Tag Archives: Golf

I, Writer … #17

I, Writer … #17

Much of a dayness (Part Two)

(Click here for Part 1 in case you missed it)

So here I am back at the table tapping this post on to my Kindle notepad. It’s almost 2 pm. and the wind sounds pretty wild out there. I always seem to hit a tiredness barrier at this time of day. Sometimes I just go and lie down for an hour in graceful surrender. Or I may go out for a walk and try to blow the cobwebs away.

Our cottage is situated in the beautiful village of Turnberry on the west coast of Scotland. It’s only a few minutes walk from the beach. Tell you what. I’m going for a stroll. Why don’t you come along and I’ll show you around.

This is the view from just outside the cottage. There’s usually cows and sheep grazing in the field opposite. Just cows today though. Beyond the dunes is the beach. Maybe the sheep have gone in for a quick dip.

This little path leads to the sea. I feel a poem coming on.

I must go down to the loo again
To the lonely loo and the flush
And all I ask is a nice warm seat
And a spikey toilet brush

Ah, they don’t write ’em like that anymore.

Half way down the path we are always greeted by a horse. So we give him a pat and a few handfuls of grass. He is very friendly. We don’t know his name as yet. But, if I had to go through the desert on a horse with no name, I would definitely choose this delightful fellow. I am reliably informed that ‘grass’ is actually drug slang for cannabis and ‘horse’ is a term for heroin. But, for the avoidance of doubt, in this particular neck of the woods, grass is grass and a horse is a horse. And a tax return is something you rip up and throw in a bin.

This is Turnberry Beach. Mainly folk walking their dogs come here plus some tourists. We’re heading for the lighthouse in the distance.

Here I am adopting my favourite windswept and philosophical pose. My wife has another name for it. Scruffy.

This is my favourite part of the beach. The island on the left is called Ailsa Craig. It is volcanic in origin. It has a long and fascinating history and  I really must tell you about it one day.

A little climb up and we can see Turnberry Point Lighthouse. It was designed in 1873 by brothers Thomas & David Stevenson. They designed over thirty lighthouses in and around Scotland. Thomas Stevenson also had a son, Robert Louis Stevenson who was the author of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Close by the lighthouse are the fragmentary ruins of Turnberry Castle, birthplace and childhood home of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland.

During both World Wars, an aerodrome was constructed at Turnberry and used  to train pilots in the arts of aerial gunnery and combat. I love this picture of a squadron of Sopwith Camels flying past Turnberry Point Lighthouse in 1917.

Turnberry is also very famous for its golf courses and many world-class tournaments have been held here. Personally, I really can’t see the point of the game. Maybe I should give it a go, but not at £350 a round, which is what they currently charge here.

Legend has it that, in the Summer of 1297, Robert the Bruce played a round of golf here on this very course with his good friend Sir William Wallace. They were about to tee off when, without warning, the English King Edward arrived with his army. He ordered his archers to release a hail of arrows before sending in his heavy cavalry which chewed up the playing surface something awful. History doesn’t record what happened next. Probably something like …

BRUCE: Hey Edward. Bugger off back to England ye big hairy jessie.
EDWARD: No. I am going to take over your entire porridge factory.
WALLACE: You and whose army!
EDWARD: Well, my army actually.
WALLACE: Fair point.
EDWARD: Look. I feel a bit bad about disturbing your game. So can I suggest we have a battle somewhere.
BRUCE: That’s a great idea Ed. Let’s meet at Bannockburn in June 1314.
EDWARD: I’ll just have a look in my diary. Yes, that’s good for me.
BRUCE: Excellent. I’ll get my people to talk to your people and they can iron out the details.
EDWARD: Well, I’ll be off then. Cheery bye.
BRUCE: Hey Wallace! Did you just kick your ball closer to the hole while I was chatting to Ed ?
WALLACE: Er … No. Are you suggesting that I was cheating.
WALLACE: You’re asking for a hammering ya wee scunner.
BRUCE: Go boil yer arse ya glakit bastard.

It is said that the Bruce’s ghost haunts Turnberry golf course to this very day. So anyway. I cut across the green behind a crowd of lunatics and head for home. Ah, I have one more treat for you.

Yes, Turnberry is also the location of the Trump Turnberry Hotel & Golf Resort. It is a magnificent building dating back to 1906. I haven’t seen our Donald here recently. We are saving up to go and buy a glass of tonic water and a packet of pork scratchings  in the bar.

Well, that’s us back at our wee cottage safe and sound. Hope very much you enjoyed the stroll. I bid you a fond farewell and hope to see you again very soon.


The Desk has landed … but not a single word is written

In July 1968, exactly one year before the 1st manned moon landing, NASA successfully soft-landed a writing desk on the lunar surface. Astronauts on the first and subsequent missions were all instructed to visit the desk in order to record their thoughts and feelings in writing. Unfortunately … not a single word was written due to a number of factors. Embarrassed NASA officials put the whole thing under wraps and only now has it come to light.

Copy of desk-on-moon

This photograph was taken by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The following pictures were taken during manned missions to the lunar surface.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin pictured on his way to the writing desk. Note the

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin pictured on his way to the writing desk. Note the paper he is holding in his left hand. Having made it over to the desk he developed an instant case of writer’s block on account of the fact that there just wasn’t any atmosphere. (photograph by Neil Armstrong)

Astronaut Pete Conrad smuggled a bicycle on board Apollo 12. Here he is seen just before setting out to visit the desk. Apparently he didn't make it there as he got a puncture in his front tyre.

Astronaut Pete Conrad smuggled a bicycle on board Apollo 12. Here he is pictured just before setting out to visit the desk. Apparently he didn’t make it there as he got a puncture in his front tyre.
(Photograph taken by Alan Bean)


Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke was going to take an easy ride to the writing desk by hopping on to the Lunar Rover. Unfortunately, due to a malfunctioning sat-nav, he ended up in a deep crater.
(photograph by John Young)

Now, PROCRASTINATION is absolutely rife throughout the entire Universe and the Moon is certainly no exception …


Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard failed to write a single word at the writing desk, preferring to become the first man to play golf on another world instead.


Another astronaut preferred to continue his distance-learning banjo lessons.

But the last word surely has to go to the Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan as he was the last man to walk ‘off’ the moon in December 1972. His fellow astronauts on that mission were Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt. Cernan was recorded as saying …

…I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.

But his final unrecorded words from the surface were actually …


… light her up Jack. I’ll be with you in a minute.