May and Trump now have something in common

I don’t reckon either will be hanging around and steering the wheels of their governments much longer.

Poor May to be honest. But that bloke Donald deserves all he gets. I feel sympathy for Theresa but a deep loathing for that numpty, Trumpy. The sooner that smug face and man disappear the better. Bring on Michelle Obama. And soon. Please. A heart, a soul, a real person.

Brexit is well up in the air. It’s a hard call. An impossible call now to be honest. It’s got rather horribly complicated. Backstops, Norweigen styles, quasi and short term customs union arrangements, fragile borders, an omnipresent ECJ, withdrawal and re-submission of 1922 letters, protestors outside parliament , 585 page legal dossiers flying around, high-end car doors jamming, general election rumours, fishing agendas and Amsterdam continuing to get their hands on our sole, dire warnings of queues at Dover, pandering and meandering.

It’s all like some hammy gerrymandering with lines and daggers being drawn in Gibraltar. Bring on Dad’s Army, that’s what I say. Arthur Lowe would sort it all out.

I am still for my rather contentious position. A referendum to see if the people want another referendum on it. Hell why not? At least then we can be doubly sure and bring in that old democracy chestnut, big time.

I have been on holiday in Japan and have just returned to the colder but homelier climes of St Andrews. Tokyo is great, most places have heated toilet seats and efficient smiling staff, but it’s full on and exhausting. We did get to visit a lovely place on the coast, two hours south, called Shimoda and went to the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. It’s owned by a friend of ours and he effectively runs the 27 seater pad all by himself. And what a cook he is (as well as being a lovely, sweet and humble guy).

Flamme Jacque is something very special indeed. They had the US Ambassador in last week. And then us!

We are now nearing the completion of our bistrot in Edinburgh and have just to finally decide on the name, menu, decor, staffing, lighting, flooring, seating and other not insignificant issues. Alessandro is a top guy and cook and I’m going to give him and it my best. We are heading for a Februaryish opening (August).

I still want pizza and steak on the menu but we shall have to wait and see. Alessandro is the main food man. I have insisted on a couple of different blends for the coffee though, really good tea and the best hot chocolate in the universe. Anyway will keep you posted.

I have not been following the golf but did notice that Matt Wallace was the only three time winner on the European Tour this year. This kind of validated my enthusiasm about him as detailed in my Dunhill article for Hong Kong Golf Monthly last year. I caddied in the same group for three rounds as he partnered my man Dave Walsh.

Of the man Dave Walsh though, I’m afraid I can’t enthuse too wildly about.

I am still off the booze which is grand and I’ve lost some weight. The horses are going nicely and we have a new kitchen table and lounge chair coming. We are still short on curtains though but boy are they expensive.

My architect doesn’t respond to emails anymore and we are having to get new plans drawn up (that fit!) from another architect so that we can get a completion certificate.

I hope the new one can measure properly?

Dig, dig, dig, dig and dig.







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.











Trump’s spine is the shape of a dollar sign

Sorry, but I’ve finally had it with the nonsense being espoused by Mr Make America Great Again.

He said he initially found as credible, the ridiculous statement released by the Saudi authorities regarding the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi? (and oh yes it appears now that Mr Khashoggi is indeed dead after all. Just a small point, but thanks for letting us know, especially of course his fiancee, who had been waiting outside rather a long time)

But what Donald? Anyone with half a brain cell could see what they were initially saying was not credible. And you inanely say ‘Yes’.  If this was anywhere near credible then it would make the Russian story of two bruisers having a cathedral time in Salisbury look half reasonable. But no, it’s all thinly veiled, drastically poor and desperate cover up stuff. Like the Macy window sill facade that is you.

But this sort of atrocity has got to be addressed and immediately. You stupid half-souled, pigeon livered oaf.

We all know that the only reason that you find their story credible is that they are investing 461 billion into American ‘things’. Yes your words. And of course I am wondering just how much is being invested in Donald’s things? That’s what’s credible here and the only thing that is credible here.

This amoral muppet show across the pond has got to end. And soon.

