The Lodge has ventured to Braemar on several occasions over the past few years. Initially intended to be skiing weekend, but since we never get any snow up here when you need it, the weekend inevitably gravitates around the local hostelries where the crack is always of the finest quality.

Because of the lack of snow, the pretext of a skiing weekend was never even muted as a cover for our last few lads weekends, instead, the posse decided to veil its true intention under the guise of a hill walk! In fairness most of those who do appear, do walk a bit further than from the table to the bar, and do get the walking boots on to tramp the hills in the best of hill walking tradition, the quicker you get the job done, the sooner you get back to the bar for a well-earned beer!

The last expedition saw a motley crew of eight set of to walk Loch Muick. They assembled on the Friday evening at the Fyfe Arms Hotel in Braemar, after a quick wash and spruce up, they headed down to the bar for a few beers and something to eat.

The weekend was pretty much as you might expect, with plenty of time to relax, a decent walk during the Saturday afternoon, a few beers, and a decent meal on the Saturday evening.

However, the focal point of this weekend was somewhat unexpected. It’s not unusual for a practical joke or two to role out over the duration, but on this occasion, we were in for a real treat as the opening jest regarding the apparent need to have a hill pass to go walking (similar to the sort of pass you need to go skiing) carried on throughout the entire weekend, the prank went a bit like this.

The last man down was led to believe that all of the other “walkers” had already received their walking passes from the hotel (as part of the accommodation deal) however last man down hadn’t got one. We were sure that his approach to the reception desk to ask for his pass would have blown the prank at the first hurdle, but no, in fact, the ruse ran for the entire weekend without being discovered by our unfortunate subject who even during the meal during the Saturday night followed the lead of the others in ordering a complimentary drink from the restaurant in exchange for his nonexistent pass.  When asked for his pass by the waiter, (all of the others had exchanged identical clippings which had been collected earlier from tourist brochures found in the hotel) our hapless victim claimed that he had left his nonexisting pass in his hotel room! To a rousing chorus of “O no you didn’t” the prank reached its crescendo with sides splitting and faces hurt with laughter at the lengths, some people will go to for a free drink, and with regard to the rest of us, a cheap laugh.  

A bit unfair you might think, but what would a weekend away with the boys be without a bit of homemade entertainment? It’ll be someone else turn next time around!


Gordon Mackay
Ewan Robertson
Mark Dunn
Derek Clark
Raymond Thompson
Neil Daniel