It’s not quite time to lay down the pen

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Just when I was thinking of pulling the plug on 20 years of writing for a number of local outlets, along came one of those happenings which made me consider what I might do with the rest of my life, if I were not scribing.

Last Saturday found me in the Scottish Borders preparing to report on a national league rugby match on what had turned out to be a lovely day, though a touch chilly.

The Border town of Peebles was also looking at its best, or as good as it ever does in mid-winter, bringing back all kinds of pleasant memories of one of my favourite locations in Scotland, if not in the world, known to me in my three score and ten plus years.

The game of rugby about to take place, seeming an irritating distraction in my moment of reflection, but with kick-off rapidly approaching I turned to the task of keeping a couple editors happy, at least for a day.

But just as I was about to set up for the afternoon up comes an elderly gent - I later discovered he was in his 89th year - and asked me almost shyly if I had read the match programme, and if so had I seen his name.

He then proceeded to inform me that his name Donald Swanson was indeed in the programme notes where he was being congratulated by club president Gordon Brown (no not that Brown) on being awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Years Honours List for his services to rugby in the town.

Further enquiries revealed that Mr Swanson had lived and worked in the North-east where he had played rugby for Huntly in the 1970s. But with the game now about to get under way I had to cut my thoroughly enjoyable conversation short and concentrate on the matter in hand, while mentally storing away a story that I would love to have used, but with no likely outlet.

But luck was on my side and by half-time I was informed that no reporter had turned up from the local paper, and could I send a report to them for Monday morning. The rest you can guess and by Sunday morning I not only had rugby copy winging down to the Scottish Borders, but a lovely story involving, in my opinion, an 88-year-old who had made a huge contribution to life in the Peebles community, a fact well appreciated by myself who has been always quick to recognise the efforts of my fellow man, particularly by my Border freens.

Given Mr Swansons’ connection with Huntly I might just give the Huntly Express a bite of the cherry, but only after the good citizens of East Gordon have been given the opportunity to read my humble offering.

In other words my ‘threat’ to call it a day on my local writing career is on hold. Watch this space.