Oban wan Kenobi*

If we had an annual awards ceremony (we don’t) and were to dish out prizes (we don’t) for telegraphic excellence then this wonderful example of post-retirement appropriation would undoubtedly win our prestigious Golden Pole Award (it didn’t, there’s no such thing).

Kenny McLennan, presumably from Oban, noticed contractors replacing his local (GPO 1940) DP1 and so he retrieved it (read purloined) and modified it as bird feeder for his rockery.  This is just fantastic Kenny.  We at TPAS HQ are inspired.  And the Tom Tits of Oban won’t know they’re born. Mind you that little scamp of a white doggie on the right there looks like he’s just left you something in your plant pot.

*Oban wan Kenobi.  I really thought that by the time I clicked the Publish button on this I would have come up with a witty headline.  As you can see I failed.

A former telegraph pole now rerouted as a bird feeder.
This year I will be passing through Oban twice.  #1 mid April, via the ferry terminal and heading for Barra, then north to Stornoway for my 3 week long expedition checking out poles of the Outer Hebrides (watch this space)  then #2 the Glenforsa Fly-in on on Mull, 24th & 25th May.  Refuelling at Oban probably.  If we make it that far that is, in a 1962 vintage Rallye Cub.  I’m telling you all this to give you all time to organise street parties and bunting and stuff.

Pointy Poles in Porthmadog

A rubber stamp used for levels of appreciation of telegraph polesOoh!  Bit of a dilemma here.  You see, our TPAS motto is "If it's tall, wooden, sticky-uppy and got wires all coming out the top then it gets appreciated".  But then have a look at these fine finialed METAL beauties spotted recently in Porthmadog.  As you can see from my appreciation stamp I just had to tick the two boxes.  A sort of Schrödinger's appreciation - a superposition of appreciation and non-appreciation.

The final photo in the set - a close up of the background shows Cnicht, aka The Welsh Matterhorn.  A gorgeous climb where you can stand at the top with a magnificent view and look over and laugh at the queues for the trig-point on neighbouring Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa to us).

Addiction

Addiction
 /əˈdɪkʃ(ə)n/
noun

Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. We’re all familiar with the image of the park-bench wino supping from the brown bag containing turpentine, or the nicotine addicts huddled in windblown corner of a public space or even the terrible affliction that is addiction to peanut M&Ms – Incredibly, my wife once witnessed a yellow M&M roll all the way down the aisle of the 101 service to Oswestry (via St. Martins & Chirk) through all the spilt pop, spittle and shoe poo debris only to be picked up and eaten without a thought by an addict at the back. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if I got dysentry.

And so it is with Hops. Anyone who knows me will know of my affinity for hoppy-as-hell IPAs. Sometimes with ale so bitter as to turn my face inside-out. My ability to combine, chemically, with pale ale is such that it ought to be taught at schools. And it doesn’t have to be in beer either. Picture #2 below is a hop plant I grew up my very own telegraph pole. Crush those drying flowers in your hand and sniff – your life will never be your own again. This is called the “Hop Scratch” apparently, and I have it bad. Once we had cut it down for the garlands supposedly for decoration, my wife (again) caught me rolling in it on our dining room floor like a cat in the catnip.

Anyway, I was reminded of all this by an email received this week from Alan Pink who sent us picture #1 of a hop-infested pole in Kent, on the corner by Thanington church on the outskirts of Canterbury). He wonders if we might be interested… As if?