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Friday, 12 August 2011


This is one of the busiest days in the shooting season, with large amounts of game being shot. The date itself  being the traditional start of the shooting season for Red Grouse is enshrined in legislation through the Game Act of 1831. Since UK Law says that the start of the season cannot begin on a Sunday it has sometimes been postponed to the 13th August. Whatever day it starts on not all Red Grouse are in danger though, as shown here by George D Armour (1864-1949) cartoon where a serious lack of skill on the part of the shooting party has in fact resulted in very few actual birds having been shot.

Transcript below:

PROPRIETOR OF SHOOTING: (inspecting game-book after being away) "The boys didn't get many birds, but you've entered 'various' too often. I like everything put down."

SCOTCH KEEPER: "I couldna' juist dae that. Ye see there was a gillie and twa dogs, no' to mention some sheep and Sandy's auld coo."

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Now that we are well through what is called ‘Summer', the daily delivery of postal mail has a number of holiday postcards arriving from far and distant places, showing beautiful sunny scenes and gorgeous views of exotic locations around the world. While grateful that friends and family are having a lovely time enjoying the summer sun, we in turn appear to be languishing back home in a never ending spell of cold, wet and misty days.

The bright summery spell we all enjoyed back in April, May and parts of June have long since disappeared into the memory banks, and in turn we mope about muttering and complaining of the weather. Amidst this plops yet another card through the letterbox with comments about hot, sunny days and the time spent enjoying all that these holiday resorts have to offer. Hamilton Williams (circa 1920) cartoon shown below typifies our summer weather at the moment, and highlights the old rural Post Office pastime of reading the postcards arriving from all over the world prior to delivery.

Transcript below:

HIGHLAND POSTMASTER: (to party sheltering from the rain). "Wull ye no come in oot o' the rain, yer Leddyship, an' I'll gie ye a wheen postcairds to read to while awa' the time? There's some gay queer anes by the last post!"

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