• Donald MacLeod (Cowboy)
Location:
Cullnacnock
Date:
Saturday 13th September 2008
Reference:
SWI2008/005

Simon:

So one of the key things I’m interested in is the fact that you went away and came back, and what the differences are between ...

     

Donald:

Now and then.

     

Simon:

Yeah. And one of the things I think a lot of people have spoken about is what you were saying just now when you sat down, about the numbers of people and how in the past you always needed that. It was an important part of crofting. A necessity and also an integral part of the lifestyle and what made it good for people too, so those kind of things.

     

Donald:

That’s true. Well, there’s an awful amount of money being spent on Gaelic currently but ... People tend to overlook the fact that Gaelic is more than the language. It’s a way of life really, because there’s a great danger that ... There’s a load of money being spent on Gaelic just now, and has been for years, but there’s a great danger that it’ll just become another academic exercise. You know, when it’s not spoken on the fishing boat or in the fank, it’ll go the same way as classical Greek and Latin and just become an academic exercise.

Simon:

A frozen language ... Tatties was kind of ... He didn’t put it that way but he was talking in a similar spirit.

     

Donald:

When we went to school we didn’t have a word of English. The first hurdle we had to overcome was to learn English. Now I meet children of people I went to school with and speak to them in Gaelic and they answer me in English! And, in fact, the most support for the Gaelic language tends to be from incomers, people who’ve moved up here and are very keen that their offspring learn Gaelic. The locals tend to take it all for granted and are quite happy to embrace another culture and just ... Well, they don’t appreciate what they’ve got really. And also there’s ... I suppose to people like possibly the Welsh and, in particular, French Canadians, the indigenous Scottish Gaelic speaker would be horribly embarrassed to find himself or herself having a discussion in Gaelic and suddenly realise there was a non-Gaelic speaker in their company. And they would be horribly embarrassed by this whereas the French Canadians in particular and the Welsh, they could be having a conversation in English and realise an incomer’s there and revert to their indigenous language just to mess people about! (laughs)

Simon:

So maybe start by going back to when you left and you worked ... Say maybe why you left actually because you left for reasons that were similar to many people.

     

Donald:

Well, I left because ... It was in the days of Empire and you wanted to go out and see the world. You were very conscious of the fact that you were on the back roads and you wanted to go abroad and see exotic people and shoot them ... (laughs) So you wanted to see what was happening over the horizon, in other words.

Simon:

Were you in the army?

     

Donald:

No, I was in the navy. I was in the navy for ten years, maybe eleven, actually. And during that time I got married and I got a mortgage on a house in London and realised that it wasn’t a very good lifestyle for a married man so I used to come home and my eldest daughter, I was a stranger to her. I used to be sometimes away for eight months at a time. She thought her granddad was her dad, sort of thing, and I thought: “This isn’t on,” so I decided to come ashore and the only thing I could think of, the only career I could think of where I could get a living wage ... Because it doesn’t matter how well qualified you are at sea. Qualifications are useless ashore. And the only thing I could think of was the police. So I decided to join the Met Police. I applied to the Met Police, I was accepted. And then I met this lunatic who was in charge of our local fire station who is also an ex-sailor and he said to me: “What are you going to do ... (inaudible) ...? Join the police? Oh, don’t be a fool, this is the job for you!” and he sort of stood over me while I filled in the application form, sent it out and through the internal mail. So I went up for the usual tests and various. I was accepted so I didn’t know what to do, so I thought: “Whoever sends for me first now, I’ll join that,” and the London fire brigade sent for me before the Met Police did so that’s how I first got into the land of fire brigades and finished up doing thirty-one years there! Did my thirty years and just at that time, as I was finishing my time, my youngest daughter decided she was going to have a change of career. After having got two degrees she was doing chartered accountancy, which she hated, so decided to go into law so I did the extra year to finance her way through law school. So I finished up doing thirty-one years altogether. And I’ve been back here fifteen years next January, pulling a sheep’s bum round the hillside. So that’s the story of my life!

Simon:

So were you in London in the 50s, 60s?

