On course politics and interesting backward headbutts

I played the Old last Thursday with my pal Peter and we were joined by an American chap who was looking for a game.

Unfortunately, I brought up brexit which soon morphed into a discussion of American politics. I think it started something like this.

Me:  Bla brexit bla bla brexit bla bla bla. Well, at least we don’t have a maniac of a leader like you guys have?

American chap: I’m a Trump supporter.

This brought on a heavy visceral onslaught about the corruption of Hilary, the need to have guns, the uselessness of the Mueller inquiry, the decimation of the economy under Obama, the bloke’s dislike of Obamacare, fake press etc

After three holes of an increasingly riled American, Peter suggested that I try and get off the subject. And I did. But the American chap was evidently rattled.

I am now of the opinion that you can never immediately identify a man’s political allegiance. Although I do believe in this country I am on firmer ground.

Watched the Scottish rugby match against South Africa and what a game? The level of fitness of these guys is astounding and the pace of the game extraordinary.

One very interesting point arose though with the back head butt by a South African player, This was somehow missed by the referee and the assistant referee but was vivid on screen. No penalty was given but what is interesting is that through social media it got through to the BBC at least. However and crucially, did it get relayed to the officials? If so, then they would have been entitled to call a penalty long after the infringement and this would have been groundbreaking.

A bit like in golf when Lexi Thomson was penalized the following day after her dubious marking on the 12th green in the previous round, after some dude on a sofa in Wisconsin phoned in to highlight it.

However, in the case of the back headbutt, it either didn’t get through to the officials or they thought that the guy in the pub in Bennets Bar shouldn’t be allowed to alter the course of International Test Rugby. It’s certainly an interesting one.

Otherwise, the bistrot is coming on well and we have a name which came about remarkably and almost unbelievably. I was sitting in Taste last Sunday reading the Observer and thinking (Yes I do sometimes think) Anyway I then had this massive moment and it came to me. The perfect name. (you will have to wait for this I’m afraid), So being rather excited I immediately texted our brand guy Ben and told him.

So I walked home and got in the door and the phone went. It was Chris my zany Prof friend from Edinburgh who had been out for a walk on the Meadows. He said ‘I’ve got it! The name. It’s brilliant’ Pause, when I almost told him what he was going to say as I somehow knew it. And yes, he had come up with the exact same name as I had, half an hour earlier!

Now Chris has no contact with Ben and I’ve no idea what made him think about our bistrot name that morning. But he did. I actually had to take a picture of my email to Ben which was sent at 10.43 for him to believe me!

And what a name it is! After months of agonizing a most astonishing end and result.

My idea is that we should hold a referendum to see if we should have a referendum on the Brexit option and people can then look at their own consciences and decide if they are able to make the decision. That would at least be clear cut. Otherwise let our politicians decide.

Went to Edinburgh but decided that St Andrews is a rum place to live, admired May’s strength, thought Gove made a close call but the right one, got a fine Stollen cake in Waitrose, drank too much coffee, got my script rejected by BBC  Writersroom, listened to the cricket, invited Georgia Mann-Smith to the bistrot (she accepted), won on the nags, shanked my second on the 18th into the Rusacks Hotel window, went to the butchers, had an argument with an IFA and a roofer bloke. One spat on our stairs and the other is charging £2400 for legally necessary but perfunctory, crappy pension ‘advice’ and muttering something about liability insurance, which I think translates to gravy train.

I’m not sure which one annoyed me the most! And I could certainly do without both.


American Politics is as straightforward as a borderline Brexit

Yes I am, for sure. slightly puzzled at the complexity of American politics and the midterms have shown that.

The House and Senate are two very different things obviously and the Governors race is another matter altogether. Impeachment and recusals and subpoenas are flying around left right and centre. Lawyers are having a heyday and  sackings are afoot in the hot White House. Dolled up interns are being asked to bounce out journalists who ask too many tricky questions and in the throws of it all Donald Trump claims he is triumphant, a genius and saviour of the nation. But I expect he says he is really good in bed too.

On the Brexit front Boris’s brother resigns from the Cabinet as he’s obviously tired with the Transport job. But it’s just the fact that he has that steal-the-limelight Johnson blood in his veins. Didn’t Rachel change party over it all?

How one hates all this posturing.

Not great for our Theresa mind and it’s looking very like we’re heading down the path of a second referendum. Well, at least most of the public will now know what a customs union is and indeed some MP’s for that matter. Mind you it’s quite an expensive educational exercise on behalf of the UK government and has rather highlighted the most delicate issue of the Irish border.

I wonder if David Cameron had thought that bit through. I expect not.

