Roger Kettle

Recent Posts

Scotsman’s love of Montana tempered by misgivings


I first visited Montana, from my home in Scotland, in 1993, and it’s fair to say that I fell in love with the place. So much so that, over the next 21 years, I would return another five times. At one stage, I seriously considered crossing the Atlantic and living there permanently. My career presented no problems. I was a creator and writer of newspaper comic strips and, theoretically, could work from anywhere in the world. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Wary Scotsman passes ‘testicle test’ with flying colors


As the only foreigner at the table, I was becoming increasingly aware of the semi-suppressed sniggering that was going on among my fellow diners. We were in a Billings restaurant and, in front of me, was a plate of Rocky Mountain Oysters, a dish that had been highly recommended to me by the assembled company. I’d never heard of it, but even in my ignorance I suspected that there was more than a hint of the euphemistic in the title. Nothing I could see on the plate looked like seafood. Nothing I could see on the plate looked like it had bobbed around on the beds of the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, and it was hard to imagine this stuff producing anything even remotely similar to a pearl. Continue Reading →

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All hail Trump, First Minister of Scotland

Donald Trump is eligible to play soccer for Scotland. The rules of the sport clearly state that a player is free to represent the country of either parent’s birth. As his mother is Scottish, there is nothing, technically, to prevent Donald John Trump scampering around the world’s soccer fields while proudly wearing the dark-blue shirt of his maternal country. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Blue language on the greens, and a very odd coincidence


I hold a world record at golf and it’s one I’m rather proud of. It happened at the fourth hole of my local course, here on the east coast of Scotland. In the five seconds between my ball leaving the clubface and splashing into a pond 100 yards right of the fairway, I managed to swear 17 times. Apparently, this beat the previous record of 14, held by someone called Frankie “Foul-Mouth” McFadden at a course in northern Idaho. (more…) Continue Reading →

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The wearing of cowboy hats and the folly of ‘blending in’


I tried on a cowboy hat once. As a tourist from Scotland in Billings, it seemed like something I should do. It’s difficult to describe how I looked. Some time ago, I saw a George Clooney movie where he wore one of those baggy caps popular in the 1920s and the effect was pretty damned impressive, as though he was born to wear it. (more…) Continue Reading →

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A Scotsman walks into a bar…

Lay of the Land: A series of essays on the spirit of Montana
It was an evening in late May 1995. Around midnight, I got back to my room at the Northern Hotel in Billings and picked up the phone. I was desperate to talk to my wife, Mary, who was back home in Scotland, where it was 7 in the morning. The conversation went roughly as follows: (more…) Continue Reading →

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