According to one learned diviner, the earth's shoogly orbit has skewed human perceptions of the Zodiac. Forlorn Geminis and Leos all across the land are seeking tea and sympathy as a result of their emotionally bruising "Cancer scares". Others fear that tepid waters are growing warm, and cold waters are heating up. Hot air is endemic. Disordered nature wreaks her vengeance, her placid expression unmoved. Even those of us in the peat worrying business are not unaffected by these shifts in our disordered Nature. Although traditionally, the Scottish Peat Worrying Season opened on the “Glorious Sixteenth of May” with hullabaloo, ballyhoo, dwam and dram - this year the ancient lowland peat-stained rituals are beginning almost a month earlier.
Donning my Tweed pheasant-feathered bunnet and plus fours; tarasgeir, tusker and flaughter stowed under oxter, propitiatory googas gralloched; jelly pieces and a bumper o’ tappit hen broth tucked in my satchel - I'll be filling my bothie with peat-heat and Islay savoured smoke for the main part of this week. The technical term for this subset of traditional lallands activity is finnanhaddification. Although I am authoritatively advised that the technique is originally of 15th Century Celty-Pictish origin, it was popularised in Victorian times amongst pipe smokers who didn't fancy loafing about and slurping the foul-tasting waters in frou frou Spa towns. I anticipate that the expectorate virtues of this operation will lend my voice a exaggerated stentorian gravity and stain the old phizog a healthy deep mahogany. My bothie not boasting wireless connectivity, blogging shall be light to non-existed here this week. Tally-ho!