I had a couple of lovely rounds on the Old last week. Met up with Edinburgher Willie Tait, a member of the R&A, and his brother Murray the night manager at the Balmoral. Turns out Willie is well acquainted with some of my mates back doon the road. Yes St Andrews and Edinburgh are very close. Willie now lives in St Andrews, below Philip a friend, who was a top Edinburgh property lawyer and is idling his time away doing a PHD in psychology. They were frequenters of Whigans wine bar and therefore have their noses to the ground. My old school mate Dave Scott now seemingly owns it. What an institution it is.

Also met an interesting chap Scott who is a wealth management guy and rents a cool flat overlooking the 18th fairway of the Old. He plays an awful lot of golf and calculated that with his £200 golf ticket here he saved himself £20000 last year, had he been paying full rates. Now that kind of shows the massive value in staying here. If you are a golfer that is. Apart from that it’s not a bad place to hang out.

I had a lovely day in Edinburgh and did my customary walk, coffee and butcher shop stops. It’s getting tricky now in W&S Christie’s as these guys are such good wags and now whenever they mention ‘duck’ I hit the deck. Childish? Yes. But what fun. Problem is I’ve ordered one for Xmas so there is a bit to go in this. Unfortunately, one poor chap the other day didn’t see the funny side of this and hastily exited. Mind you he is an ex-Raith Rovers player called Moodie and seemingly lives up to his name.

Bumped into Andrew Radford who owns Timberyard and is an excellent guy. I told him of our new venture in Murrayfield and he immediately asked what is it going to be called. And I said good question. This is becoming extremely taxing. My gut now says Murrayfield Place, my head says La Passagiato and I am warming to Aeolian.

Had a nice wee winner at Hexham yesterday with a 9 to 1 shot which just stayed on, my diet forges ahead, my golf is getting there, am still off the drink, my architect won’t answer emails, the Dome Christmas lights are looking tip-top, Edinburgh is beautiful and so is St Andrews, Burford Browns are out and Chestnut Marans are in, a Freddo inside a fresh croissant is a very wonderful thing, so is Braithwaites coffee, Boris is a blaggard, the Pope is a catholic and I fancy Desert Island Dusk in the 230 at Kelso.

The going is good.


Making America Fake Again

For all Trump’s mighty command of the English language he is definitely not impartial to using the word ‘fake’. And, I think he is also fully cognizant with its meaning. Like he understands ‘big’ and ‘sad’ and ‘bad’. Other mighty words in the vocabulary and his favorites.

However, ‘fake’ has become very much his own little mantra word and he is running avidly with it. In a big way you could say. Great even. Fake this, fake that, fake most things, apparently. Apart from the president himself of course. Except for maybe the hair bit.

But that’s America and I suppose you can buy everything. Well apart from a decent command of the English language, that is.

Anyway, enough of politics. It’s all about as annoying as that BBC 3 presenter Ian McMillan’s voice and the bird Steph who pitches up on Breakfast TV and drowns us out with her hideous vowels sounds. This mid-England regional fad is incredibly irritating.

The nags have been running awfully badly as of late and been about as inspirational as watching a Scottish football premier league match. My pal went to watch Hearts last Saturday against Aberdeen and said it was appalling. The major entertainment was in watching an Aberdeen supporter pick up the pitch-side microphone and strike the Hearts defender on the leg.

I suppose the chap may have been just a very bad loser or thought it was somehow fair game. You know the kind of reasoning like ‘well the microphone was just lying there and the Hearts guy was on the deck to I thought I’d just assault him’ A bit of a supporters off-pitch professional foul I suppose. If there is such a thing? There is certainly the on-pitch professional foul I gather and maybe it’s just spread.

Unfortunately it wasn’t off-camera though and so it didn’t turn out to be this fan’s brightest move ever. A visit to Edinburgh Sheriff Court endorsed that.

A friend caddied for the American actor Bill Murray and said he was a wee bit self-obsessed. And I suppose this is probably to be expected given his stature and apparent fame. Albeit, this doesn’t give the man a right to be objectively rude, as he intimated to the waitress in the Carnoustie eaterie that she should get her nose done. Sorry Bill but if that was an attempt at humour it missed the mark. And badly by all accounts. In fact, I would rather suggest that your nose was lucky to be intact after that chat. As my hunch is that even the most feminine flower in Carnoustie is nae a shrinking violet.

Otherwise life chugs along. The bistrot in Edinburgh should be open in February. 2019 that is. Yes, it’s taken two years to get to here, but the walls are coming down, the builders are in and we are just awaiting the license to come through and a bit of inspiration on the name.

This is hard. Naming a restaurant is very, very hard. I like The Inebriated Duck, but it’s hardly Sicilian. Sicilian Blue also strikes a chord as does La Bella Sicilia. Alessandros is too South Ken and Upper Roseburn is too subtle and trying to be too clever by far. Alessandro and Co is ok but a bit dull. Little Sicily has been overdone and Quartier Siciliano would need a resident soprano or a waiter called Fabiano.

I just love the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow.

Now that is a name.