Burns Supper Week

Just finished a week in which I performed two Tam O’Shanter recitals at my old golf club, Mortonhall, in Edinburgh and the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews. And it all went swimmingly.

Yes I have now got Tam well and truly by heart and so can begin to enjoy doing it rather than feel the trepidation of stumbling and stalling half way through.

I played some rather unremarkable golf on the Jubilee yesterday but really enjoyed getting out for a natter with my pal, Azzie, who is one of the more modest and humble people in this world. I had heard through the grapevine that he had two holes in one in the same round on the New Course last summer!

That is something very special indeed. And it was more impressive in that he got them at two of the hardest par 3’s in St Andrews (in Scotland even!) ie the 9th and 17th on the New Course! And he hit 5 irons at both holes. Wow and wow and even wow.

I think that must be one of the rarest feats I have ever heard of on a golf course. Well apart from me doing 3 minutes 57 in the Dewar Hill Race at Mortonhall of course and Oliver Horowitz (‘An American Caddie in St Andrews’) winning the gold sovereign 3 times at the ‘playing in’ of the R&A captain (see my earlier post of how I came a glorious second to him!)

But joking apart this is phenomenal. Well done Azzers. What a man.

I am very excited about the forthcoming season now. The tours are building up and there is a lot of gowf to be played. Azzie and I are trying to get our first game on the Old next Saturday, ballot dependent.

At just over 300 bucks the St Andrews Links Ticket is still the hottest ticket in golf. Ok it’s gone up since the time I was a student here when it was fifteen quid a year!

But oh my, that was a very long time ago. How I still remember drinking pints of heavy and playing dominoes in the St Andrews club after our Wednesday medal on the New.

Those days are gone now sadly.

But there is still much to be done.

Fare forward passengers .

A week in the library

My first week off from toad work and I made the most of my St Andrews University library ticket. Let’s face it, when the weather is below zero and the bitingly cold wind cuts off the North Sea, then it’s not the worst place to shore up.

I am getting ready for my two Tam O’Shanter gigs this week. One at Mortonhall Golf Club on Thursday and then the next night at the Fairmont Hotel. This should be a very interesting week. I like the way Mortonhall billed me as a ‘special guest’. That made me laugh a bit. Well I suppose as a reprobate and censored St Andrews caddie cum somewhat local tour guide with a rather eclectic career history, I am not your usual Mortonhall member. I will have to try and make some mileage out of that description though. But most of all I want to do Rabbie proud and give a decent recital.

Our golf was cancelled yesterday due to frost which was a bit strange as there was none. Green keeping is beyond me.

I bumped into Art last week on South Street. He was the sommelier at Dean Banks at the Pompadour when I worked there. Now may I say it’s not hard to bump into Art as he is six feet nine inches tall and most identifiable, rather solid too. A sound second row for Boroughmuir back in the day. A lovely chap too. He fittingly works for Majestic Wine on the corporate side which is rather apt as he is rather majestic, all said.

My tour bookings are beginning to trickle in so that is good. It should be a decent year I hope.

Fare forward passengers.

A New Start. A New Regime.

2024 ! Who would have believed it?

I graduated from St Andrews 40 years ago now. That is something.

I have changed so much obviously but I am still the same will o the wisp character and I am still anchored to the game of golf. Indeed to the friends that I met over 40 years ago now. In fact we are playing on Saturday morning. I am lucky. They are a wonderful and most decent bunch. Not to say that I haven’t met some incredible people since then.

Friends shape you so much.

And I am 62 this year! The year I was born in back in the last century. Now that does make me feel old.

But I am still so young at heart. Still eager, impetuous and with my head in the clouds of course. Some things never change.

I will try and give a weekly blog update from now on for the few that are interested. I do know that a few people are and it is most certainly worthwhile carrying on for the genuine encouragement and positivity that I have had from these individuals.

I don’t think they appreciate just how much that means to me.

But they are very special people indeed.

So the news this week is that I have left Luvians to start focussing on my tour guiding. It was a great gig for a few months and I got a wonderful insight into the drinks industry and the real world of work again (working is hard!).

I am doing Tam O’Shanter at the Burns Supper at Mortonhall on the 25th which will be fun and there is a possible MC gig in the offing!

It’s strange how life works sometimes . How opportunities come from nowhere and lead us down all sorts of crazy new paths.

I read an interesting article in the FT about the famous Kandahar ski club in Murren which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It’s a bit like the R&A I think with a lot of well-heeled members. I like how they style the club as a drinking club with a ski problem. Now, that’s my kind of club.

it took me back to my halcyon days in Val D’Isere when I was out on the piste every day and out on the piste every night. I ran the piano bar in the old Solaise Hotel on the main drag. It was a bit of a dream all said.

But these dreams can come again.