     

Donald:

To get a mortgage on a house in London ... First time ... I went round the naval docks most of all, Rosyth, Sheerness, Chatham, Portsmouth, Davenport ... First time I docked in London was 1955 and my then wife was teaching in London. She was from the Midlands and we got a mortgage on a house in 1958. And we lived in the same house from 1958 to 1994, living in London. My two daughters and my son are still in London. In fact, my son’s in the Met Police and youngest daughter’s a solicitor in Kent and my eldest daughter, she lives in Surrey. And they come up from time to time. My son’s got seven year old twins, a boy and a girl, and they come up here and spend the summer holidays with us so that’s rather nice.

Simon:

What brought you back?

     

Donald:

Well, I always ... I suppose this was always home. In spite of having spent more of my life in London than I have in Skye, I suppose this was always home and anywhere else was in transit. I was in transit. In spite of the long time I was there, you tended to wear a sort of transit cap. You were ... You know, when the time was right and your commitments were discharged and your obligations were discharged, you were going to come back home. And so many ex-pats feel that way but they never do come back for some reason or another. But I was not really ... The opportunity arose to come back and so I came back and my arrival coincided with an aged cousin falling off his perch. He had about 400 sheep and I just took them over and then here I am, fifteen years later, still doing that!

Simon:

You were saying there that this is home but what makes it feel like home? Is that something you could put it in words? Maybe it’s not but ...

     

Donald:

Emm ... A home to me is more than just a house. You know, the hills and the shore and the sea and the animals, the lifestyle ... I don’t know Glasgow very well at all. I docked in Glasgow during the course of my sea career four or five times, so I don’t know Glasgow that well. Having lived and worked in London all that time, I know London quite well but it’s very impersonal. The person next door could be lying dead in his house and you wouldn’t know anything about it because people don’t converse. If you get on with your neighbours it basically means that you have nothing at all to do with them. It’s a negative thing. People who tend to know their neighbours know them for all the wrong reasons, because they can’t get on with them! It’s ... also I suppose ... and especially the older you get, you tend to appreciate things that when you were young you took for granted. When I was young, when I first left home, I probably couldn’t wait to get away because it seemed so exciting to go to sea and go to exotic places and ... it was... it came up to expectations. Very fond memories of my time at sea. Not really for the reason the average non-sailor imagines, you know, because there were scores of girls in every port, and exciting places like Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires and San Francisco and New York, places like that. No, I think what I missed when I came back over was getting the craic, actually being at sea. Sunset in the mid-Atlantic for example, glorious! When the sun, especially midsummer, when the sun dips into the western ocean and the whole sky just explodes in a mass of colours ... really tremendous. And the Indian Ocean, flying fishes and being on watch, seeing the flying fishes keeping pace with the ship. You know, things like that and going through Panama at night and the noises from the forest as you’re passing through, all that sort of thing. They’re the things that I missed as opposed to the social life really. And people of different cultures as well.

 

A place I went, particularly fond memories of, New Zealand. People were great and, especially if you were Scots, you couldn’t go wrong. So those were the things I missed, and living in suburbia seemed terribly dreary after all that. I think living in suburbia would appear dreary even if I’d never been to sea. It would appear dreary in comparison with the lifestyle on Skye as I remembered it. The impersonality of it all, and the fact that nobody seems to care about what happens to other people. Other people, as long as they’re OK ... Everybody’s so obsessed with ‘getting on’ ... And marvellous opportunities for getting on. The opportunities are far better than they are around here. During my thirty-one years in the fire brigade I was promoted seven times. And that was without going out of my way to be bloody minded. I couldn’t believe the opportunities that were available. I mean, the fire brigade would pay you overtime to sit exams on your leave day. They would sponsor you through university, it wouldn’t cost you a penny. On full pay! The police are the same. But anything you did round here in the way of self-improvement, you had to finance yourself. So though I may sound critical of life in suburbia, it’s been very good to me really. So I wouldn’t ... I mean, you’ve got to be fair, the opportunities are there. It’s much easier to progress than it would be round here.

