk at least thirty three times the volume in Jack Daniels.
Oops sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into you – I just didn’t see you there.
That was some dance move.
No I didn’t think anyone could do the splits quite like that, or that way up come to think of it. It’s very impressive. I was just talking to…
Oh, she’s gone.
Never mind.
Do you know whose party it is?
Ritu who? Oh, haha, I made a rhyme.
And it’s her what?
Blogiversary? What the fu..?
Does she? Oh I see. And she’s kept it up for three years? Blimey.
So is it something? You know, like for wedding anniversaries – the first one’s paper, that sort of thing.
It’s leather. Oh right, that explains the lederhosen then.
I did wonder.
And which one is Ritu?
Can’t you?
Oh! Well perhaps she got fed up and went down the pub.
No I was going myself a couple of hours back but when I went to get my coat from the pile in the bedroom it was moving. Well heaving actually. And moaning. So I thought it best to leave well alone.
You never know what you might uncover do you?
Look out!
My that was close.
It is one of the advantages of laminate flooring though, don’t you think?
Yes, you can clean up a mess like that easier than if it was on carpet.
Poor chap, I wonder what he’d eaten.
Oh, so you can – I didn’t see that among the diced carrot. At least it looks like it was thoroughly cooked. No, I never totally trust a kebab either.
Anyway it’s been nice chatting but I really think it’s time to leave.
Yes it is cold but breaking up the furniture to start a fire is a bit extreme don’t you think.
I know, even ‘Stayin’ Alive’ blaring out like that doesn’t quite drown out the sound of approaching sirens does it.
I wonder what Ritu will say when she gets back?


Congratulations Ritu and thanks for inviting us to your party. Sorry I couldn’t stop to help clean up!

You can meet her here

Don’t Panic!

Don’t panic!

It’s all right after all!

The quarrying is finished!

Is it?‘ I hear you cheer in relief, ‘how on earth do you know?
Well if you remember they did a bit of scraping about a few months back, we thought it may be a test hole – but no; I’m very pleased to report that that was it! Quarry dug.

Now we know you’re raving – that chairman at the public meeting was right!‘ was not really the response I was looking for.

If you’ll listen for a few seconds longer than he did I’ll tell you how I know – and that is because they’ve moved straight on to phase II – the infilling phase, see the picture attached, that’s how I figured it out.

You know, I think you may have something there.
I never thought of that.
They don’t yet have approval to put material in there yet do they! How astute of you to notice.

You’re right, that’s what this application is all about, to get permission to dig stuff out and then to refill the hole they’ve made.

A bit premature then this pile of dirt and detritus, don’t you think?

Perhaps it’s something to do with the marina?

No, you’re spot on again – supposedly they’re not doing the marina now until after the quarry.

How strange!

Well surely they wouldn’t dump stuff in there only to go to the trouble of digging it out again when they (they’re hoping) get this ‘quarry‘ approved.
That would be a bit daft, wouldn’t it?

(sorry, I had to put quarry in italics  otherwise you may have thought I was taking their joke of an application seriously!)

I wonder how contaminated that stuff is? Have they tested it?

You what?
Yes, I saw the old car tyre at the bottom of the picture too. Nice of them to leave that littering the countryside.

You’d call it what?img_0527

Fly tipping?

Maybe you’re right.
Perhaps some of the various councils involved might want to look into that? It is illegal after all.
We wouldn’t want our proposed new neighbours to be breaking any rules before they’ve even moved in now, would we!?

Perhaps they had their mind on other things.

Perhaps they’d just got round to questioning the sense of their decision to put a big hole in a flood plain.
Now, now – stop laughing, we already knew it was a pathetic mistake.

Or how about this? Perhaps, just perhaps they have stopped to consider the ethics of digging a quarry in an area which was formally green belt land.

No, I doubt that too! Not when there’s money to be made.

Keep up to date on our FB page – Say No To The Quarry – see if you can be our 300th follower this week!

Never give up your green belt for anyone!

Methinks I doth protest too much.

But quite honestly it has to be done.
In the 37 years (is it really so long!?) since I moved to this little slice of heaven we have had to campaign against the Western Orbital Route, a quarry and an extension to our local airport.
Yes you can call me a NIMBY but I ain’t been on the losing side yet and if you’re so concerned you are quite welcome to put any of them in your backyard and see how you like it.


So bring on the next.
Yes it’s another quarry.
Except it’s not really.