Our Brexit bash is bad enough. Poor Theresa. She was thrown one of the biggest hospital passes in the history of UK politics. I expect it will have to end now by going back to the country and making a great mockery of the constitutional political process into the bargain. But it would be most British that way and I suppose a whole lot better than having a rotten imbecile like Donald calling the shots.

My golf is erratic as ever I’m afraid. I drove the par 4 twelfth on the Old for the third time in a row in the final medal of the year, but again failed to hit the 18th green from 50 yards (for the third time in a row), this time hitting a tremendous thin through the back. I guess I’m not a gallery player.

Had a wee punt on Man Utd as they were 18 to 5 against Chelsea which was just a ridiculous price. However, on hearing they were 2-1 up with ten minutes to go, when I was on the 11th tee of the Old, I wished I’d taken my phone out on the course, to lay the bet. And of course sods bloody law the Blues score in the 7th minute of extra time. That’s kind of been the gambling story of my summer I’m afraid.

My caddying ended on Saturday with a no show and on a sour note.

The guys had paid their green fees but decided not to turn up. I asked the boss if I would be able to get a nominal fee from the Fairmont for my spoiled trip and day. (I was supposed to go to Edinburgh on Friday). He looked pained and said that the clients hadn’t paid anything up front for the caddies. I accepted this but intimated that a fair gesture may be to contra a bit from the green fees paid (over £200) to the soul caddie who had pitched up. He looked shaken and said that money had been separately paid for the green fees. I said yes true but they didn’t play? And maybe giving the caddie who did turn up twenty quid would be right and proper.

But no.

It appears that all caddying authorities stink around here then. The St Andrews Links Trust extort a fiver each day, from every caddie, to fund the ‘administration’ of their caddie program (as if the huge green fee income isn’t enough, but I suppose the top bods have their bonus’s to consider. It is a charity after all)

And they acted like a pathetic and ugly totalitarian dictatorship in requesting to see all my writing before I sent it for publication.

What a bloody cheek and affront to my liberty as a writer. It’s Scotland not Saudi Arabia, boys.

Hang caddying.


Boris Johnson thinks he’s a Winston

A Churchill one of course, not the Rotten Tomato actor chappy.

I came to this conclusion after hearing his bravado Brexit bashing, save the nation speech, from the back benches yesterday. He’s done all the heroic stance bit thing of resigning from the Cabinet and slumming it out in the wings of the House, which I expect is the nearest he’ll ever get to trench warfare as our man from Woodstock did.

Next, he’ll be swanning off to Marrakesh with palette, cravat and brushes. Fobbing us off with some artistic and latent sensibility pretenses. God, I can even see that fat cigar looming.

Sorry, but I’m not a Boris fan man. His remarkable verbal laxity as Foreign Secretary made him about as politic a choice for PM as putting Mr Trump on the UN Security Council. It would just be absurd and calamitous, probably endangering world peace, either by a backfiring Boris prank or by Donald failing to get on the right side of a double negative instruction with his veto. However, I do still believe our deluded man thinks he’s up for the job and this is worrying. Indeed with respect to both men.

In terms of moral fibre, if Sir Winston Spencer- Churchill was say Bran Flakes then these guys are surely Sugar Puffs.

On an entirely different note, I see they are well into building the new Music School in St Andrews, which will lie adjacent to the Bute Medical building. Now I do hope they will name it the Thea Musgrave building because she is Scottish and sounds quite a great and grand dame ( I heard her on Desert Island discs last week). Now the point of naming it after her, albeit she’s a major composer, is that she was once a medical student. However a lapsed one, as her love of music overcame her desire to dissect frogs (her words). She would spend most of her time in the Music School which was also next door to her medical school (Edinburgh I think?).

Now on a complete tangent altogether. I had an uncanny and interesting time last week and the main theme seemed to be a French one (not frogs)

On Monday I was walking back from town and I spotted this lady in the car park, who I thought was the French lady that I play cricket with (yes cricket), but it turned out not to be. Anyway, I swear that I walked fifty yards, turned the corner and there she was walking towards me.

