The Herald office provides a fertile environment for erudite conversation, informed debate and robust soup slurping.

It’s a bit like those ancient Greek symposiums, where the great and the good would gather in a partially-clothed state to wine, dine and showcase their intellectual skills with off the cuff recitals and impulsive repartee.

The presence of the sports editor in a revealing Doric chiton merely heightens this sense of high-brow bonhomie. The fact said chiton keeps slipping down off his shoulder, however, leads to plenty of low-brow blasphemy.

Amid this cultured kerfuffle, therefore, it was hardly surprising that talk around the table turned to the noble art of pigeon rolling, a dignified, timeless pursuit which takes place annually at the Iowa State Fair and involves, well, a pigeon being rolled down a modest gradient by cooing competitors.

It got the diarist thinking of some of the quirks and absurdities we can look forward to on the 2018 global sporting calendar, from the heaving and harrumphing of the World Wife Carrying Championships to the pressurised pressing of Extreme Ironing and the nail-to-nail combat of the National Toe Wrestling Championships.

Of course, the most preposterous affair on this flummoxing list of athletic eccentricities will still be the UEFA Nations League …

* The oval ba’ game has gone a bit a pear shaped for Scotland already hasn’t it? Oh well, c’est la vie and a’ that as they say in the howffs of Corstorphine.

Back in 2001, the Six Nations wasn’t completed until October due to travel restrictions caused by the foot and mouth outbreak. It could be a prolonged palaver this year too due to Scotland’s rugby writers putting their foot in their mouth and predicting great things for oor national team …

*The news that IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad, had passed away the other week was greeted with reflective reverence by flat-pack furniture loving disciples everywhere.

In the DIY world of Highland League fitba’, meanwhile, Fort William’s long-running tribute to the Swedish business magnate continues thanks to a defence that remains as shoogly as a self-assembled sideboard.

With a goal difference of minus 97, the boys from The Fort are clearly playing with a flat-pack four.

Help is at hand, though. Apparently, they signed a sturdy rearguard veteran in the January transfer window called Allen Key to tighten things up at the back.

*Sticking with affairs in the higher ground, and it was a sterling effort by Keith who lost 3-2 to Rothes recently.

To the uninitiated – and by uninitiated I mean the diarist – it looked like a mighty performance by Keith on a first perusal at the printed statistics of said tussle given that both Keith goals were scored by, well, Keith.

“One fella against 11 and just losing by the odd goal?,” said the diarist somewhat stupidly.

The Keith poacher in question is Cammy Keith who must be the most appropriately named footballer since Rafael Scheidt played under, ahem, a very poor managerial double act of John Barnes and King Kenny at Celtic.

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