Let me explain.
Once upon a time someone wanted to build houses on a strip of land on the edge the village, between the canal and the brook.
But it was designated green belt.

So that’s the end of that then.
All’s well that ends well.
Happy villagers and happy grazing sheep.
Everything’s back to normal.

But! Hold on a mo!
Here comes a developer with a cunning plan.
We’ll build a marina instead.
Perhaps a bit more aesthetically pleasing, row upon row of canal barges instead of row upon row of little boxes made of ticky tacky.

Well that splits the vote.
Some think it’s a good idea.
Some don’t.
Each to their own.
A bit like Brexit in minature.
And then there’s the punchline. ‘Of course we could always turn it into a travellers site or a quarry.

Suddenly a marina looks very attractive indeed.
No of course we won’t remove anything from the site. The sand we don’t want will be piled up as a barrier to stop the canal and the brook getting too jiggy jiggy with each other.

Come to think of it, isn’t that how they made Wales? The ancient Brits got forced ever westward by various European invaders taking their land with them until they came to the coast and had to pile it up into mountains. Back to Brexit again.

Anyway, I digress.
O.k. then – a marina – we’re not entirely chuffed but we’ll go with that.
Job’s a good ‘un.
Not everyone’s happy, but hey, you can’t please all of the people…


And then – nothing!
Well, not quite.
The sheep are evicted for a start.
Whenever a deadline approaches where something has to be seen to be done there’s a sudden spurt of activity. A perimeter fence appears. Someone digs a trench and then refills it again. That sort of thing.

And then…
…out of the blue…
…except it’s been in the planning stages for ages…
…’Let’s turn it into a quarry!

But you said you wouldn’t remove anything…
We know, but we were only kidding. Besides it’ll make us some money ‘cos we can’t actually afford to build a marina.

Oh, hang on though, you can’t – it’s green belt see, protected. So stick that up your…
No it’s not. That status was lost when you said you wanted a marina.
But we only said we wanted a marina because you said…
Tough titty!

Shafted or what?
So, we are now mobilising the troops again.

Say No To The Quarry.

Look it up, it’s the name of our Facebook page.

And we certainly ought to fight that battle and win, so perhaps I ought to leave it there.

Oh, oh,‘ I can hear you mumbling, ‘he’s off again.

Yes I am, so bear with me.

There’s more sand in the pit at the local primary school than there is underneath that field.
Honestly, any self respecting quarry man wouldn’t even start his digger – it would cost too much in fuel. It’s on a flood plain for Gawd’s sake, they’d be pumping water out all day & all night!
So – you don’t think for one minute that after a few halfhearted scrapings in the ground they may give up and say,’hey, you know what – this isn’t green belt anymore, how about we build up the ground to the level of the canal and build some houses!?

Surely not.
Nobody could be that conniving surely, telling porkies to get their own way. See how the Brexit theme runs through this plot, or is that just the state of politics today?

Just a thought.



Power to The People’s Book Prize

Have you got a mo?
It’s just that I’ve got a bit of news.
Oh you know already?

How, if you don’t mind me asking? After all I only just found out…
Sorry? You what?
You think that I’m going to tell you about the honeymoon!
Honestly, you lot!
All you every think of is sex.
Well it is, isn’t it – be honest.
In fairness I have done a blog about that little adventure, but I thought that I’d tell you about this other news first.
No this is nothing to do with sex either.
Really! Get a grip!
And no, that’s not a euphemism for anything.
Yes, I know I wrote a blog entitled ‘Sexual Healing‘ the other week, but I’m not going to make a habit of it.

O.k? Are we clear now?

Right then.
Back to business.

Thinking of previous blogs, do you remember that one I published a couple of weeks back, ‘Should I Practice My Speech?
What do you mean, ‘you didn’t bother.’
Why not?
No, I know that one wasn’t about sex either.
Is that what it takes to get you interested, a bit of titillation?
Stop sniggering at the back, ‘titillation‘ is a perfectly legitimate word.
Good grief!
Calm down for heavens sake! I only wanted to tell you about the book.
Yes, yes. ‘That old chestnut again.
Sorry if I’m boring you, but I’m genuinely excited about this and so is Misty.

Ah, yes – Misty. That got your attention didn’t it!
I’m sure she puts you up to this ‘I don’t care‘ act half the time just to pee me off!
Anyway, back to DOGNAPPED! I told you that it had been entered in The People’s Book Prize, didn’t I.
Yes I did!
It’s only gone and got through to the final!
How about that then!?

