Getting connected

I like the fact that poor broadband connectivity has made rural people in Morayshire (see page 4) stage a very public protest.

But, they should know that they are not alone! Even our office staff, dialling in from various locations, from Crieff, in Perthshire, to Ruthwell, in Dumfries-shire, have encountered difficulties.

However, I can report that a pal of The Raider is in charge of changing all that – albeit at a slower pace than, I guess, he would like. Rod McFarlane is now a crofter on Islay, but has a remit to further connectivity throughout Scotland.

Working from home has, perhaps, highlighted the shortcomings for many more people (like me), but I do wonder why, every night after six o'clock in the evening the broadband drops to hee-haw? Hopefully, it's everyone dipping in to The Scottish Farmer's website at www/ to see what's happening!

The social side ...

WITH an inability to attend in person, regular attendees at the Oban Highland cattle and the Castle Douglas Galloway sales will have no doubt missed the usual social side of the events typical of those hill breeds and the characters that go with them.

It prompted The Raider to fondly recollect trips to Oban and CD where the Press were always treated royally. In Oban, once the sale was finished the after sale 'press conference' usually consisted of a visit to the boardroom for some Highland hospitality before repairing to the mud flinging at the HCS agm, followed by a major hoolie at the dinner.

In CD, it was no less welcoming, with the 'press table' in one of the outhouses supplied with a bottle of whisky and gin, plus mixers. Thereafter, especially in the hey days associated with German and Austrian buyers, it was the 'herd's supper' – the scene of many a debacle!

Also fondly remember was the old market in Perth, where the market bar was conjoined to the mart itself. Therein, Roley Fraser and especially the late Jack Young held court. Jack's famous 'I'll have a gin, 50:50 with tonic ... and plenty of tonic' was part of the repartee.

Ah, the good old days. Maybe they'll make a return ... sometime!