Saturday, 19 July 2008

Campbeltown Man Urinated on Police

Just back from Argyll. A mixture of playing and good eating, interspersed with bursts of remedial gardening.

Attitudes are changing up there; when living in Skye we avoided using a lawn mower or hanging out washing (at least where it could be seen) on a Sunday, in deference to local sensibilities. And I once stayed in a B & B in Harris where a notice forbade guests from listening to the radio on Sundays. But the days of ministers lying down in the road to protest against Sunday ferries are over. I even heard a lawn mower this time, and someone along the bay working on a roof.

Or so I thought, until I read this week's Oban Times. Besides the usual, endearingly quirky local headlines ('Campbeltown man urinated on police') were two items which showed that old attitudes die hard. In a letter to the editor a Rev MacColl of Corpach wrote:

"Sir, I notice that we now have 'top-flight' shinty as well as women's shinty and other sports held on the Lord's Day. Such practices with the addition of all unnecessary work that day, are a flagrant breach of God's holy command to "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy", and are an evidence of the spiritual darkness that increasingly prevails in our land.

No one has any right whatsoever to transgress God's moral law and let the organisers, players and spectators at such events be assured that one day - whether in this life or in eternity - they will bitterly regret their sin of Sabbath desecration."

So that's most of us in deep shit for a start. Probably why we broke a spring in Glen Orchy.

Elsewhere, in a feature article 'Thought for the week', Archie Elliot of Inverary wrote (for brevity I have cut out some guff, which is just more of the same):

Global Warming! Isn't it amazing how in very recent times, there has come about an almost universal concern about planet Earth....Any thinking person (with or without a science degree) knows that weather patterns change all the time and have always done so. This will continue to be so until God the creator and sustainer of it all decides in His wisdom, and according to His programme for the creation, brings about 'the change' which He has prophesied in His word...Anyone who has studied Bible prophesy knows that this change is not imminent and that all this present hype is really a political agenda (a ploy if you will) dreamt up by politicians, who are getting desperate about how to bring about some kind of improvement to the financial hole they have been digging themselves into....maybe it is time we all trusted in God's promises and forecasts, see psalm 118 vv8-9, rather than the unreliable estimates of men..."

So that's all right then. The penguins can stop worrying.


  1. Goodness me, I hadn't realised what a hotbed of fundamentalism the Outer Isles were! I love the way every generation substitutes an evil of its own ("politicians" for "infidels", "Women" or "manufacturers of Drinking Alcohol")... Mr Fishwife and I had a lovely time on Skye years ago slowly drinking our way round many hotel bars (no pubs) until we had tried every form of single malt they had...

  2. In my last hometown (Coventry) a bus driver was recently suspended for stopping the bus and getting off to have a crap on the verge in full view of his passengers.

    You couldn't make it up! The irony was he'd only just passed a superstore containing loos that he could have stopped at, but I think he was Ukrainian or something so perhaps he didn't know.

    Re the slow Sundays I grew up in Northern Ireland where the most strenuous Sunday activity one could indulge in was a walk in the park to feed the ducks (if not at church). No shops either, except the papershop for two hours first thing.

  3. Wow... do they still burn people in huge whicker effigies?

  4. Lucy - I wonder if I was in any of them at the time. Some of the bars are quite pub-like...the inn at Stein, for example, or the one in Carbost. Lagavulin is my current favourite, although Glenmorangie and the Macallan are awful good, amongst many.

    Laura - How medieval! As good a reason as any to have the correct change. I'm sure you miss your Northern Ireland, moral perversity being part of the immune charm of such outposts in time.

    Rol - Devout as they are, there are ancient folk echoes which feel pre-christian; at a funeral my father went to in the Outer Isles (women did not attend at the graveside) the coffin was carried three times around the grave, sun-wise.