Two glorious days on the Old and some reflection

What a tonic it was to get out on the Old on Thursday and Friday in the beautiful sunshine of still spring days.

I played with caddie Dom on Thursday and then partnered two guys up from Edinburgh. Neil turned out to be a director of Livingston FC and Martin is a neighbor of a good pal in Greenbank. He is a member of the R@A and what a golfer! Turns out he was Lothian Boys champ.

All lovely guys and great company.

I was passing by Jim Wilson’s bike shop on Pipeland Road during the week and we had a chat. He showed me a picture dating back to 1980 and the golf team which won the Scottish University’s Champ that year. It was the year before I came up to St Andrews but I did know a few of the faces. Don Galbraith, Graeme Murray, Johnathan Forster and Dave Turner. A few of them had been at Johnathan’s 60th in Monifieth at the weekend I believe. Yes, they are no longer all the fresh faced young men in the photo but I dare say not much has really changed. Apart from Johnathan having got through 3 wives I believe. But I suppose marriage may not be for him.

Nice to see that close comraderie still there after all these years. I still remember Johnathan holding forth in his inimitable way in the bar of the St Andrews Club, drinking beer and playing dominoes, as was the want after our Wednesday medal on the New Course.

Halcyon days indeed.

Don Galbraith is still omnipresent in Edinburgh and as keen on his golf as ever. He has been a member of the R&A for forty years now. We set up a golf business in the nineties, had a lot of fun but never made our millions. Highlander Golf like my ski venture, The Big Fun Company, is alas no more.

But I wonder what the rest of the guys got up to? I know John Hall made it big in debt management and bought a rather splendid house on Archerfield Links, but I’m not sure about many of the others.

People would never have guessed at my non-career path, from failed chartered accountant to ski bum to finance industry to Moray House to roustabout to ski instructor to ‘golf teacher’ to gardener to insurance clerk to wine salesman to florist to plongeur to cafe owner to ski bum (yes again!) to restaurant owner to caddie to ‘writer’ to …

Yes, you will have to wait for this one!

I suppose all I really know for sure now is that I’m not overly good at the big corporate thing and am probably not the most politic bloke on the planet. And further, I’m majorly more adept at one side of a bar than the other.

I’ve had fun though.

In fact it’s been a bit of a blast.

For the life of Roald Dahl

I loved the way Roald Dahl described his daily routine.

It went something like this: Up about 8am and my wife brings me breakfast in bed 5 days out of 7, the other two days I get it (equitable enough I suppose), read The Times, up and bath, then to the writing shed in the apple orchard at 10, two hours work and in for a G&T and lunch, a wee repose and some betting on the nags, tea and up for 2 more hours writing, back in at 5 for a whisky and dinner with a splash of claret.

Now that’s the life for me!

And he lived in an idyllic English country town with all the idyllic English country town thing going on. You know the quaint cottages, sublime pubs, butchers shops selling Old Spot and all that forever England stuff.

He did come across as a bit of a rum chap mind and seemed acutely intelligent. Nice with it too.

Lovely life if you can get it I suppose. But he made the very interesting point that a main part of his success was the routine of just writing and getting down to it basically. Obviously he had his fair share of ability and all that, but it had to be eked out.

Anyway that’s the life for me I think. Ok I would probably choose the Cotswolds over Buckinghamshire but it would be the same old world idyll. Away from the trammelling world to be lost in childish imagination and beauty and books and beer.

But I’m letting my imagination get away with me here.

Anyway, hope to see some of you down at Cheltenham next week.

I’ll be hanging out in The Hollowbottom as usual.

And I can’t see beyond Allaho and Minella Indo by the way. But don’t bet your house on it.

Especially after my recent form.