 

I left school at the age of fifteen, couldn’t wait to get away. Absolutely no academic qualifications at all which meant that I had to start studying at the same time as holding a job down and bringing up a family. And it was possible and it was relatively easy. I mean, I found within the fire brigade we were ... Probably the most important subjects in the fire brigade would be, apart from man management which is a bit of a waffling subject ... I mean, I’ve got quite strong views on man management. It’s an awful lot of waffling, talking about man management but it’s basically about patting heads and kicking arses. You’ve got to get it the right way round. If you get it the wrong way round you’re in serious trouble! Anyway, the main subjects are physics and chemistry, neither of which I did at school, so I did start in my mid-twenties studying chemistry and physics ... And legislation of course! I found being bi-lingual ... I found legislation quite easy because the type of English I was taught at school was very much the type of English that legislation is ... I mean, every comma and every semi-colon stands and is there for a reason and when we were ... When they were trying to knock Gaelic out of us at school and teach us ... God, what they were trying to teach us to become? Probably colonial administrators or something like that! (laughs) You’d spend hours and hours pausing and analyzing and studying Latin roots and ... But I found that quite useful when I started studying for exams in the fire brigade because I found the legislation quite easy whereas the average English man, who accepted English as the norm, somehow had great difficulty deciphering legislation.

Simon:

People say: “a croft is a piece of land surrounded by legislation,” did that equip you for ...?

     

Donald:

Well, I found that more applicable when I came back because when I was here as a schoolboy I wasn’t terribly interested. That was my father’s problem and it was too dreary to become involved in. But since I’ve been back I’ve found ... It’s true what you say. A croft is surrounded by legislation, all the various enactments since 1886, which was the date of the first Crofters Act, which came about as a result of the Napier Commission. It can be quite an interesting hobby studying the crofting legislation, if only to enable you to bugger people about! (laughs) But I did the last eight years of my service in the legal department of the fire brigade. Prior to that I did two secondments to the Home Office. I was attached to the National Fire Service College in Surrey and two years there and two years at a technical college in Gloucestershire. And when I was in the technical college I instructed in legislation and course director at the staff college. That was a very pleasant four years. Got me away from all the hassle of the big smoke. I was stationed in a nice part of country too.

Simon:

Are you currently the assessor?

     

Donald:

Yes.

     

Simon:

Could you just explain what that involves?

     

Donald:

Well, you got the Crofters Commission which is the body that’s supposed to oversee crofting. Ghastly quango. Although they’re improving lately ... I like to think they’re improving because they’re worried about their jobs because there’s been such a stink lately about speculation of croft land and the Crofters Commission weren’t doing anything about it. They were ... Basically they were a quango and they did and they don’t want to make waves because when they apply for jobs with a bigger and better paid quango, they don’t want to be known for having made waves in their last job. And most recently, as a result of croft land speculation and other matters as well, there’s been an inquiry into crofting headed by Professor Shucksmith. And the inquiry report came out recently and they made some quite startling recommendations. And I think as a result of that ... One of the recommendations they made was that the Crofters Commission should be done away with. Though I don’t tend to agree with that. What they were suggesting, they were suggesting ... Have you read the ...?

Simon:

I’ve downloaded it and printed it and ... I’ve got some ... I know some bits because people have been telling me. And looking at some of the articles in the West Highland Free Press.

     

Donald:

Yes. You can’t always go by what’s written in the West Highland Free Press because they’re notoriously biased! (laughs) But yes, they were suggesting that the Crofters Commission should be replaced by local boards, five or seven local boards with a central board overseeing their activities. I’m not sure whether that would work because you’ve got local interest involved and I think something like the Crofters Commission but a more efficient Crofters Commission where the majority of the commissioners were elected, as opposed to being government appointees. Because at the moment they’re appointed by the civil service and they tend to be professional quangateers, they move from one quango to another.

Simon:

Tatties was saying he thought they should be elected as well.

     

Donald:

Yes, well, at least the majority of them should be elected. Yes, I took over from Tatties as the assessor because he was the assessor prior to me and I think I got it by default as nobody else was interested.

Simon:

What’s your responsibility?

     

Donald:

Well you provide a link between the Crofters Commission and the Grazings Committees. I mean, each township has a grazing committee with a clerk and a minimum of two members. And the assessors are supposed to assess each parish, they assess it for them. The parish of Kilmuir, which belongs to the north end of Skye, and ... It’s interesting. It ... (inaudible) ... Well, there’s so much apathy prevailing. It’s very difficult to get people involved. Reluctance amongst crofters to get involved and then they howl blue murder when things don’t go their way.

Simon:

Tatties was saying that he felt that often the forms he had to fill out were often kind of skewed in a way that ... Like land speculation. The assessments were often kind of skewed in a way that they supported the person behind the scene’s viewpoint, like people in the Crofting Commission had that it wasn’t really representative of what crofters ...