No I’m not making it up.
Yes, I know I do make a lot of things up, I am an author after all. It’s virtually part of the job description.
Yes, I know it’s a kids book.
It’s in the children’s section of the competition.
Yes, really!

See. Changed your tune now haven’t you.
Yes. I did write it all myself.
No – I don’t care what Misty said, she didn’t dictate it. Not all of it anyway.
Oh, see now, that’s just sour grapes that is. I know the illustrations by Ian R Ward are fantastic, but to even suggest that they’re the only reason that people bought…
You just looked at the pictures!IMG_0035
It’s not a bloody comic for heavens…

I am, I am.
…7, 8, 9, 10.
I’ve calmed down now, thank you.
I just thought you’d be pleased for me.
For a change.
Just this once.
I was chuffed anyway.
Even Misty smiled.

Isn’t she cute when she does that?

Should I practise my speech?

Have you seen it?
I know.
How about that then, eh?
Little old me up for, ‘The People’s Book Prize.
What do you mean, ‘What for?
For ‘DOGNAPPED!’ of course!Cover with Title
Honestly, sometimes I think I have to explain things rather too much and…

Well what else would it be for!?
It is the only book I’ve written after all.
Yes, I know there’s ‘IN THE DOGHOUSE!’ too, but that’s not out yet, is it!
No it’s not.
Not until November.
We spoke about this – remember?
So. ‘DOGNAPPED!’ Up for an award.
Misty’s chuffed.
So am I to be honest.
To bits!
Well, see – there are eight finalists all together.
For the summer 2016 prize.
So there’s a one in eight chance of winning.
Well rather more than that actually – because you’ll vote for it won’t you?
Of course you will.
You’ve read it after all.
Yes you did, I saw you.
And heard you giggling.
There’s no shame in that.
Yes, I know it’s for kids but you know what? Mums and Dads like it too.
No, I know they won’t admit it either, but they do.
So what do you think, should I practice my speech?
For if I win of course! Pay attention please!
No you’re right. I’m getting ahead of myself.
A bit too optimistic.
Heading for a fall? Come on, there’s no need to get quite so melodramatic, surely.
Pardon? No, I don’t know. Hang on I’ll Google it.
Peoples Book Prize prize?
Yes, I know I stick my tongue out when I’m typing.
It is a bad habit, I agree.
No, I don’t think I should have ‘some sort of therapy,‘ as you put it.
Look, do you want to know what the bloody prize is or not!
Hang on, I just need to click…
See how much more difficult it is with my mouth closed?
Here we go. Oh! Fame and fortune, just as I thought.
So you will vote, won’t you.
Go on, I’ll split I with you.
You can have the fame…
What! You want the fortune?
Well I was rather looking forward to that myself!
Oh, have it your way!
Here’s the link.

Don’t forget to vote will you? Before the end of August!
Pretty, pretty please!

Misty will love you forever, see –

Now you can’t beat that, can you!?


Just to prove that I can do new stuff here on WordPress, here’s a little something that I wrote yesterday. This is day 8 of my 10 day course by the way, so you won’t have to suffer this much longer!

There are times when I’m writing that I do like to invent the odd word. ‘Authorish,‘ was a recent example. I forget the context but it doesn’t really matter now. I know it’s not a proper word because my word processor underlines it in red and the predictive text tries to change it to authorised.
It’s not the first example of my butchering of the English language and it certainly won’t be the last. But friends, I feel that I may have taken this habit (some may say bad habit) to its extreme.
Yes, I fear that I may have taken that process a tad too far. Did you ever read that short story by Stephen King (or it may have been his alter-ego, Richard Bachman) about the guy always striving to take shorter and shorter cuts home until he’s virtually getting back before he’s set out. In the end he wound up with all sorts of demons from hell stuck to his front bumper (sorry, fender! I forgot how adept the Yanks are at skewing our language too).
What on earth’s he waffling on about now?‘ I hear you cry.
Bear with me.
Incidentally, isn’t ‘waffling‘ a wonderful word. I wonder who came up with that one? Our old mate Shakey Bill perhaps?
But I digress.
You see I was out walking the dogs along the canal towpath. The sun’s shining, the birds are singing, ducks quacking – you get the picture. In the distance I notice a chap jogging toward us. He’s a long way off. This is a good thing. It gives me a chance to organise the troops.
Sit, Misty.
But she had spotted him ages ago and is sat already. Border collies are good like that!


