Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
For the first time since the birth of Jesus Christ, a Brit is ranked Number One in the World Tennis League. If one referendum had just gone the other way, it would be a Scot who is No.1, and England would be even lonlier than it is already. Conversely, if Murray had lost, then it would be to the shame of all Scotland and nothing to do with us.
I developed a head-cold yesterday, and what with that and the weather, I allowed myself to buy a bottle of Scottish single malt whisky. 12 year-old Bowmore, the oldest distillery on Islay - or so they say on the box, but you know what lying bastards the Scots are.
When everything looks as though it is going to go tits-up, I fantasise about moving up to Scotland, in the same way that millions of Americans are currently dreaming of moving to Canada, sleeping giant of the North.
Of course, the reality is that - although there is plenty of room in Scotland and Canada relative to the sizes of both populations - neither places are big enough for the two of us. The Scots haven't yet got over the Highland Clearances, so would not be welcoming thousands of English with open arms, even if they did bring their life-savings with them.
As I was selecting my bottle of whisky from all the rows on the shelf last night, I found myself standing next to a young woman doing the same thing. We both stared for a while, then I sensed her turn and stare at me.
"You look like someone who knows about whisky," she said. I chose not to take this as an insult.
She explained that she wanted to buy a good bottle as a present for a friend, but was bewildered with the choice. The florid descriptions of peat smoke, peaty spring water, peaty mist in the heather on the peaty moors, peaty crofts nestling in the shadow of 200 year-old peaty distilleries etc. etc. didn't help.
I said that I was no expert, but I agreed with Iain Banks when he described Laphroaigh as having strong overtones of burning car tyres.
"An acquired taste, then?"
I pointed to the Islays and Juras, saying that they were light in colour and flavour, so she chose a bottle of Bowmore and made my mind up for me at the same time. We parted with a promise to exchange notes the next time we ran into each other.
30 years ago I would have asked her for a date, but then I would have not looked so much like an expert on whisky.