Next on Tuesday, I heard Georgia Mann-Smith play some lovely Charles Trenet (I think) on Radio 3 breakfast and it reminded me of that lovely poetic ‘En September …’ lyric which I shared with Georgia, who responded and enthused about the romantic nature of the French language. Which it manifestly is. Besides, which other nation could make a culinary dish out of a frog and make it sound nice.

And then, on Tuesday evening, I was in Marks and came face to face with Margaret Anne-Hutton, who I haven’t seen or spoken to in 38 years since we were first year students at St Andrews. She is now Professor of French nonetheless..

She asked what I was doing and I couldn’t quite tell her that I’d probably just secured a job in the coffee kiosk down at the Bus Station.

Now I think the French have a good expression for this sort of thing.

Ooh la la.





Georgia Mann-Smith likes my blog

I am really bowled over by this. It’s one of the few real compliments I’ve had in four years of writing. Notwithstanding the lovely, and individual men, that are Adam Forsyth and Ben Usher-Smith, who last year told me they loved my writing. And as far as I recall my caddie master, Matt, once did enthuse about it. But that’s about it.

So to have BBC presenter Georgia Mann-Smith pay me this compliment is most refreshing, because a lot of people treat it with, let’s say, tremendous indifference.  I think they see it as a kind of a slightly sort of odd, quirky, queer thing. A bit like wearing a bow tie or walking down Leith Walk wearing a pink shirt.

My desire to impress the chief Sunday Times Sports journalist, David Walsh, fell entirely flat. I got in touch last year and spent 4 days caddying for him at the Dunhill. Afterwords I sent him my published HK Golf article about my experience with him at the Dunhill, and he never said one word about it. I actually thought it was a fairly good piece, with a rather nice photo of us too. But heho.

Mind you, David never even responded to my email to caddie for him this year, so perhaps he’s just that kind of unresponsive sort of guy.

But writing for me is mostly fun and rewarding, although I don’t make a buck out of it. In fact it has damn well cost me a whole lot of money in foregone earnings. I was effectively sacked from working at the Old Course by the ‘charity’ that is the Links Trust for publishing an article in Asia, about the Royal and Ancient. My writing was seemingly in danger of ‘bringing the reputation of caddies into disrepute’ and a I got a final warning letter. My friend rightly pointed out if it was in fact possible to bring the reputation of caddies into disrepute and indeed Vince has a somewhat valid point.

So thank you Georgia, it is so nice to receive such a positive endorsement, and especially from a rather lovely sounding and intelligent woman.

Dunhill Woes and immediate, but not insurmountable, challenges to learning bridge

I never got a bag at the Dunhill this year which is not totally surprising as I’m a pretty compromised caddie, out of favour with the Links Trust, who can’t read a putt or use a yardage book.

Moreover, my man from last year, David Walsh the Sunday Times journalist, never responded. Think he was still reeling from the fact that he put a splendidly hit 7 iron safety shot, on the 10th at Carnoustie, into the drink (or more correctly, I put him into the drink). Ok, it wasn’t the best call from me, but you could have responded to my email David. I have very thin skin.

I actually saw him on the practice area at the weekend, said hello and I must say he did look a tad sheepish ( I know when David is nervous as he goes ‘yeh,yeh,yeh,yeh’ in rapid succession), asked who I was caddying for and was not able to hide the fact that he and I knew he’d asked a pretty rhetorical question.

I did, however, meet good old sound Charles who owns HK Golf in the Dunvegan, and we had a mighty chat. He is a wonderful raconteur and extremely good company.

I wrote my Ryder Cup article, hit the practice area several times, got a job for the winter, admired the building work in our wee Murrayfield venture, went to buy furniture in Pittenweem, had the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had, met lovely Ben for coffee in Edinburgh, got a couple of nice emails from American golf buddies, listened to the Shipping Forecast and wished I hadn’t, read some Tolstoy and heard some wonderful Vaughan Williams, dropped into Dundee Police Station, went to Sofology and DFS, had too much coke, considered moving to Edinburgh, landed an eleven to oner in the 7.15 at Wolverhampton, finally found the Bridge Club in St Andrews and noted that it was ladies only, talked to a few random strangers and wept over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the  gender specific nature of the St Andrews Bridge scene.

