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Strathpepper is perhaps the most universally famous village in the Scottish Highlands.
In common with Coca Cola, Mcdonalds and smallpox, Strathpeffer is, inexplicably, known even to pygmy tribes in the remotest Amazon rainforest, who have never watched Big Brother or seen a white man (and certainly not those plump missionaries, señor). In its heyday it was not unknown for people to take the bus from as far away as Adis Ababa just to dance the night away in the renowned Spar Pavilion.
Originally called Bringemdoom, the village was annexed from the Seaforth estate by Queen Victoria to serve as a sanatorium for the relief of her equerries' flatulence. The precise details of the treatment are now, sadly, lost, but two facts stand testament to its efficacy: the influx of wealthy, flatulent families building improbably sized houses in the vicinity, and the persistently sulphurous nature of the water from Strathpeffer's natural spring, which unsuspecting visitors are invited to sample to this day.
Strathpeffer is known locally as 'The Strath', the speech impediments caused by centuries of inbreeding making it impossible to pronounce the whole. The name of the village is now believed to be a corruption of 'Strathpessar', meaning 'Valley of the Pessary'; it is highly likely that the double 'f' in the modern name crept in due to a misconstruction of Queen Victoria's own handwriting, which tended towards the antique.
Although known as a Spar Village, Strathpeffer's principal shop has never been part of that chain and was until recently a Somerfield outlet; it is thought that Billy Connelly was persuaded by his old collaborator Gerry Rafferty (briefly the owner of Strathpeffer's Eagle Stone House) to induce Queen Victoria to allow the Dutch firm's designation, in order to honour a little-known clause from the Treaty of Westminster 1654. This he did while filming 'Mrs. Brown' and Strathpeffer became the only Spar Village without a Spar.
edit Mental Geography
Nestling between the copious (albeit spiky, and uneven - ok, really in need of a specialist bra) bosoms of Ben Wyvis and the Cnoc Mor-Knock Farril ridge, Strathpeffer squats at the head of a valley created by the infamous Toblerone Blimp Crash of 1820. Although the modern village is treated as a single entity by local government it is, in fact, host to both a geological and a dimensional rift, with the result that several sets of inhabitants occupy the same space whilst only dimly aware of one another's existence.
The residents of "The Strath" are made up primarily of retired people from Dingwall, Scotlish people or White Scottlers. The average age at peak season is around 103. Generally though, outwith peak times the average age comes down to roughly 63.256782 years. The original Strath residents have long since gone, although they consisted mainly of sheep. Everybody in the Strath has to know everyone else's business and to this end when the Living Dead (see below) arrive they are specifically briefed on all inhabitants history and movements. This interest in each other is not borne out of any concern or sense of community, it it purely based on interference and the need for the Strath as an entity to control your entire life and how you run it.
edit Scotlish and White Scottlers
The Victorian mansions built in the Summer of Flatulence are largely inhabited by Scotlish people or White Scottlers. Among White Scottler families in particular, it is traditional for the man to work in London or an even further-flung financial centre; since the 600-plus-mile commute can be taxing even with a helicopter, a pied-a-terre is maintained in the capital in order that the Scottler man can have it away with his secretary during the week or with one of the local 'immigrants'; meanwhile his spouse turns a blind eye to the kids' cannabis farm in return for their silence on her acrobatics with visiting tradesmen. The Scottler female's other pastimes have been known to include having lunch, sitting on committees and filing her nose to a point, the better to look down it. These women folk also have an apparently highly qualified opinion on absolutely everything and feel the need to impart, nae force this information on unsuspecting others constantly. They interfere with the daily life of residents telling them how exactly they should live their lives.
Scottler homes often contain as few as thirty-six rooms, leading to real dilemmas when it comes to where to put the new pony.
edit The Lo-cals
On the fringes of the Strath lies a collection of apparent lean-tos, shacks and craphouses known collectively as Social Auzing; Scottler lore tells that the name comes from the terrible social diseases which can be contracted by venturing near Social Auzing or its denizens, the Lo-cals. Shunned therefore by Scottlers and Scotlish alike (except in the run up to elections), Lo-cals are left largely alone to conduct their activities - the nature of which are the subject of wild speculation - and fill their mean dwellings with plasma screens and top-notch stereo equipment. Thus, though grim on the outside, the pseudo-hovels are often palatial on the inside. Lo-cals should not be confused with locals, of which there are none in Strathpeffer; Lo-cals are imported exclusively from Glasgow and are so called because of their tendency to drink low-calorie Irn Bru in a futile attempt to mitigate their staple diet of pig fat and Lamberts. The last true local was a sheep called Benny, who was cleared from the land in 1888 to make way for the world's largest crazy golf course. In reply, a large section of Ord Wood has now been cleared to allow Social Auzing to expand in what may be the beginning of a pincer movement on Dingwall.
It is also a well known fact that most off the 'strath' are a bunch off inbred hoors. This is a fact as the residents off the town state that they are related to everyone about.
Famous residents include 'the man who can' David Corbett, who is in no way related to famous and vertically challenged scottish comedian Ronnie.
David was an original member of the A Team but got thrown out due to his habit of 'touching cloth'. Today, still wanted by the government, he survives as a soldier of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire... Davie 'touching cloth' Corbett.Also Jaime Stewart he is the coolest and gayest guy.
Directly beneath the road to the golf course lies a geological fault line caused by cars travelling at breakneck speed in order to get to the first tee on time. It's a favourite game of Lo-cal children to jump up and down on this road in an attempt to open a crack large enough to swallow the Free Church and as many Scottlers as possible.
edit The Living Dead
Trapped in a limbo somewhere between Heaven and Hull, the Living Dead are regular visitors to Strathpeffer, leading scientists to surmise that a dimensional rift follows the geological fault line. Arriving in their celestial Shearings coaches and with the glazed look of the inveterate Saga traveller, they can best be viewed at twilight between the months of May and September, moving in wraith-like flocks around the square. Wordless and soundless, they feed on historical radiation from the antiques emporium, move as one being to the craft shop window, buy a copy of the Express from the faux-Spar shop before getting lost somewhere in the vicinity of the Highland Hotel trying to dodge the Lo-cals selling knock of tartan lumberjack shirts (also known as Strath dance shirts) for £150.
The Living Dead are attracted by the Pipe Band, the Lounge Singer and karaoke sessions.
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