09 August 2014

Was it not the immortal William Shakespeare who said with reference to the troubles in the Garden of Eden: “It wasn’t the apple on the tree; it was the pair on the ground.“ No? Well, I’m mistaken again. But this month’s column has something to do with a pair and also a lot more than a pair. But let’s start at the very beginning, as Julie Andrews sang so famously in The Great Escape.
alanbrownweb_007Towards the end of July I had the great pleasure of acting as Tour Guide for a charming coach party of ladies and gentlemen. They were the members and satellites of Voices in Harmony, a delightful choir from South Wales who had arranged a trip to Scotland to see the sights, sing their hearts out at every opportunity and raise money for, mostly, cancer charities.
They were staying at the Mercure Jupiter Hotel in Perth but I had advised anyone who was lost not to ask directions from locals to there but to enquire for the City Mills, its former name.
On the Saturday evening in St John’s Kirk in Perth they performed a well-attended recital and it was bright and early on the Sunday morning that the coach and I collected them. I won’t bore you (first mention) with the sightseeing part of the tour but it wasn’t dull (second mention). But I will tell you about the Day of the Concert.
The hard-working committee of the Aberfeldy & District Gaelic Choir had organised a concert with Voices in Harmony in the Breadalbane Community Complex - the artist formerly known as The School. Proceeds were going to Marie Curie Cancer Care and the same committee had organised meals and ‘Things To Do for the Day’. One of these TTD was to take our Welsh visitors to Highland Safaris at Dull where all 42 of them, plus committee, helpers, trapped tourists and very slow Etape Caledonia riders had coffee and Kenmore shortbread followed by a Deer Feeding Session, but not on shortbread etc.
It was when we were sitting in the café there and looking at the signs that Gaynor - how did you guess she was Welsh? - informed me that she had actually had coffee in a restaurant in, wait for it, Boring, Oregon, USA! Now she was doing the same in Dull, Perthshire, Scotland. She duly took photographs of THE ROAD SIGN to send to her friends in the former colonies.
This put me in mind of finding other parts of the world with which Dull could be paired. Is there a village in France called Ennui? How about Pstov in the Ukraine? The Italian resort of Vistaduluxsecco, which translates as Watching Paint Dry?
The nearest I got was when looking at holiday cottages in Appin. The website took the letters appin as part of a larger word and came up with - and I kid you not - The Dawn of Happiness Ao Nammao Resort in Thailand, in the town of Krabi. Dull and Krabi? Nah, it’s too close to home.



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