It’s a bit like me with Blackface sheep – I can’t tell one from another (a hideous crime in this office, according to some). But, it seems, I am not alone.

An audacious plan to kidnap the famous clone, ‘Dolly the sheep’ from the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, in 1998, by a group of activists was foiled because they could not tell one sheep from the other.

The raiders planned to take Dolly hostage to highlight their opposition to the technology of animal cloning. But they found the shed was so full of sheep, it was impossible to single Dolly out and they left empty-handed.

The attempt was revealed in a new book by Mark Lynas,who once led the UK campaign against ‘frankenfoods’ – as GM crops and livestock were then dubbed by critics.

In ‘Seeds of science: Why we got it so wrong on GMOs’, Mr Lynas revealed how he and three co-conspirators gained access to the Roslin Institute.

He wrote: “I posed as a researcher and was granted access to the institute’s library. Once past the front desk, I had free run and roamed about trying to find out which one of the exterior sheds contained Dolly.

“By the evening,we decided we knew the right shed – but then, disaster, the sheds were full of sheep. The Roslin scientists had out-foxed us by hiding Dolly [in amongst the rest]. After all our efforts, we crept back to Edinburgh grumpy and empty handed.”

If only they had sung the song ‘Hello Dolly’, she might have come running ... and it just goes to show that clones can’t be told apart! I think I’ll try and hide in a pack of Michelin Men!

The young team

do Scotland proud

CONGRATULATIONS must go to Team Scotland who picked up silver at the World Junior Curling Championships, last weekend, in Aberdeen.

The men’s team, made up of skip, Ross Whyte; third, Robin Brydone; second, Fraser Kingan; lead, Euan Kyle and fifth man, Duncan McFadzean, were unbeaten right up to the last game in the competition when Canada stole a one in the last end to finish at 6-5.

It was a particularly memorable week for young Duncan (18), from Woodhead of Mailer, Perth, who as fifth man was called in to play four of the games in the round robin due to Euan Kyle being unwell.

Well done boys, you had a fantastic week and are a credit to Scotland!

Publicity scorned

YOU MIGHT notice that we don’t have many pictures from last weekend’s National Stallion Show in the paper this week.

The SF was willing – as it has been for the last 125 years – to send its own photographer to cover the event. This year, photographers were banned from the show and only one photographer was given accreditation by Morris EC, which is near Kilmarnock, to cover the event.

We have been forced, therefore, to use only one champion’s picture which was taken on the farm after the event.

In these days of dwindling interest in some agricultural events, it seems strange that such a ready-made publicity vehicle was eschewed on spurious grounds.

We can only hope that either the venue changes, or the attitude of the organisers and venue owners’ alters for next year’s show.