Millie, being a border terrier/ Jack Russell cross is a different matter. Call it little dog syndrome if you like.
I call it being a pain in the arse!
I command her to stay. She ignores me. I tell her to sit. Same result. Her tail starts to wag. Something is coming her way and she’s going to bite it on the ankle.
I grab her.
I wrestle her to the floor.
I attach her to a very tight, short lead.


Chummy rushes past in a cloud of dust.
Thanks!‘ he calls over his shoulder.
And how do I repay this verbal generosity?
Where the hell did that come from?
Was I conceivably Russian in a former life?
It wasn’t as though I had some well thought out response rattling around my brain and simply tripped over the vowels and consonants.
No. There was nothing in my head at all.
Who said ‘no change there then!‘ There’s no need!
Like I said, nothing sprang to mind at all.
Except, ‘ropopov.
Fortunately not only was I incoherent, I was also extremely quiet, so I don’t think he heard me.
But seriously?
Bloody hell!
So there you have it. I have obviously tampered with my native tongue far too much and now the devil’s hordes have attached themselves to my bottom lip.
I’m signing out now, so ‘ropopov,‘ to you all.
And you can make of that what you like.
Well, I’ve got to get some use from it now that I’ve invented it.
And besides, I think it has quite a ring to it, don’t you?

Whatever happened to the Mayans..?

Hi there, me again.

In our little ramble through past blogs (on the platform with very little responses) to coincide with my Branding and Blogging course on WordPress, I came across this gem from last year. I thought that you might like it.

Kate and I had taken a cruise up the figityjords in Norway – to celebrate my still being here after a heart attack – and we unexpectedly came upon the answer to one of mankind most puzzling questions.

First published in August 2015 – Whatever did happen to the Mayans..?

It is a conundrum that has troubled me for years, but now, in Norway, I believe that I may at last be able to shed some light on one of mankind’s enduring mysteries – whatever became of the Mayan civilisation?

Yes, those funny little South American Indian chaps who all of a sudden upped sticks and buggered off to who knew where, leaving behind a few poxy pyramids and a pretty depressing prophecy of mankind’s imminent demise.

Bear with me and I’ll fill you in.

We docked in Stavanger (backwards! I guess the Captain was on the pop last night too and decided to do a handbrake turn.) A pretty place, quite a bustling little city really. I say city because it has its own cathedral, although not much bigger than most places parish church back home. Had a wander round, the dockside, the old town, the market…

‘No!’ I hear you cry, ‘Not the market! Isn’t Kate with you?’

Well yes she is and thank you for your concern, but thankfully the bank have blocked her card because she didn’t tell them that she was going away – shame!

Anyway, I digress. Who should be at the aforementioned market but a few South American Indians selling woollen goods from their stalls. You know the sort of thing, woolly pullies with nicely embroidered geometric patterns or knitted Canadian Moose on the front. O.k – they may be Elk, let’s not get too pedantic! You could also buy those caps with the flaps and the long dangly tassels that serve no discernible purpose whatsoever.

Which got me to thinking – you see I’ve also been to Madeira, another cruise ship resort. Who do you bump into at the top of the mountain selling the same sort of stuff ‘cos the chances are it may turn a bit chilly. And you’ve left your jumper at the beachfront hotel because you never had the foresight to think it might be a tad colder two thousand feet up. There’s no faulting these people for their marketing acumen. You got it – the Mayans! They’ll be down at the seafront too, roasting chestnuts and playing the bloody pan pipes, trying to flog you a C.D that you’ll never play again once you get home.

What enterprise! You can’t knock ’em for it, can you!

Hold on though! Yes I know what you’re going to say, ‘Where do they get the wool from?

I’m ahead of you there, I’ve seen a poster – you’ll never guess what they have here in Norway.


Yes really! Woolly things that spit at you. Can’t get a lot more South American than that, can you? No, I don’t know how you would go about shearing a Llama now you ask – they obviously manage it somehow – but very, very carefully I should think.

So there we have it – Mayans, Llamas and a misunderstanding. It appears that they never made a prediction for the end of Mankind, it was the date on their business plan when they thought that they might break even. Let’s face it you have to offset the value of sales against the cost of purchasing, feeding and stabling a herd (is it a herd or a ‘gob’) of Llama’s and take into account the wages of a tribe of knitting South American nana’s.

Well let’s face it – they were really shit at building pyramids.

Stick with me folks, you don’t get stuff like this on the Open University, do you?