     

Donald:

That’s so true. But there’s been a noticeable change lately since the Shucksmith enquiry has reported. I think they’re beginning to get the wind up now they’re ... They’re not so content on that market forces prevail as they were. I mean the last chairman of the Crofters Commission ... And as a result of not putting his head above the parapet and not making waves, he’s going to go on to chair a much bigger and better quango. This is what happens.

Simon:

What were your impressions when you first came back? Did you feel things had changed or ...?

     

Donald:

Oh yes, tremendously. The difference between the lifestyle up here and the lifestyle down there, which used to be quite distinct, had now become considerably blurred. As I was saying to you yesterday, I think there are probably a number of reasons for that. Television probably is one. I suppose a better standard of living is the other one. Improvement in transport, people being more mobile. There is still a significant difference between up here and down there but not as obvious as it used to be. And I think that the reasons I outlined are probably behind that change. And certainly the Gaelic language is getting far more support now than it used to in my youth. A lot of money being spent, some people would argue wasted, in promoting the Gaelic language these days whereas when I was a schoolboy, the whole object of the education that we were subjected to was to knock the Gaelic out of you. As an indigenous Gaelic speaker, you were very much considered a second class citizen and this was the ... You felt this was the view of the people who taught you at school. It’s rather sad because most of the people that taught you at school were people who had been born and brought up locally. It was as if they were incomers but they were usually people from the same background as yourself. And for some unknown reason they considered that being a Gaelic speaking Gael was not the fashionable thing to be. I mean you didn’t get any encouragement to ... It was only at Sunday School that you were encouraged to become literate in your own language really.

Simon:

Is that true of all the churches?

     

Donald:

Well, the Church of Scotland basically.

     

Simon:

So do you think that this was something that was ... (inaudible) ...? If you look at stuff in the nineteenth century, in the time that crofting came into existence, in the sense that a lot of the Gaelic peoples were working in the mainland. When you read the views of the English speaking Scots who were the managers and stuff, they often looked upon them as the migrant workforce and talk about them in the same ways you hear nowadays when people talk about Polish people. There’s that kind of perception. Do you think the ...? Almost a hundred years later there’s almost that thing where people feel they’ve absorbed the opinions of people that have set themselves up as superior.

     

Donald:

Well, I think this ... (inaudible) ... recently but I would agree with you that ... Certainly when I went to school, this appeared to be the view of people that taught us at school. That the way forward was to jettison your indigenous inheritance and embrace Southern culture in a way. That seemed to be the fashion. Lately ... The other extreme really. It’s very fashionable to be a Gaelic speaker now. There’s been a lot of money spent on promoting Gaelic. A lot of it wasted. I mean, I cannot see for the life of me why all this money is being spent on Gaelic road signs. I mean, how does that further the Gaelic cause? Sounds to me very much like making a political point as opposed to doing something useful to actually further the Gaelic cause. There’s loads of politics involved. I mean, I’m sure in the course of your work you’ve come across the term ‘Gaelic Mafia’? And unfortunately there’s some amount of truth in that. And that is just as bad as what used to go on before in ... The other thing you find is that politicians are always boasting about what they’re doing for Gaelic and all they’re doing basically is trying to get votes. The party that has spent ... I don’t want to dissolve into party politics, but the party that’s spent the most money in the most effective way in promoting Gaelic, would you believe, is the Conservative Party when they were in power. And they haven’t got a cat’s chance in hell of getting anyone in Scotland, have they? It’s between the Socialists and the SNP (Scottish National Party), Liberals up to a point as well but the Conservatives don’t stand a chance and yet during the Thatcher era, an awful lot of money was put into the Gaelic cause. It’s ... I don’t know. You feel that that’s the outcome being tossed your way but basically, because the Highlands being under populated, as opposed to people they have to curry favour with, the people in the industrial south, because they have more clout from an elective point of view ...

Simon:

You were saying before, Gaelic was a living language. Tell me what makes it living?

