More Roamerisms from the early 1990s

The Oban Times - - DISTRICT NEWS -

Nigel Chisholm, su­per vet­eran of loads of Ben Races, was ob­served last Fri­day morn­ing kick­ing brightly coloured bal­loons around the hal­lowed por­tals of the Bank of Scot­land. Closer scru­tiny re­vealed that for Nigel – who also wields a mean ham­mer, not of the High­land Games va­ri­ety, to break open treg­num whisky bot­tles full of coins and notes col­lected by the bank for char­ity – it was the ‘morn­ing after the day be­fore’ when he had cel­e­brated his 50th birth­day. The bal­loons had marked the oc­ca­sion in the bank through­out that aus­pi­cious day.

Joe Gillies, im­pa­tient pa­tient in the Belford. Some folk get books, mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers brought into them when they are in hospi­tal. Not Joe. He wanted his por­ta­ble karaoke ma­chine be­side him in the ward. The ap­pa­ra­tus was duly de­liv­ered and Joe, al­beit walk­ing wounded, went along the cor­ri­dors on Wed­nes­day ex­hort­ing every­one to sing along with ‘Danny Boy’, ‘In­n­is­free’ and ‘Cul­lo­den Moor’ and, of course, ‘Bon­nie Glen­finnan’. But no-one, bar Joe, knew the words of his sig­na­ture song. In or­der not to dis­ap­point his fel­low pa­tients, Joe, who was due to be dis­charged later in the day, sang his hospi­tal hit 17 times! He was kept in overnight for ob­ser­va­tion, right enough.

Did you ever see the like of Min­nie on her bike? You prob­a­bly have, around Cor­pach. But the sight of Min­nie catch­ing the gon­dola cable car to get to her work in the Snow Goose Restau­rant is some­thing else. On Fri­day, Min­nie signed in at the Aonach Mor bot­tom sta­tion then rushed to board the gon­dola. As the car swung round the ground level loop, ready for take off, Min­nie sprauch­led in, get­ting her hand­bag and um­brella stuck in the door. By the time she dis­em­barked at the top sta­tion, her cig­a­rettes – in the hand­bag – had been squashed oval, rem­i­nis­cent of the ‘Pass­ing Cloud’ va­ri­ety so beloved of Joe Fac­cenda a few decades ago.

Roulette, black­jack and tote rac­ing were all part of the Ro­tary and Round Ta­ble joint char­ity fundraiser in McT’s on Satur­day evening. And a great time was had by all, with sev­eral good causes see­ing the ben­e­fit. Five en­try names of horses ap­pealed to me – ‘Slow Progress at Lochy Bridge, by out of tar’, ‘Any Of­fers by Ma­rine Har­vest, out of Unilever’, ‘Brack­let­ter Boy, by What a Tip, out of Lochaber Folly’, ‘An Aird by Hot Air, out of Coun­cil Cham­bers’ and ‘Piste Off, by Aonach Mor, out of Snow’.

Hec­tor Ma­cAskill was back in town from Lon­don at the week­end. His new anorak, with the Snow Goose logo, was very much ad­mired. Why? Be­cause the name on it stamped its seal of qual­ity. ‘Roamer Ca­sual’ it is called.

School cook Nancy MacPher­son has been dish­ing up tasty treats at Kil­moni­vaig Pri­mary School for the past seven years. How­ever, Nancy is now mov­ing on to a new job. So the school pupils en­sured they would give her a fond farewell and came up with a novel way of ex­press­ing their ap­pre­ci­a­tion. Here it is:

In the recipe book

Of Nancy, our cook,

There are dishes so nice,

Like curry and rice.

She makes Toad in the Hole

In her mix­ing bowl,

Or a hot plate of broth

And milk shakes that froth.

Or a piece of fresh fish

With chips on a dish;

Choco­late sauce topped with cream

It tastes like a dream­mmm

Nancy cooks ev­ery day

And finds a dif­fer­ent way

To make our food so great

For every­one’s plate.

At the 12.30 bell

We al­ways can smell

The food Nancy cooks

From her recipe books.

The meals from her pot

Are whole­some and hot.

For food – plain or fancy –

It’s all thanks to Nancy.

And the young­sters added a ‘cor­don bleu’ cho­rus:

‘Nancy, Nancy, That was scrummy. Nancy, Nancy, That was yummy’.

A piece of lo­cal his­tory has just been en­acted. Dun­can Fair­fax-Lucy, the man who owns the top 2,000 feet of Ben Ne­vis, was in­tent on climb­ing his moun­tain for the first time last Wed­nes­day. Dun­can’s fore­bears, the Cameron-Camp­bells of Fas­sifern and Monzie re­spec­tively, and the Spencer/Fair­fax Lucy fam­ily of Charlecote, were Fort Wil­liam’s great­est bene­fac­tors. The Pa­rade and the Town Park are just two ex­am­ples of their phi­lan­thropy to­wards towns­peo­ple. The fam­ily used to own the whole of the ben, but sold the lower half to the BA – re­tain­ing the up­per half for sen­ti­men­tal rea­sons. So, in a sense, it was a home­com­ing for Dun­can Fair­fax-Lucy as he set off to tackle the fam­ily moun­tain.

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