When I was asked to travel to Southern Scotland to review the previously unheard of #TAFTAS (the Torthorwald village Annual Film and Twitter Awards) I nearly played the ‘I feel a bit feverish’ card to avoid going. In the end, the announcement my mother-in-law was to visit the same weekend, tipped the scales and I found myself on the train to Dumfries.
Wanting to soak up the atmosphere, I arrived the day before the awards and, after sampling some local beverage, I headed out to the village in search of some gossip ahead of the ceremonies.
Torthorwald is a neat quiet village built on a slope. The remnants of Torthorwald Castle sit to the right as you enter the village, just a few yards from the Village Hall, where the TAFTAS were to be held. I soon found one of the villagers, Jean, a retired teacher, cleaning her windows. ‘The what? TUFTIES, never heard of them….you’d be better off asking one of the young yins’.
I left Jean to her windows and walked over to the Hall. There, I found Old Jimmy, who glowered at me as I entered the doorway.
‘Ye efter something son?’
‘Eh, yes. I was looking for some information about the #TAFTAS’
He about turned sharply, as if I’d told him I was from the Conservative Party.
‘An whit would ye ken aboot that son, it’s supposed tae be a secret……’
‘Well, we discovered it on @qosfc1919 ‘s Twitter account’
‘Och, thoan yin, thinks he’s a bit o’ a comedian…..might have guessed….always coming oot wi the daftest things. Di ye ken he’s got a Yak and a Dodo?’
‘A Dodo???…….ha ha, good one’
‘Yel no be laffin when ye see it the morns night son’
As Old Jimmy moved another table 3″ to the right I wondered what I’d stumbled into………..