     

Donald:

Well, living as opposed to being an academic exercise which it’s in great danger of becoming. I spend most of my time out on the hill and in the fank, and through the whole of my working day I converse with the people I work with in Gaelic. I even instruct my dogs in Gaelic. I suppose too ... What I, and I hope I’m wrong ... I think the current publicity concerning Gaelic is aimed at ... I mentioned already road signs. I don’t see the relevance in spending a lot of money on Gaelic road signs that would be much better spent on mending potholes on the actual road. For the life of me I can’t see ... If putting up Gaelic road signs would be beneficial to the Gaelic cause, yes I’d be all for it but I just don’t see the relevance quite honestly. I would imagine from the boys-in-blue’s perspective, it’s a point of distraction. Some tourist trying to find his way from A to B, trying to decipher the Gaelic and ... There’s a lot of political posturing going on in connection with Gaelic. One thing I’m very impressed by though is the support the Gaelic cause gets from people who’ve moved up here, especially people with young families. They’re usually at the forefront of wanting their children to study through the Gaelic medium and this should be applauded. Whereas the locals can’t be bothered to get involved. I was saying earlier on about crofting matters, they’ll not get involved and then whinge like hell when things don’t go their way.

Simon:

I guess sometimes it takes an outsider to see what’s valuable.

     

Donald:

That’s right! That’s right!

     

Simon:

Talking about crofting itself in a kind of more practical living and working kind of way ...

     

Donald:

Getting your hands dirty! (laughs)

     

Simon:

... You were just talking about how you’ve been doing the shearing. What does that involve?

     

Donald:

Well, as you probably realize, that’s the last of it and it’s now September. Should’ve been over a month ago but with bad weather, unsuitable weather ... Because you can only gather out on the ridge there if there’s no mist on the ridge. You can have a glorious day at the houses here, beautiful sunshine, but misty on the ridge you just can’t go out there and gather. So weather was the major obstacle this year. There’s the ongoing problem with lack of manpower. There’s only two of us got sheep on the hill now. When I was a schoolboy there was about forty people involved. Everybody had a few, now the few people doing it have got hundreds. So there’s that. There’s also the poor returns.

Simon:

Does it make a loss I assume? I terms of the cost of the shearing and ...?

     

Donald:

I paid in excess of £700 to shear my sheep last year and I got less than £100 for my wool so ... Twelve years ago, a relative of mine who’d been carted off to the granny house and asked me to sell his lambs. And they were in quite indifferent ... scrawny little rats, and I go £29.50 for them. That was twelve years ago. Top class lambs this year were fetching £27.50, twelve years later. Top class, as opposed to the scraggy things I sold twelve years ago. So there’s not an awful lot of money to be made at it. My father brought up nine of us on the proceeds of the croft and fishing. OK, so we weren’t well off but we didn’t go hungry, we had enough clothes to wear, nothing much in the way of luxuries but certainly didn’t consider ourselves to be poverty stricken. With far more stock, I could just about manage to keep myself now although I certainly wouldn’t be able to enjoy luxuries. I mean, I can only afford to do what I’m doing as a result of a previous existence. Because if I didn’t have a professional pension and just had the state pension, I wouldn’t to be able to afford to do what I’m doing. I would have to try and do the job and that would supplement my state pension. It certainly ... I’m certain I wouldn’t be crofting. So the returns from crofting have certainly gone down in my lifetime. OK, people’s expectations have also changed. Nobody had a car but ... now we’ve got two cars outside, a pick-up tractor and a car. And the average household around here didn’t have a single car in those days and we take all this for granted. People’s expectations have changed but the fact remains that the returns from crofting, in real terms, are considerably less in terms of ... They have improved slightly in the last three years. About six years ago, five or six years ago, things were at absolute rock bottom but they have been improving over the last few years but still way below in real terms what it was like fifteen years ago. So ... You cannot, I suppose, blame the youngsters for not getting involved.

Simon:

Why do you continue yourself?

     

Donald:

I enjoy it. Yes, I do enjoy it. But as I say, I’m fortunate in that I can afford to do it. If I had earned my living for the previous forty years working in an insurance office or working in a factory, I wouldn’t be able to afford to do what I’m doing now. I would’ve had to get a nine to five job that would supplement my state pension so ...

Simon:

If you hadn’t gone into the navy and just stayed in Skye and stayed part of a crofting family, do you think you’d be crofting today?

