Upcoming Golf Fest

I have a deluge of golf matches over the next 5 days which will involve 3 matchplay games and 2 medal competitions here in St Andrews and at my course Mortonhall in Edinburgh. I am excited and if the form can continue from the session I had with my old pal Alan at the Braids Golf Range yesterday then I will be more than happy.

My tours have being going uncannily well recently and I have been lucky to have met the most wonderful people. We have had many laughs along the way and it’s all been rather tip-top.

I have been corresponding with Oliver Horowitz, the chap who wrote ‘An American Caddie in St Andrews’, and reminiscing about fudge doughnuts and yum-yums and the ‘playing-in’ ceremony of the Royal and Ancient captain and other important topics. He really is a rum chap and I am glad to see his career is going well.

I caddied with Oliver once (and indeed with the inimitable Tom Stevenson in the same group!) but unfortunately never had the opportunity to have a game of golf with him. Maybe another time. Although I expect I would be rather up against it as he is hot.

The sun is out this morning in the Auld Toon and I think I will have a wee wonder. Pop into Mellis’s for some of their lovely bread, maybe a chin-wag with Jo-Lee in the Newport Bakery, a wee long black in Taste and a breeze along Lade Braes into South Street, drop by the club maybe. I love the West Port end of South Street now. It’s so leafy and filled with interesting wee independents. It’s kind of our Latin Quarter or West Village. It’s pretty, bohemian, dreamy even.

St Andrews really is heavenly, just like the Braid Hills in Edinburgh where I was lucky enough to have been brought up. Do check out the Braids Hills golf course by the way guys. It’s well worth it. In fact one of my clients was playing there last week. Not only is it iconic but you get some of the best views of Edinburgh from some of the holes (as you do from Mortonhall which adjoins it).

I really do have the best of both worlds with Auld Reekie and the Auld Grey Toun to stumble in between. Well except not quite so much the stumbling these days! Thankfully.

Golf and friends and work now anchor me between these two incredible cities.

Now this could be a whole lot worse a situation.

Fare forward passengers.

Kelty has sold! (and on meeting Old Tom’s great, great granddaughter)

Yes I probably did the worst property deal ever when I sold my wee cottage on the outskirts of Edinburgh and a flat in the up and coming London area of Borough to buy a 4-bed Wimpey new-build in West Fife. Kelty to be exact.

Yesterday I sold my share in this aforesaid 4-bed property in Kelty having suffered 16 years of angst and regret pondering over the insanity of my move. What indeed was I up to? This was crazy in the extreme.

But alas people who know me, would tell you that this is pretty much par for the course and nothing new. I unfortunately have that Burnsian (I will make poetical reference here) turn of whimsy in my make-up that is often referred to as being a bit of a loose cannon.

However, I suppose each and everyone of us has something and I am just a bit of an erratic Mons Meg (to frame this in tour-guiding parlance) Anyway whey-hey it’s finally gone and good riddance to that particular fit of madness.

Now, what a blast of a week I have had with some great fun tours of Edinburgh and Dundee. I had the irrepressible Robert Campbell from Indiana on Tuesday who I flew around Edinburgh with and couldn’t get a word in edgeways with but who was a most endearing chap. And then Innes and Katherine Mackillop from Chicago who were staying at the new W Hotel at St James Quarter. We had such fun on our tour and talked food and restaurants and books and life and everything else really. Innes was as English sounding as they come but has been a lawyer in Houston for the last 40 years and what an amusing character. He and Katherine were wonderful company. We hugely struck it off somewhat.

And then I had my Dundee tour on Friday morning with 11 ladies all connected to a lady called Samantha from somewhere in the States who wasn’t actually there in the end as she had gotten ill. Nevertheless the 11 ladies and me were blessed with a stunning silvery sun glancing off the waterfront and we basked in a rare, warm and fresh breeze that was coming off the Tay at the V&A and I recited William McGonigal’s poetry to them. And they seemed amused. William McGonigal’s poetry can be a bit of a massive ice breaker to be honest, just like the RRS Discovery floating nearby.

But again what a lovely day.

And it must have been ok as I got 5-star reviews from all of these tours. Indeed Innes and Katherine said that it was their best tour ever.

And I must admit that I am more than happy about that one. In fact I would say that I am very happy indeed about that one.

Thank you Innes and Katherine, Bob Campbell and of course the 11 ladies in Dundee!

Fare forward passengers.

As an interesting wee postscript, I had the pleasure of a day tour with lovely Fred and Anne yesterday who were across from Philadelphia. They were delightful. We struck it off immediately and we strolled leisurely around town.

As golfers I took them to see Old and Young Tom Morris’s graves in the Cathedral cemetery and it so happened that Old Tom’s great, great granddaughter was attending the graves and laying some flowers. We struck up a wee conversation and she told us a bit about the family lineage which was very interesting. Not a bad coup for a tour.

Anyway, today is my Jock Hutchinson 1st round match on the old lady at 5.20pm folks. The forecast is not too great but I’m well focused and going to give it my best shot (or shots).