Hitting the duffers

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IT IS official, I have moved from middle age seamlessly into old duffer. The test is trainspotting. As a young/middle-aged person, Trainspotting is an edgy novel about the Edinburgh drug culture. For an “Old Duffer”, train-spotting is a pleasant way to spend a spring evening watching a steam train cross Rannoch moor – as happened to me on Thursday evening (LNER K4 Class 2-6-0 no 61994, The Great Marquess).

Worse, the highlight occurred earlier in the evening, with the sound of a snipe flying overhead. I regularly visit Iceland and the soundtrack of my visits is invariably provided by swooping snipe rather than Björk or other trendy Icelandic musicians. The drumming sound is not a vocalisation, but is created by their wings as they swoop. Ah bliss. Time for a cup of tea.

Neil Sinclair

Clarence Street