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In a jam over a prize performance

AS a journalist, it is of course part of my job to keep on top of current affairs.

Sadly, though, it seems I have been neglecting currant affairs. Specifically, blackcurrant affairs.

It had completely escaped my attention there was such a thing as the world jam-making championships, until reading in yesterday's Herald that this year's winner is Andrew Cameron, of Dundee, who carried off the title with his preserve of the Ribes nigrum variety.

In my defence, this is only the fourth time the Jampionships, as they are punningly called, have been held. Still, I wish I had known, I might have entered. Not that I have ever made jam, mind you. But my late dad used to make raspberry jam, and I watched him once. It didn't look too hard. I am sure I could have made it into a family tradition.

It is galling to realise I have missed out on one of the few world titles still open to me given my age and physical condition, especially since research has shown there were categories for First Time Entrants and Jam Making Gentlemen.

It is time to cast my net wider, then, in my quest for a world crown, now that jam-making, golf and Ironman are off the agenda, at least for this year.

There are world rock-paper-scissors championships, organised by the august body known as the World RPS Society, but my confidence in that sport was shattered by a humiliation at the hands, or rather, hand, of a 10-year-old at Christmas. I would rather not speak about it.

I am considering the World Air Guitar championships, held every year during the Oulu Music Video Festival in Finland. I fear the competition might be quite hot, though - every man and his dog seem to fancy their chances at it. And perhaps I am not rugged enough for it, having watched a video of the event on YouTube. Don't suppose there are World Air Recorder championships?

There is the World Stone Skimming Championships coming up at the end of the month on Easdale Island, near Oban. My throwing arm is not what it used to be though, and I would run the risk of again being trounced by a 10-year-old, so that is a no-no. The same reservation applies to the World Conker Championships, to be held in Northamptonshire on October 12.

Ach, I know what I am going to do. Stoically resisting my wife's blandishments to go in for extreme ironing, I am signing up for the World Gurning Championships in Egremont, Cumbria, on Saturday week. Look at the byline picture. I'm halfway there.

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