a minor miracle

I’m into the semis of the Jock Hutchison and this is now verging on a minor miracle. Again, I won at the twentieth as darkness fell over a most beautiful mid-summers’ evening on the Old Course. Poor Ken Hodge must be left in a state of minor shock at having lost a game he pretty much had in the bag. For, bar the first hole, he was one-under on the first nine, which is rather handy for a nine handicapper. However, a missed four foot putt to go five up on eleven seemed to unnerve him and appeared to be a momentum changer.

Funny old game goff!

Well not that funny sometimes. On my last visit to Mortonhall I hoofed a drive well left off eighteen and heard the most enormous crash. It transpired that I had hit full toss into the side of a Subaru Impreza. The car park in the club is covered by some trees but not quite large enough, yet, to provide vital cover. Rather shocked at what could have happened (I mean it could have been a Fiat Uno for example) I apologized to the rather serious looking Subaru Impreza owner (he was not overly impressa!), exchanged numbers and had a few wee worrying thoughts about large body work repair bills. I reported the matter to the club manager who claimed she had never heard of such an incident in thirty years. I was going to chuck in the idea that it may be wise for the club to put some netting up, but decided that it may not be the opportune moment.

The upshot was that it was covered by the club’s insurance. However, like the nets at the end of the practice area, erected recently at the St Andrews Driving Range, I would now suggest that the same be carried out at Mortonhall. Although if I may say, the net in St Andrews is in my opinion not quite high enough. Legal team at Links Trust take note.

Then the kilted caddie will be able to proudly say that he has made two significant contributions to the world of golf. Unfortunately, my swing is not one of them.

We are just back from France where we stayed with Prof Kennedy who worked in psychology at Dundee for thirty odd years. A lovely and talented man. He and his endearing Polish wife, Elizabeth, put us up in their rather nice pad in the rolling hills near Marciac, with views to the high Pyrenees. It is a stunning spot and far away from most things, apart from the odd distant motor vehicle that you could hear once or twice a day. We had lazy days going to local markets, eating and drinking in the garden and generally being seduced by this pretty and special part of France.

But things are going to change soon and fast here. The bistrot is near complete. Leftbank should be open by mid July. It’s rather daunting to say the least if I’m honest, but the key issues of staff and suppliers have been sorted and we have had the benefit of using a very talented interior designer in Paula Murray of Supertonic, as well as it being most efficiently project managed by Isabella Chaussy of the Norman Gray Partnership, alongside a huge contribution from Dave Cockburn on the finance side. However, it’s really now down to us to make this thing roll.

On the political front I’m really at sea. Brexit has rather undone us has it not? God it looks like we are set to have bumbling Boris as PM for a while. I say a while because I don’t reckon he’ll have a long tenure and I think he’s got about as much clue about the ramifications of a no-deal as I have of the workings of string theory. Yes he can talk and pontificate and Bertie Wooster for England. But has he any real substance and does he really care? I fear not. His ‘abundant, abuntant’ claim about the technical fixes for the backstop were not abundantly convincing to my mind. We will see.

The students have graduated this week and what unnerves me is that a lot of my friends kids are amongst them! This means that I’m getting old and it’s rather disquieting as it’s come around awfully quick. Where did all that time go? A haze of stuff that I think happened to me but I’m not too sure about now. Yes I remember the friends and work and some landmarks. But it all very strange.

What reassures one is a reunion of old friends. We had this a couple of weeks ago when a Mr Buchan returned for a week with his now grown up son, Henry, and we all went out to the Apartment for dinner. And it was fabulous, as we laughed and teased and reminisced and drank and cried and acknowledged that we were still the same. Albeit for a few grey hairs, challenged hirsuteness and some odd and sometimes significant portliness.

But it was wonderful. And I am very glad and lucky in this respect.

So I will finish on a positive note. We are most bullish about Constantinople in the St Leger as he just got pipped at Ascot by a much lighter weighted nag. I’m most keen on a Federer win at Wimbledon, Matt Wallace in the Open, a Trump impeachment, and an honorary R&A membership awarded for my services to caddying.

Surely one has to come in.