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Meet our new columnist Rab McNeil – a self-proclaimed island witterer

Rab often takes a wander down to his 'lonely shore'.
Rab often takes a wander down to his 'lonely shore'.

Well, here we are. I have landed on this page, nearly banging my heid in the process, and feel I had better explain myself.

Who am I? Good question. It’s one I often ask myself, though as I mature gracefully I tend to phrase it thus when looking in the mirror: “Who the hell is that old git and what is he doing wearing my wig?”

However, I recognise that beard and often, indeed, think of myself as a big beard with a wee man attached.

Growing a beard has been my biggest achievement in life to date, after getting no marks in a chemistry exam at school. Multiple choice answers tae.

Where do I live? Mind your own business. I don’t want you turning up trying to sell me stuff.

Rab enjoys a forest walk. 

All right, I live on an island. That is to say, a big island. Folk often think when you say you live on an island that it’s a right wee place, just you, a few seagulls and a Sainsbury’s. But, no, this is a big place, a decent chunk of Scotia, nearly two hours’ drive from top to bottom, and about the same from bottom to top.

As hinted at earlier, I tend not to reveal the precise location, the real reason being that I don’t wish to encourage autograph-hunters, husband-seekers or the secret services trying to persuade me to undertake just one more mission.

Put it this way, the joint is a Hebride, so to say. Yep, one of yon Hebrides. You say: “Inner or ooter?” I’m not at liberty to say, madam. But, yes, it’s one or the other. There are no Middle Hebrides, as far as I’m aware.

I suppose we all, in Britain, live on an island. Throw a stone anywhere and you’re bound to hit a fish on the heid.

So, what do I write about? Well, mainly international affairs, the economy, scientific discoveries and their implications for humanity.

Hang on. Sorry, just got myself mixed up with someone else entirely. I witter on in a vaguely dazed manner about my botched attempts at DIY, botched attempts at gardening, and occasionally botch-free walks in the forest or down on the lonely shore.

Sometimes, I’ll discuss my adventures in the village gym, where I find it impossible either to put on muscle or lose weight. I run on the treadmill just to stand still. For years now, I’ve tried without success to gain biceps as big as Madonna’s. Just doesn’t happen.

Rab is envious of Madonna’s impressive biceps. 

Our wee gym also has a sauna, which I love. I can reveal exclusively that it’s right hot. Here, I think great thoughts and, sometimes, inflict these on youse later.

At times, whether you like it or not, I will vouchsafe aspects of my personal philosophy, such as just get on with it, shut up everybody, and leave me alane.

In this way, I hope to inspire you to improve yourselves.

I think we will be good for each other. Me the wise sage passing on my wisdom, you the ungrateful student tittering in derision.

Lessons begin next week. Bring me an apple if you wish. Though I’d prefer a pie.

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