Bumper of a Week

It was rather a bumper of a week. Not in terms of the horse running as it’s still the flat season of course.

But rather a hectic one if that makes it clearer.

I started off at the Seniors Open Qualifying with the most lovely American gentleman Earl Morley. I thought it was a wind up when I saw his name in the book ‘Early Morly’ as we had a first-off tee time. However he was very much real. Not ‘Early’ though but Earl. And not the regal type. Just plain, or in this case definitely not so plain, Earl Morley. And the most delightful chap at that.

Although he marginally missed qualifying, he showed me how to play again and gave the most beautiful display of golf I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. He was delightful, composed, friendly and funny. What a joy to caddie for him.

I had a few sessions on the driving range which gave me reason to believe that there is some life in the old trout yet. I am genuinely excited with my golf again and looking forward to my 2 rounds on the Old Course this forthcoming weekend in the St Andrews Club 175th anniversary competition.

A very good week on the gee gees has put my bet bank into fine fettle and it’s all trundling along quite nicely to be honest. Not that the chat from an Old Course caddie in Ladbrokes was overly inspiring. ‘What are you betting?’ I asked,¬† ‘I’m just in’ he said rather grumpily. I tried to converse more with him but he said ‘I don’t take questions’, to which I added ‘it’s not the bloody Rose Garden’ and he looked rather unhappy at this. I thought it wise not to extend the discourse any further.

Apart from all that I planted a white fuschia, had lobster and chips at the harbour in Crail, met up with old uni buddy, Janice, in Taste, got soaked, took bike to Jim’ll fix it, finished my Open article, made up with old pal and fellow florist John, had the most bizarre morning and trip to the Victoria hospital in Kirkcaldy which I will recount in my forthcoming memoirs, met a very fine man who camps out in the loo at the 12th hole at the Fairmont, had negative thoughts about a Sunday Times journalist, considered that life is very definitely not about money (although reflected that it’s rather nice to have), checked out NY stand up venues, successfully laid Chris Froome (betting terminology), went to my favorite womens clothes shops (bit of a long story underlying my interest in ladies clothing. There are two excellent womens clothes shops in Bruntsfield and I’m rather partial to both of them. Chi being an ex-girlfriend and business accomplice and Gill at Andiamo, a friend. Not to forget the lovely Linda who I didn’t manage to woo as I got chucked oot the Canny Mans on our first date), saw ever smiling Donald the banker, Angus the butcher, Dave the wineman and considered that life is a very fine thing.

Albeit would be a much finer thing if Cheeky Rascal had come in at 14s in the 815 at Salisbury.


Fudge Doughnuts and Cricket Suicides

It struck me rather forcibly and even strikingly this morning, as I ambled back from my tennis along South Street, that there is a direct and strong correlation between the increase in the price of Fisher and Donaldson fudge doughnuts, year on year, and the prime Edinburgh property market. Both being at 15 per cent per anum. Fudge doughnuts up from 1.31 to 1.49 and a 2 bed flat in Bruntsfield by exactly the same percentage. This has been an ongoing phenomenon.

I know we shouldn’t immediately intimate any causatory link between the two but it does seem most uncanny and I’m sure my old Val D’Isere drinking buddy Professor McClutcheon, whose name is always associated with his groundbreaking cricket suicide study work, would show more than a passing interest in it. However I’m certainly not going to be jumping to any immediate conclusions without more data (if not more fudge doughnuts, because I’m watching my waistline and at 1 pound and 49 pence a pop, that’s stretching it)

I have been absorbed by the World Cup football and most captivated by the new VAR technology. However, it did prove rather contentious in the final and brought Roy Keane to claim that the referee was an ‘idiot’ and that he didn’t believe that the chap had ever played football before.

Well Roy I’m afraid that it is probably wrong on your part and I would say there is a huge, if not dare I say monumental, probability in there being a high correlation between World Cup reffing and having kicked a football around a football pitch. But I am no Inspector Clueso.

Anyway the football gurus were furious over this decision, particularly Mr Keane. There was much debate and the most unbelievable and inane utterance came from Gary Lineker (BBC’s top paid presenter at ¬£1.75million) who thought that they shouldn’t be allowed to show such replays from the VAR in slow motion! What?

Chris Waddle came out rather missing the entire point when he said ‘I think it is a penalty. I would have given it. Perisic has stopped the ball going through with his hand’

Yes Chris we know that! The point is whether it was intentional? You know that’s the ethos behind the penalty decision.

When you do in fact look at it in slow motion it rather clearly shows, I think, the chap Perisic quickly drop and indeed fan out his hand to contact the oncoming ball. And to me that is pretty much like he was trying to stop the ball with his hand. And sorry Gary but the slow motion actually helps to see this. But I am no Columbo.

Indeed I am no football pundit whatsoever.

Just a man who is besotted by the prices of Edinburgh property, fudge doughnuts and has more than a passing interest in discussing cricket/suicide corellation and drinking beer in Hotel Savoie, Val D’Isere.



My Edinburgh Tour

I had the pleasure of going on a tour of Edinburgh with Luca, the owner of LIttle Fish Tours yesterday.

It was very interesting, presented with the utmost passion by Luca, who not only is most well versed in our Scottish history and heritage but delivered the two hour tour with wit and some polish I must say. It was highly impressive.

It was interesting for me, not only because I am going to be starting my own tour thing soon, but because it showed again how damn small Edinburgh is.

We started¬† in the City Chambers and there sitting on one of the benches was Mr Horne, Steven’s father. Next we stood outside Parliament House. Now, I always think about my old Uni pal Calum Wilson who was my academic brother in my first year at St Andrews University, when I’m around Parliament Square. I think about him because I shared a flat with his sister Janice (who I bumped into in Glasgow last weekend!) and Calum went on to become an advocate and is now indeed Clerk of the Courts nonetheless (a bit of a big wig but without the wig as of yet). Pretty good for a butcher’s son from Wester Hailes.

Anyway, low and behold as Luca is pontificating about John Knox, Calum strides (yes Calum ‘strides’) across Parliament Square, papers in hand and looking very much the part. I don’t think he clocked me in the group taking an Edinburgh tour, or if he did he may have made the last excuse that he made when he walked past me in Bruntsfield one day, claiming that he didn’t have his contacts in!

However, I once had the great joy of embarrassing Calum when I saw him in Parliament House one day. I was delivering flowers for an event in that beautiful and august building and Calum was doing the traditionally important ‘let’s walk’ (see below) thing with another distinguished looking advocate, all suited up and serious, when I just shouted, rather loudly, across the House whilst carrying a large vase of delphiniums, ‘Hi Calum!’ and well, he got a bit wrong footed but did (had to!) acknowledge me.

Yes, I sometimes think Cal is much too full of Wagner and hasn’t quite got over getting rejected by Cambridge, but that’s another matter.

It is quite incredible though that our academic mother Ann Astell had a fling with Calum’s brother of a weekend in St Andrews back in 82 and I have since got to know Gavin in Edinburgh as he hangs out in Morningside bars and is, amazingly, a business partner of a chap who is the brother of an ex girlfriend of mine from Dundee! Now that is some coincidence but to me just shows how very small Edinburgh, and indeed Scotland, is.

Now, I wonder if Gordon drinks at the Phoenix in Dundee?

ps the ‘let’s walk’ thing is where two advocates walk up and down a designated strip of Parliament House and discuss important legal principles, tenets, cases, canons and serious stuff. However when Cal was doing it, his fellow advocate was declaring how fine Cal was looking in his new suit as far as I remember.

Mind you he did look quite fine (and still does!)