Putting aside all this rather superficial piffle about youngsters needing role models* I did learn much of what I know of the rural, and perverse, arts from Grand Old Uncle Stagnant. These days he may be regarded as a semi-mobile collection of rather unusual scents and smells and a habitation for some rather exotic fungal growths, but back then, he was a rather dashing young man who made many a thigh quiver in anticipation as he strode manfully into the village hall on orgy nights.
Anyway, it was he, grand Old Uncle Stagnant who taught me about the different breeds of birds, both the small brown ones and the ones that are not the small brown ones. He taught me how to recognise the subtle differences between ramblers and orienteers (check for the telltale compass) and how to fleece money off them and off other tourists too.
It was Grand Old Uncle Stagnant too, who gave me my first brace of breeding hairstylists, even though my parents considered me far too young to take on such an onerous responsibility. ‘Why the lad’s barely started wanking, and you’m already giving him hairstylists. Paah!’ my father opined dismissively on that one memorable day he sobered up enough to notice his surroundings.
Even, yes, it was indeed Grand Old Uncle Stagnant, one late spring evening up on Torhillmountrisebank Hill, who showed me the true delight a man can experience in the company of his sheep flock.
Yes, I owe a great debt of gratitude to Grand Old Uncle Stagnant. For without his advice and wisdom I would not be half the man, a Hairstylist breeder, or the proud upstanding pervert I am today.
*Rather, what they need is the wisdom to see that all adults are flawed, imperfect, but most do try to be good and do their best, and that true humanity comes from developing internally, not slavishly following others, especially those that only have the superficial trappings of material success.