Canoeing, Beer, The Leith Iceberg and Speaking in Tongues

I’ve not written a blog since last week, when I wrote about attending an evening talk by the ex-Leeds United player Norman Hunter.

In an era when Actual Bodily Harm was condoned on the pitch (and that was just the refs!) his uncompromising style earned him the nickname of ‘Bites Your Legs’. If he played in these times of the FIFA 2015 playstation game he may well have the nickname of Norman ‘Megabytes Your Legs’ Hunter…… Who knows?!………… Well there you are a full paragraph written so I could include a poor gag I omitted in error from my last blog!


One of the reasons I’ve not blogged recently is that I have been on a stag weekend in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. To elaborate slightly, I mean I didn’t have my laptop over the past three days, the fact I was in Edinburgh wasn’t really that relevant to be honest!

On the train journey up we saw the Tree of McCulloch. Legend (and my History teacher Mr Waugh) has it this is where King Alfred burnt the cakes, whilst signing the Magna Carta in 1966 after the England World Cup win…. He blamed the Jamie Oliver recipe, but the consensus of opinion was he was just a slack so and so and was distracted by Geoff Hurst’s third goal!

As you can see history wasn’t one of my strong points! Well apart from made up history!

A tree not dissimilar to the Tree of McCulloch



The weekend itself was meticulously organised by the Best Man Darrin. His regimental planning even extended to advising us we could have no longer than five minutes in the toilet. I breached this one day much to his chagrin! …. My court martial is next Thursday! However, I’ve enlisted OJ Simpson’s lawyer so am confident I might escape the rap.

Our activities included kayaking/canoeing, taking in a Scottish football match, unhealthy foods, unhealthy drinking, unhealthy men, and my brother getting so drunk on the Friday he started speaking in tongues.

I had previously been sceptical about the existence of this religious language, however, I may need to revisit these beliefs after our Ian’s efforts on the first night!……. I must say, though, he hasn’t sold Pentacostal Christianity to me, despite constantly shaking my hand and telling me how much he loved me!

It was good to see my brother once again prove the famous proverb ‘You can lead a horse to water. But you’ve no chance of doing the same with Ian Strachan if there is wine or beer in the house’.

Ian speaking in tongues on Friday night!


Despite my ramblings about my self indulgent brother, he’s a top guy who I love (not just after 10 pints either) and am very protective of him. In fact I had a word with someone who commented that “He doesn’t know his arse from his elbow!” ………. I advised that person that on the contrary he is very knowledgeable about Elbow and has all their albums!”


The canoeing and kayaking on the Union Canal were good fun! One of the kayakers (again no names) spent the first half hour spinning round so quickly he caused a major whirlpool that nearly caused the worst maritime incident in Edinburgh waters, since the Leith iceberg in 1985.

Messing about on the Union Canal

canal 2canal 1

This lives long in Lothian folklore! During the incident Rob Stuart’s swan pedalo was struck and capsized! Rob survived but the pedalo has never been seen since!

Every year on the anniversary Rob stands for a minute at the dock side saluting and blowing his swan whistle!

The last known picture of Rab Stuart’s swan pedalo!

swan pedalo


Anyway, everyone enjoyed their weekend, apart from a gaggle (is that the collective noun?) of middle aged men’s liver’s! …….. and a pantomime horse called Nigel!


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