Talking Point, with Ron Harris

Picture by Lindsay Addison
Picture by Lindsay Addison

Find out what our chief reporter has to say about life this week!

HOW mony snubs can wan man take?

Having just recovered from, wance again, being passed over for the Lord Cornet spot here in Bonny Lanark, Monday morning brought yet another cruel bodyblow tae mah ego.

Y’see, that morn - wan ah never greet wae ony great vim at the best o’ times - saw the publication o’ the list o’ folk chosen tae carry the Olympic Torch oan its pre-London Gymkhana tour o’ Britain.

Tae paraphrase a classic line frae an episode o’ The Vital Spark, thoosands o’ invitations have been sent - and wan o’ them is no’ for me!

Mind you, ah suppose this might largely be doon tae the fact that ah didnae apply tae be an Olympic torchbearer in the first place and, frankly, mah selection wid have been a major boo-boo oan the part o’ the organisers even if I had.

Choosing a sixty-a-day newspaper hack like me would have been a risky option, given that I would probably have used the torch tae light a Kingsize Pall Mall filter tip afore setting aff oan a shambling stagger which, ten yards later, would have ended wae me slumping tae the grund like a sack o’ tatties, coughing mah innards oot.

Still, it wid have been nice tae have been asked, being a former record-breaking athlete.

Hearing your snort o’ disbelief at reading that, allow me tae clarify yon last statement.

Y’see, it used tae be - and might still be for all ah know - the preamble tae the Lanark Grammar Annual School Sports that every inmate had tae make at least a token gesture towards taking part. They’d probably call it `inclusion’ these days but those o’ us firmly o’ the hippie slob persuasion regarded it as tantamount tae fascist diktat.

So, even the maist non-athletic of pupils - even the 17 stane dods o’ teenage puppy fat like me - had tae run a mile roond Moor Park tae add just a single but possibly crucial point tae their Hoose total. In mah case, this was Lockhart, traditionally the Grammar’s maist chippy contingent.

Weel, ah did dae yon mile eventually - VERY eventually, given that, by the time ah collapsed, purple-faced and near tae death ower the finishing line, the teachers had all got fed up and naffed aff tae the pub. There they joined their senior pupils who had already repaired there some hours before.

Mah pal Tam frae Carluke, as Hoose Captain, loyally stayed tae witness the end o’ this tragedy played oot and, oan the genuine Rolex watch he’d bought for £1.25p oan the school trip tae Casablanca, timed the Grammar’s first and still last 45 Minute Mile.

Tae return tae the theme o’ unasked-for honours, ah couldnae help but notice a letter in a certain national rag oan Friday, crying foul oan the choice o’ Perth as Scotland’s `new’ city and somewhere called St Asaphs as the latest Welsh metropolis.

The correspondent pointed oot that Lanark had a far stronger case for cityhood, given that St Asaph was actually little mair than the apprentice boy o’ oor ain St Kentigern, left tae look after the shop in Wales while the boss heided north tae bring Christianity tae the heathen Jocks.

The REAL surprise for me was that this letter championing the Royal Burgh was penned by a Carluke man!

Miracles will never cease...