Monday, June 8, 2015

A fellow teuchter.

Down in the valley the melon farmer has covered two hectares with plastic poly-tunnels. From up here on the ridge the end result looks quite architectural. It's as if a small ice glacier has taken root .

Off to the Supermarket with the PONs. Angus stays with them while 'The Font' shops.We park in a distant corner well away from any other cars . As is always the case when you want to be left alone it doesn't take long for someone to come and draw up alongside. Out gets a lady of a certain age in a bright red figure hugging spandex tank top and ground sweeping orange skirt. She spots the dogs. Before you can say 'Bobs your uncle' she's tapping on the back windscreen of the car with one hand and waving with the other. To add insult to injury she shouts out  'Cou-Cou Doggies! '. Bob is a fairly affable soul but having the window tapped by what appears to be a large talking wasp brings out the worst in him. He leaps at the back window, snarling at this unwarranted intrusion. Sophie joins in - her bark two octaves higher. The woman shouts out ' What bad dogs ' and wanders away. From time to time she casts reproachful glances back towards us. The back window of the little Skoda is smudged with nose marks.

'The Font' wonders aloud why in the space of twenty minutes things like this happen to Angus.

In this weeks Economist magazine a charming obituary for the Scottish politician Charles Kennedy. A fellow teuchter. When was the last time you saw a declamatory ( and correct ) 'O' being used rather than 'Oh' ? A truly archaic linguistic touch that gives the final sentence special warmth. 

"Yet for the many who mourn him, it is above all dreadfully sad, because he was delightful, and in fact this was the main reason for his success. He was, extraordinarily in politics, without malice. He was never, despite his remarkable precociousness, pompous. His jokes, which were frequent, were usually aimed at himself, the institution he served, or both.

Narrating a television documentary on the House of Commons last year, he glanced up, on camera, at a mosaic of St Andrew that towers over Central Lobby. The patron saint of Scots, he quipped, had been positioned to signal the way to the bar. Though he was a political insider—an MP at 23, for goodness sake—Mr Kennedy’s plain good humour always suggested he had a foot in that ruder soil, the real world, which matters most. And that, O politicians, is why he was loved ".


  1. No matter where we park, we have trucks or Range Rovers park next to us.....

  2. Petite-Chose at 2GJune 8, 2015 at 8:00 AM

    I'd bark at something wearing a bright red spandex top and orange skirt, too!!

  3. I can confirm that Charles Kennedy, exactly one year year younger than myself, was indeed much loved in across his huge Highland constituency, of which Torridon, of course, forms a part.
    But, asks this Englishwoman, who had not heard the term until she moved to Aberdeen, can someone of such education and erudition be referred to as a 'teuchter'?
    Cheers! Gail.

  4. Lowlanders , particularly Edinburghers, can refer to anyone born north of Stirling, no matter how erudite, as 'teuchters'.

  5. Where I was brought up, in Perth, it meant anyone from the countryside, Gail. Here, I think it's often used the same way. I think it's a west coast (Glasgow) thing to use it meaning Highlander.

    Angus, I've known Charles since the two of us debated against each other at school, and we shared active politics. I missed that obituary, although I'm now going looking for it. It's lovely. Thank you.

    Sorry about the wasp lady

  6. O for a picture of the spandex wasp ...

    1. An admonitory 'O' ? Or a declamatory one ?

    2. I would settle for the more modern 'O', as in :OMG (OHMYGOD) I'd love to see that too!

  7. I wlll add this new word to my vocabulary, wondering if I can use it to refer to those who live north of our I-4 corridor, which divides Florida from east to west! Paradoxically, the northern portion of the state is known as being the more southern while the southern part is thought to be more northern. And I am totally approving of Bob and Sophie's reactions to the wasp with her "cou cou doggies"!!!

  8. A friend calls those nose smudges "pup kisses".