Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Ken Fyne: Liven up COP26 with some apple dooking and neep lanterns

Some big decisions need to be taken at COP26 to protect our planet.

This week, a tale of ghosts and ghouls where some get caught by the ghosties and I get caught by the gloomy news.

With stories dominated by doomy and disheartening tales, I didn’t think things could get much worse. That was until the new management of Orkney’s celebrated Stromness Hotel announced it would no longer be selling alcohol on the premises.

Cheers turned to tears. Alcoholic drinks will be replaced, it’s said, by “flower and herb-based alternatives”. Is nothing sacred? The Stromness without a welcoming dram? The trauma could tip me into staggering towards a bucketful of dandelion and burdock in which to drown my sorrows.

The Stromness Hotel is no longer serving alcohol.

Still, I’m sure visitors and locals alike will soon be popping in for some revelry over a rhubarb cordial and cheerfully downing the cuttings from an island park rather than a measure of Highland Park.

It’s the sort of potentially radical change we need to brace ourselves for over the coming fortnight, though, as the great and the good, and many less great and not so good, gather in Glasgow for the most important climate conference since the previous one.

Stand by for some earth-shattering proposals, or arguably earth-saving proposals, that might fundamentally change how we live, and the costs of how we live, especially here in north Scotland.

I’m glad the conference has finally arrived, though, as I’m sick to death of the posing and posturing by politicians and pressure-groups that has been going on in the build-up to it, and the very fact that at least 25,000 people are heading to Scotland, most in non-sustainable forms of transport, during a global pandemic that rivals the Black Death.

Every business, from insurance to insulation and from foodstuffs to fripperies, seems now to claim it’s doing its bit to save the planet while probably paying no more than lip-service to climate change.

There will doubtless be some irate and indignant faces in Glasgow when the fun starts tomorrow, so to lighten the mood I suggest organisers take cognisance of the date and arrange some traditional Scottish Halloween games for the arriving delegates.

Ken would love to see delegates dooking for apples.

Let’s start with dooking for apples. They would have to be local, sustainably grown, organic apples, of course, and not transported halfway round the world. We had a bumper crop at Fyne Place last year where I’ve planted extra trees to help offset our carbon emissions, most of which max-out when Mrs F burns her breakfast toast.

This year, we barely had enough apples for a single strudel, sadly. That’s climate fluctuations for you.

You could nominate your own dooking team but I’d love to see long-winded legislators trying to grab a Granny Smith from a tub while attempting to keep their countenances photogenically professional.

It wouldn’t do any harm for pesky protesters who glue their bodies to roads or buildings to get dookings, too, although I’d prefer them to face eating a treacle scone from a string without using their hands. A couple of skelps in the mou’ with a jeely piece would be a great way to welcome them to Scotland.

Everything could be lit with neep lanterns, carved in likenesses of two-faced, trendy, attention-seeking celebrities. The ever-popular “pin the tail on the donkey” game could be modified to “pin the blame on a delegate” where everyone staggers forward blindfold – which is ironically appropriate given most folks’ inability to see the real-world wood for the disappearing trees – to stick the blame for the world’s growing problems on one or more of the conference delegates.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is playing by its own rules.

Russia and China won’t be participating in this traditional tomfoolery, however. They prefer to play on their own, by their own rules, despite being prime candidates for a dooking, a treacle-smearing or a long tail of blame pinned to their corpulent backsides.

Africa and poorer nations will probably be excused playing, too, so we Westerners will face the heavy burden of securing our planet’s future.

I hope delegates remember that the clocks go back in the early hours of tomorrow morning. We can’t turn the clocks back on climate, though. Time is passing, fast.

Good luck to those attending Glasgow’s COP26. I’m sure they’re united in delight that the Stromness Hotel isn’t running the bars.