That means there are four ladies-only clubs here.

I feel a storm coming.


Flying American Express Executives

I shouldn’t have really laughed but it was hard not too as lovely Siann, here for an American Express conference at the Fairmount, was thrown out head first from her golf buggy on the approach to the ninth tee. Of course her colleague Dave driving the buggy was mortified. However the stoic Siann jumped up immediately with her broad Korean smile and said she was fine.

Mexican playing partner, Eduardo, who I accompanied in a buggy had a wicked smile on his face and said ‘do you know what her job title is?’ and I said ‘No’ and he informed that she was head of risk and compliance.

Not the best pitch for Amex.  Mind you she did look quite elegant mid-flight all said.

I caused a few laughs from the gallery at the 18th on the Old course last Sunday mind, as I played in the 175th St Andrews Club invitational. I hit a fine drive just short of the green and the crowds must have thought I had some talent. However this was soon disproved as I dunked my chip short, had an awful putt into the valley of sin, and two further poor putts for a six. Possibly one of the worst finishes in the history of golf played on these links.

Brexit is hotting up and I’ve been most impressed by Dominic Raab who seems to have a great head on his shoulders and boy do we need someone like that at the moment. Ironically now, our Theresa may come well out of all this if she carries on in the Thatcherite mould.

Would that it were over though.

This Kavanaugh bloke seems about as credible as Trump. And in trying to support this man Trump must feel slightly like he is treading on waffer thin ice. Donald says ‘he’s right behind him’ . That’s hardly a swinging endorsement.

I’ll bet you were right behind Stormy at one point and look what happened there. Still, I suppose it’s only two accusations at the moment unlike the Trump dozen.

Boy has American politics gone mad.

I suppose I should say well done Tiger for your 80th PGA win but I still remember how you snubbed these three young autograph hunters at Carnoustie and that was just nasty.

One of the Russian spy suspects now seems to have had a different name. Bit of a major slip up old boy. It’s all looking massively tenuous for you chaps now, especially as you look much more akin to a couple of bruisers than cathedral spire lovers.







R&A Town Match

I played in the annual Royal and Ancient versus the Town match yesterday on the Old Course and what a day we had.

My partner was Gunner from Oslo who is a radiologist and the most lovely chap. We were paired against R&A’s Richard Fraser, a charming lawyer from Auckland and Paul Moriarty, a most witty, Irish born Liverpudlian, who runs the R&A’s retail outfit and is based in Cupar.

This event is massive with about 800 competitors playing over three courses and then to’ing and fro’ing, with varying degrees of sobriety, between the three clubhouses afterwards, drinking, dining and bantering. It is a very great occasion and affords us all the opportunity to have a wee peep into the hallowed halls of the greatest golf institution and club in the world.

The house G and T’s, pints of lager, traditional Kummel and infamous claret were all flowing with remarkable ease, except the kilted caddie was being abstemious. However, the company was tremendous and sobriety is not the worst thing in the world. In fact to say that it is rather good for me is a huge understatement.

Now, what is happening in the world though? For heaven’s sake, the Russian thing beggars belief. These two chaps flying over to see Salisbury cathedral because so many of their friends said they must go and see it! Hmm. Sorry that doesn’t ring true boys. Besides you don’t look like cathedral appreciating types.

Theresa May must be so much wishing she never ventured into politics or at least never took that reflective walk in the country a couple of years back. Mind you she did put Boris into the Foreign Secretary’s job which shows massively poor judgement.

It will be fascinating to see how Brexit plays out though. I think the only real result will be that referendums will be constitutionally banned forthwith. That or they will have a Government health warning.

The Manafort situation could be most unnerving for a ‘no collusion’ Trump. And I am just wondering how much his net worth has increased since he took office?

Yes things may now get very interesting indeed.