     

Donald:

(long pause) Yes, I probably would. Because during that time I was away ... (inaudible) ... Most of the time, quite good. So, yes. I probably would. That or be a fishermen, or maybe a combination of the two. It’s a marvellous ... I was going to say way to earn a living but it’s very difficult to earn a living at it these days. You’re dealing with animals, looking after animals, whilst ... The empathy with your dogs, the different types of weather out there and being in the wild and lonely places and nobody with you in a five mile radius and ... Very fine. Early in the morning when the sun’s rising, late in the evening ... The two best times really. And whether you’re down by the shore or up on the ridge, it’s marvellous. And you get roughly one foot in front of the other. You’re not sitting in a traffic jam on the Old Kent Road and being absolutely nutted by the time you get to work! (laughs)

 

My last posting was in Brigade headquarters and I lived ten miles away from the office and it used to take me an hour and a quarter to do ten miles. You didn’t have to be in the office till nine o’ clock but to try and avoid the rush hour I used to leave at seven o’ clock in the morning and it still took me an hour and a quarter to do ten miles. And the same thing at night. I’d look out of the office window and the traffic would be nose to tail at five o’ clock and I thought: “It’s a waste of time leaving just now, just carry on,” and eight o’ clock you’d see the traffic thinning and ... Yeah, you could cycle it quicker than using your car but the trouble was that I had to have a car because I was on call most of the time. You’d have a Home Office radio in the car so you had to be in radio contact with control so you were stuck in the car. But if I was doing some sort of other job, I would have just cycled, even walked the ten miles!

 

So, “Why am I a crofter?” which was basically what you were asking. All those reasons. The enjoyable aspects of crofting and the horrendous things associated with all kind of ways of earning a living. So that’s probably the reason. I suppose ... I don’t know. Maybe I appreciate the benefits of crofting, and with the benefits I don’t mean the financial benefits but the lifestyle benefits, more than maybe somebody who’s been here all their lives. ... (inaudible) ... If you don’t know anything different, if you haven’t been involved in anything other than crofting, you take all those nice things connected with crofting for granted and just assume that ... In fact, they probably envy people who do a nine to five job, the old five o’ clock goodnight. They’re free to do whatever they want whereas with crofting you can’t do that. You’ve got to work with the weather and with the seasons which results in you having easy days and hard days. And personally, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

 

I did consider, when retirement was coming on to the horizon, I thought to myself: “What am I going to do with my time?” and, you know, various things. One of the things I considered was joining the British Antarctic Survey because one place I’ve never been to is Antarctica and I thought I’d like to go down there as a crew member on one of the ships just to see the place. Open University studies ... Even thought about becoming a Church of England vicar would you believe? Especially, in a rural parish, you get all the local ladies doing your flower arranging for you ... (laughs) Christ! But with my luck I’d probably end up in a city parish dealing with the nonsense of yobs. Yes, I remember the last one I told them about, considering doing a degree in theology and becoming a Church of England vicar! They found it highly amusing. But eventually ... There were going to be things I was going to do in the short-term and the ambition was to always come back here after having done a spell at that but you think to yourself: “Well, I’m getting old and time’s running out,” so I decided to come back when the fire brigade said cheerio to me, and I’m glad I did.

Simon:

Do you feel like you’re at the end of a line? Some people feel like this generation of crofters have passed.

     

Donald:

Oh yes. Definitely a dying breed. Yes, as I said to my son that this ... (inaudible) ... And I had dreams at one time of hanging on from the seventh year until he retired and he would take over. So ... it gave a purpose in life. You could increase your stock and improve the croft, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim because I’ve got seven year old grandchildren and another one on the way so my son won’t be in a position to come back here when he finishes his time in the Met. Because the children, being halfway through their education, and it would be silly to disrupt their education at that point and ... So my ambition to improve things is a bit pointless really because when the day comes when we’re ... In the future, when I can no longer do the job, there’s nobody to take over. I mean, probably my son will come up ... Well, I certainly hope so because the croft’s been in my family for the last two hundred years and I’d be really sad if it became the site of a holiday home but ... there are so many people in my position and all the people of my age who’re here in the same position. Their offspring are either not interested or can’t afford to take over from them. There are very few full-time crofters about. Most of the people are part-time crofters with a daytime job where they do their bits and pieces at the weekend, in the evening when they get home. Very, very few full-time. I only know myself and Murdo. You spoke to him yesterday. Gallous type isn’t he?

Simon:

I couldn’t get a word in edgeways.

     

Donald:

(laughs) I was at work with him and was all the time. I used to alternate between feeling sorry for him and feeling like ringing his neck! Poor old Murdo. So haven’t recorded any Gaelic have we?