More offcuts and outtakes from the first assault on the Scottish GBG entries at the end of August. This really is the “Hatful of Hollow” of Retired Martin. But then, “Hatful of Hollow” is The Smiths best album.

Best track, of course, was this cracker.

That’s the best 2 minutes in the history of film, right there.

Please, Please, Please, Let Me What I Want (two tough ticks)” the theme for the trip from Mallaig to the Outer Hebrides.

The CalMac ferry didn’t let me down, the journey was serene,

the 8 item Scottish breakfast with Lorne sausage epic,

the Small Islands enticing.

These guys were more excited than I was; perhaps they were ticking Co-ops.

Scotland is dominated by (decent) Co-ops.

I won’t say the 2 hours it took to drive from South to North Uist was the greatest journey in the UK, but the roads are better than the A10 to Waterbeach and at the end you reach Claddach Kirkibost and the Westford, a signature tick.

The Westford reminded me of one of those isolated pubs in Romney Marsh or Spurn Head, and was a joy, but once we’d seen a few thatched cottages and tiny lochs,

it seemed a waste of a day to stay till our planned ferry over to Harris, and we found a nice CalMac man who let us jump on the earlier ferry and end the night in Stornoway in the scruffy public car park.

Stornoway felt like Blackpool after the Uists. In the Crown, our GBG tick, the lads and lasses seemed to have descended en masse, commandeering the pool table and jukebox.

I mean, who else but a 19 year old called Joss would put on Poison ?

Some folk had hobbled on crutches over the mountains from Harris, crossing the invisible border with Lewis to reach the pub.

I did wonder if this lad was going to present me with a cup for ticking the Hebrides, but it turned out to be the prize for a 37/7 win against North Tolsta in the Shinty league.

No-one gave me a cup for winning the GBG and I’m still sore about that. Bit like Mrs RM’s head that night.


  1. We haven’t given you the cup because the verification process isn’t complete. We have one guy in Maidenhead who can’t remember you being in his micro.

    Liked by 2 people

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