Edition number 24; dateline 3 September 2008

Will Beattie give Scotland the ‘big finger’?
News comes from Scotland which confirms that when it comes to cats and pigeons our northern cousins are not afraid of a little integration. Five years on from chairing the Physical Activity Task Force, professional controversialist John Beattie has been asked to chair a review of ‘Let’s Make Scotland More Active’. The questions to be asked by the national review group, which is to include Scottish Government representatives, NHS Health Scotland and physical activity experts, would be: is Scotland fit for the next five years; how much influence has the last five-year strategy had on Scottish government and national agencies’ policy, investment and initiatives; and how has physical activity awareness, knowledge and motivation levels changed in the population and in priority groups?  The question Sideliner asks is: if the answers are ‘of course not’, ‘virtually none’ and ‘don’t be daft’, will Big John sit on his hands or is somebody going to be getting the big finger in the chest as the former Scottish rugby internationalist asks the hard questions in his own inimitable style?”

Tied on in the name of trespass and charity
Old age does not come alone and Sideliner struggles with many of the infirmities that come with advancing years. Including – what was it? – loss of memory. So it was that the TLR summer conference went unreported in July. Suffice at this late juncture to report that a number of hardy individuals did recreate the historic Kinder Trespass, did walk the Pennine Way (well part of it) and did undertake a study tour of the oldest building in Glossop, and a number of other architecturally and culturally interesting venues to boot. The weather was foul and we nearly lost regular columnist Kay Adkins when she lost her footing on a steep incline above a precipitous fall. Thankfully she was roped to a companion who, though small, is very wiry. Sideliner’s thanks go to local guide Oliver Booth whose sense of irony is almost as unerring as his personal GPS. Mr Booth is training for a charity walk to Everest Base Camp and would welcome contributions to his good cause – a local hospice – through the good offices of http://www.justgiving.com/oliverbooth . One might think that Mr Adkins at least would be good for a few quid.

Madonna put in her place by ageing scrum forward shock
What’s all the fuss about, Madge? So you’re fifty. Well aren’t we all, dear? And you’re still performing, still dancing and singing despite being so near to your dotage? Very commendable. But when we see you turning out for Glossop second fifteen against the combined might of Colne AND Nelson’s third team, THEN we’ll be impressed. An old man writes.


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