|Glasgow/Stirling July 2010|
Frankly, it's an outrage. No, I'm not banging on about the very existence of Blair Drummond Castle, located in the safari park we are visiting, although that same existence is indicative of a feudal modality by no means long erased from our history. And I'm not wittering on about animal rights, although the sights of the larger animals in the park, caged in the necessary cause of establishing breeding populations because of our inability to look after any portion of this small blue planet, did make me sad. As previously stated, this blog is infrequently given to matters political, so it is not these undoubtedly important issues that have caused my sap to rise. No, what is important on this day, and is utterly, utterly wrong is that after not having seen my erstwhile neighbour - one Mr Chris Carriere - for a good few years, and after singing his praises far and wide throughout the Shires of Yorkshire and beyond, the same Mr (how it grieves me to give him a gentleman's form of address) Carriere has acted with breathtaking mendacity and cheated in our race down the aqua slide, shoving off on his hessian mat before the count of "One, Two, THREE " is up.
It was though, as the attached slide show illustrates, a damn close run thing, with Mazzer nearly catching the Canadian at the bottom. Shades of the winter Olympics, methinks! And joking aside - in case you hadnt realised I was joking - we had a great day at Blair Drummond Safari park with Joanie, Chris, Lena and Iain. The meeting - sadly only one day - was much shorter than we had initially planned. The original sketch was a meeting in the Outer Hebrides, where the guys spent a week or so, for a few dyas closer to wilderness, but ideals and cash conflict, with pragmatism winning the upper hand. Travelling within the UK is hideously expensive and involved as we are in the "credit crunch" (AKA Global economic meltdown) an absence of employment has tightened reduced our own money supply temporarily so a more economical overnight trip to Glasgow (where their vacation was ending) was arranged.
However as a group, we are made of sterner stuff tha to allow minor things like the imminent collapse of society to spoil a good time. The Carriere-Veitch contingent have, after all, survived frequent suspensions of democracy via the Harpon tyranny, and self and Large have two cats, so collectively, we're a pretty tough group. In short, we had a great time. It is slightly irksome, for self and Large that most of our favourite people live an ocean away, but on the average day, that is closer than London, UK, if travelling time due to roadworks is taken into account. Having met up with Joe and Anna, Grasshooper and Burt last year, and JC and then the Carriere-Veitch Syndicate this year, Nel and I estimated that we only have to encourage about another fourteen Canadians to visit the UK and we can legitimately claim to have hosted a nation, as it is common knowledge that the population of Canada is "about twenty".