Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,
It’s the Wing Centre here and as you know I always write you a letter at this time of the year to let you know what I would like to find in my Christmas stocking on the 25th. Like most boys I usually have a good hunt around the house, checking under the beds in the spare room, up in the loft and in various spare corners to see if you have left anything for me.
Lately I’ve also taken to checking the deleted e mail on the computer to see if there is any clue to what you have been up to. Not a thing so far though the fact that you have apparently relocated from Greenland to Amazon which is much further away, could be the explanation for the fact that nothing has as yet arrived at my house.
Never mind and if you already know what I’m getting then OK, but if not I’ve taken the trouble to include a little list of what I would like if you could possibly manage it. I have also put in a few requests for my friends just in case they haven’t got round to writing to you themselves:
The main present I would like this Christmas is for the Glen to win another cup.

The last one we won was great crack and everyone went round to EJ’s for the party. We are not really bothered which one we do get to win as long as we get to take it home with us and are allowed  to put it in the trophy cabinet which has been looking underutilised. At least, we have the Macdonald Cup in the cabinet already but that is always in there.

That big cup with the wee mannie on top of it looks like it would probably be too big for the case, unless we broke the wee fellow off which we would probably have to do to fit it in. It would not cause any problems with the Camanachd because we know a guy in Glasgow who can fix the mannie back on without any fuss. Whatever you think yourself: it doesn’t make any difference to us*

*ps  We have had Mr Reid and Geordie busy building a much bigger trophy cabinet as you can see in the picture but we probably aren’t going to need it unless we get the big one.

Could you also get that Neil Paterson guy to relocate to the Glen so he could take more pictures of our guys playing? Some of the players’ mams are saying that his photos solve their Christmas problems because the guys just like seeing themselves in A4 size snaps and want copies for their bedroom walls. It makes them feel like real sportsmen too and that cannot be a bad thing.
Please, please Santa can you make the lights come back on in our electronic roadside sign. We don’t know what has happened – somebody, probably Garry Mac must have been very bad for you to switch them off but as far as we know he has promised to be good. At the Shinty Dance he was on his best behaviour and that can be vouched for by at least three people if not four.
The club would also like a sound system fitted to the pavilion so that when the team comes out of the dressing room on to the field we could have the traditional club music playing –Herb Albert &  the Tijuana Brass “Little Spanish Flea” (you youngsters can find it on Youtube) – and it would remind us how old Ali Mac used to gallop round the Borlum Riding Centre without a saddle, on the back of a big grey horse to the sound of that tune  as he drove the other beasts out of the shed on to the field so the boys could train amongst the sharn. The sound of that music would bring back many happy memories to the old guys- and every time the Glen scored a goal, which mightn’t be often, we could have a wee burst of Herb and the boys.
Our sponsor George Edwards of Loch Ness Cruises is a good friend of the club so Santa please would you arrange for him to get a new camera in time for the start of the tourist season. His old one is broken and anyway it did not seem to take reliable pictures- and our other sponsors as well such as Druimba also need some help. They were not permitted to proceed with their wind-farm over the back of Abriachan but perhaps you could make it possible for them to put in for a new site up the top of Queen Mary’s Rock and over on to Herd’s Hill.
Some people might complain that a wind-farm will spoil the view but then you cannot eat scenery and in time you will grow used to whatever you see and learn to appreciate the beauty of man’s works. And anyway the sponsorship money makes the view much easier to appreciate.
Could you also get the club a new rebound wall? When we were wee, we used to have gable ends on our houses and our mams didn’t mind us firing a ball against it. Nowadays most gable ends have glass windows in them and modern mams don’t want the glass broken or the flowers trampled on- so a rebound wall at the field would help the little guys in the club practise hitting the ball as it comes back to them. Ideally every house in the glen should have a rebound wall in their gardens and perhaps that is something David Sutherland should think about when he puts the new houses in on the fields behind Poachers. In fact if he does not do that, then that is as good a reason as any for refusing him permission to build.

 No Christmas would be complete for the Wing Centre without something shinty related to read though you have to say that nothing much can beat leafing through Hugh Dan’s “Shinty”- not the botanical one but the book which tells you about how many times the Glen haven’t won a cup. It is always good for the motivation to read about the Glen’s proud history and reflect on how much prouder it might have been with more trophies captured in photographs.
This Christmas, Santa can always put that book about Newtonmore Shinty Club in the old kilt stocking. Since the young fellows have started to look askance at the Wing Centre for wearing the old-fashioned white heavy knit kilt hose, the Wing Centre has replaced them with a cooler black pair and reserved the white ones for chimney duties. To return to the point however, the book in question is called “The Caman is their Pastime from the Cradle to their Graves” by Rosemary M Gibson, a title which might pass for being snappy up on the high chaparral but it is a good read. You also get a CD of poetry, music and songs related to the sport in Badenoch and Strathspey. The good thing about the book, apart from it being all about Shinty, is that it tells you how Newtonmore cheated the Glen out of a MacTavish victory back in 1902 when after a drawn first game, they beefed up their team with Kingussie players to clinch the replay.  The surprise is that Kingussie have not claimed the victory in their Roll of Honour but probably if they had done, there would not be enough space on their headed notepaper for an actual letter.
Anyway thanking you in advance - and I'll tell herself to leave open the front of the multi-fuel stove on Christmas Eve otherwise you will never get down the chimney at all.

 Yours in shinty,

Wing Centre

The photos are of the Cups including the real moment when one got damaged.
The one where Smack is actually standing on the ground quite safely is the Macdonald Cup. Mr Reid and the boys are busy making a new cabinet for future trophies. Ah well ,they can but hope.

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