This year, Hamish's New Year's Eve story was about a writer who turned up one Christmas in Glen Bogle (that's the one where Hamish lives, not the one on TV).
'He told the regulars in the Fiddler's Elbow Inn that he was gathering material for a travel book,' said Hamish, 'and that he particularly wanted to walk the track over the moor to Castle Proone.' "In fact", he said, "I'm planning to do it on New Year's Eve, so that I get a dram of whisky as the castle's first visitor after midnight!"
'"Ye canna travel the moor at night!" spluttered the landlord. "have ye nay heard the tale o' Robbie McLoon, the bell ringer fray the church at Pullemdoon? He left this verra bar on December 31 in the year 1800 and set oot across the moor tay ring in the New Year. He never returned! "
'"Superstitious nonsense!" replied the writer and, a few days later, he set off to repeat Robbie's journey.
'He was never seen again!' said Hamish, 'but the wee tape machine he used tay make his notes was found by the path. There was nothing on it, d'y'ken but the sound o' the church bell ringing in the New Year!'
'Makes you wonder,' mused Ed, 'I mean, both of them, vanishing without trace.'
'I didna say that Robbie vanished,' protested Hamish, 'I said he never returned. But he was found alright - under the ruins o' the bell tower! It collapsed when he pulled at the bell rope. He was buried up on the moor and the church was left in ruins tay this day.'
'Hang on!' I interrupted, 'if the church is in ruins, how could the writer have recorded the bell, ringing in the New Year?'
'How indeed?' nodded Hamish.
Happy New Year