"Al, you have got to get out more"
We were at the local District Council planning meeting in a draughty village hall. The plans Ian, Matthew & I were objecting to were just ghastly and so we had decided to make sure they were rejected for the fourth and final time and go to the meeting on a Monday night. If the bastard who wanted to knock down half his house and squeeze two nasty little houses onto his plot in our pretty little village thought that he could get away with it, then he had another think coming.
Tonight I was watching Mac and Happer tussle with the natives on the west coast of Scotland (shot in part in Arisaig, a Challenge start-point) on the telly - 'Local Hero' - and I only just caught it in time - Phew! It all came down to Ben Knox, who lived in a ramshackle shack on the beach that he owned to impart his wisdom and stop the awful development.
Back in our real little world, it just happened that our case was about eighth on the list that evening and so we sat through a medley of good and bad planning issues. We were given a mighty tome of the planning applications to view to pass the time before we could present our own three minutes of passion, given so eloquently by Matthew. But each case was absolutely fascinating.
Just as Mac and Gordon Urquhart jousted and tussled with the planning, price and development of the refinery in the stunning scenery of the west coast of Scotland, so we were witnessing the same dramas for real, in what appeared to be a converted squash court with appalling acoustics.
Real life dramas with real life neighbours and planning consultants each having their three minutes to plead their cases. And then it was down to a show of hands by the councillors.
"This is fascinating stuff" I thought I said under my breath.
"Al, you have to get out more" said Ian.