IT’S been a bugbear of mine for some time... just why do turnips and Swedes have to be covered in plastic for sale in supermarkets?

They have the thickest skin imaginable, so why go to the expense – and it is expensive – to wrap them under a layer of polythene that will actually cause them to rot more quickly under ambient temperatures. I mean, who likes a sweaty Swede (Agnetha, you are excused!)?

Now, I see, common sense has prevailed and Asda says it has removed the shrink wrapping from what are the toughest root vegetables available. It sells about 6m each year and that will save an estimated 14-tonnes of plastic shrink wrap. I am sure that supermarket suppliers – many of which are farm suppliers – will give a big hurrah to that.

It means that you can now buy a naked Swede in the supermarket – and I’m all for that!

The hostility suite

IT NEVER ceases to amaze, the outstanding kindness and hospitality that farming folks dispense at local shows – what’s known colloquially (at least by me) as the ‘Hostility Suite’!.

Last week, it was the turn of Appin Show to dispense hospitality, though The Raider was driving and had to forego the drinkie-poos!

A special mention must go to Sydney and Maureen O’Hara (I wonder how many times she’s been asked what John Wayne was really like), of the Cnoc fold, who annually put on a spread and refreshments for all and sundry, but especially the Highland cattle people who travel from Bute in the South, to Strathpeffer in the north and Maryculter in the east to compete.

For a wee show like Appin to attract 30 Highland cattle on the same day as the West of Scotland Club’s show, is quite something... and all down to breeders looking after breeders. Well done.

Big fat Lycra alert

HERE’S a great big fat Lycra alert for next weekend in Lochaber.

Yes, it’s the now annual occasion where young, middle-aged and some downright infirm people don the tightest of shorts, wet suits and cycling gear to take part in RSABI’s Great Glen Challenge. So watch out!

We wish all participants well and a speedy recovery – and it’s high time that the event was sponsored by Voltarol Gel.

One would hope, at least, that RSABI board chairman, our friend and colleague, Ewan Pate, will forego all of the aforesaid attire, in the interest of good taste.

The exuberance of youth

Young Stephen Taylor, from Stirling, was cock a hoop when he he bought a bargain of a car out of Ireland last year.

However, looking at the small print, he mistakenly thought it had to get serviced in Ireland – so he took two days off his work recently to take it back over for new brake pads.

With the innocence and exuberance of youth, he reckoned that the exercise cost him nothing – other than fuel for a round trip of 789 miles, ferry fares and two days of unpaid leave!

Good luck Dougie

GOOD LUCK to The Raider’s old pal, the most irreverent Dougie McBeath, the top-notch Limousin breeder and stockman par excellence, who underwent a major operation this week.

I am sure that I’m not alone in wishing Dougie well and thus far the news is pretty good and all seems as well as can be expected after the operation, and that he is still as mouthy as usual. The nurses are in for a laugh!