The Raider hears that Glenisla-based nurseryman, John Watkinson, of Woodbury Estate, would like to announce that: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

This came about as the result of a faux pas by a local solicitors – who will remain nameless to spare their blushes, but you know who you are! In a letter to John’s son, Hamish, they managed to switch John’s name with that of his late father’s. Luckily, while Hamish and his mother, Chris, were reading the letter ‘the late John Watkinson’ just happened to pass the kitchen window on the tractor.

Full of compassion, Chris told The Raider that he wasn’t allowed to pop his clogs just yet as we still have to finish the bare root season!’

Meat in church!

You may have read in our news pages of how the Church of Scotland’s ‘environmental minister’, the Rev David Coleman, has upset some of the farming community by advising that not eating meat during lent could help save the planet.

The Raider understands that this suggestion from the pulpit in her own church elicited the loud cry of ‘No’ from committed non-vegan, Alison Logan, of Alva – much to the amusement of the rest of the congregation. We can report that no bolt of lightning hit Ali and that she remains a committed meat eater.

I would expect that a similar advocacy to give up gin for Lent, would have met with an even greater negative response. The compromise could be to give up tonic?

Beginner’s luck

They say beginner’s luck never happens, but it did for Alan Campbell, of Drimsynie Estate and Argyll Holidays, Lochgoilhead, last weekend, when he took part in his first ever salmon fishing expedition – and caught a fish.

It might only have been a silvery kelt – a spawned fish from this past winter – but the seven-pounder certainly gave him bragging rights in the pub afterwards after being carefully released by ghillie, George McInnes, back into the river. The Raider understands he is now under the impression that salmon fishing is as easy as mackerel fishing.

I suspect that in 10 years’ time, when he might just catch another one, he may by that time have been disabused of that notion.