Out of Africa

Written by James Collins

Continued from page 1

We all knowrepparttar human race is notoriously sensitive to criticism, and I don't supposerepparttar 118137 animal kingdom took us very seriously before we equipped ourselves with guns, boots, Landrovers etc. Perhaps a few ofrepparttar 118138 more vulnerable and touchy families got together one day and decided to head out for colder climes, where it would be possible to dress up and hide their bony knees without feeling they were being stared at.

I read somewhere thatrepparttar 118139 whole population of northern Europeans could be traced back to about five gene types (genotypes?). If I understand this right it means that around five families were responsible forrepparttar 118140 diversity of virtuallyrepparttar 118141 whole of Western culture from Boadicea (Boudicca to Guardian readers) to George Bush. Nepotism on a grand scale. So, bearing this true and staggering fact in mind, my theory about our neurotic ancestors could account for a lot of things, couldn't it?

What do you mean, 'In a pigs eye'? Don't you know people laughed at Darwin when he brought out his theory, and they would certainly have donerepparttar 118142 same to Einstein if they'd understood what he was talking about? Anyway, if I'm right, my idea throws some light on seemingly irrational activities like war, mud wrestling and round-the-world yacht racing.

A large claim, you may say, but consider; those pioneer Europeans who came trudging allrepparttar 118143 way fromrepparttar 118144 plains of Africa (I seem to recall reading in a book by H.G.Wells that they came from India, but I'll think about that tomorrow); these hardy pioneers, like so many Pilgrim Fathers searching for a new horizon, went to an awful lot of trouble just to soothe their wounded dignity and avoid ridicule. (Remember? They were laughed out of Africa? - try to keep up, it all fits).

Now, does any of this seem familiar? You betcha. It'srepparttar 118145 M.O. of just about every politician you ever heard of. One imagined slight and you have shoes banged on conference tables, and sanctions applied atrepparttar 118146 very least, and atrepparttar 118147 worst - well, you know what I'm saying. And there you have it. These arerepparttar 118148 same guys who led us out of swampy old Africa inrepparttar 118149 year dot - give or take a couple of millennia.

Neat theory,eh? Better thanrepparttar 118150 string theory. I wonder why nobody ever thought of it before? It's a pity though, that it doesn't seem to have any practical application. I mean, you couldn't gather up all our leaders and put them back inrepparttar 118151 African veldt. Could you?

As for our friendrepparttar 118152 intrepid Marine, who trekked allrepparttar 118153 way up north in his birthday suit - he's done Scotland; maybe he should try Africa next.

James Collins http://www.pet-portraits-scotland.com email: collinsdallasart@tiscali.co.uk

James Collins is an artist, writer and musician who works in the Highlands of Scotland. These days he specialises in portraits of pets and other animals, but he still finds time to paint and draw the beautiful and rugged Scottish landscape. He lives with his wife, daughter and three dogs in a house overlooking the Moray Firth.

Patch - a Scottish Collie

Written by James Collins

Continued from page 1

He has plenty ofrepparttar legendary energy and intelligence ofrepparttar 118136 finest sheepdog inrepparttar 118137 world. I usually take a tennis racquet and ball on our walks inrepparttar 118138 woods to try, in my optimistic way, to tire him out. We live in a hilly, and fairly wild part ofrepparttar 118139 Highlands, and I only have to say to him, "Patch, that way", or even just point, and he'll be there, waiting forrepparttar 118140 ball, whether it's uprepparttar 118141 brae or across a burn. And yet, for all his intelligence and boldness, he is sensitive and easily frightened. Atrepparttar 118142 first hint of a raised or angry voice (it wouldn't be mine, you understand), he goes to pieces and hides... Yes, our boy is difficult at times, but always fascinating, and I don't have to tell you that we love him to bits.

He was a gash and faithful tyke As ever lap a sheugh or dyke; His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face Aye gat him friends in ilka place.

His breast was white, his towsie back Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black, His gaucie tail wi' upward curl Hung o'er his hurdies wi' a swirl. The Twa Dogs Robert Burns Gash = wise sheugh = ditch sonsie = cute bawsn't = striped like a badger towsie = shaggy gaucie = large hurdies = hips Six months ago my Patch died, and I have to learn to get along without him. I now have a Border Collie pup crossed with Something Else. He has none ofrepparttar 118143 nervousness of Patch. He is a friend to allrepparttar 118144 world. And yet...and yet...If he doesn't want to do something... We do not forget, but we move on.

James Collins www.pet-portraits-scotland.com

James Collins is an artist, musician and writer working in the Scottish highlands. These days he specialises in portraits of pets and other animals, but he still finds time to paint and draw the beautiful scenery of Scotland. He lives near the coast, overlooking the moray Firth, with his wife, daughter and three dogs.

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