On joining the Sheraton Spa

Well it kind of makes sense as we’ve bought a wee pad next door and I’m working just round the corner to it too at Dean Banks’s fab restaurant at The Pompadour (now No 3 on Trip Advisor!). So you could say it’s a no-brainer. Also they dish out fresh towels every time you pitch up and the showers are tip-top and very hot. There is a 25 metre swimming pool which few people seem to use and a rather plush aqua suite. Also it’s open from 6.30am till 10pm. Ok, it’s not cheap but I figure if I can get in there about 4 times a week then it’s justifiable.

However what I’ve forgotten about is that Edinburgh is a wee village. This was proven on my first visit as I bumped into two old acquaintances. Chris Turnbull with whom I used to work with at Ivory and Slime and Smu, who was a fellow ski instructor at Hillend and started up the very successful Edinburgh based school ski trip company, SnoTraxx. Smu got a bit of a major surprise on seeing me in the changing rooms as we’ve had a slightly chequered friendship (long story) but I greeted him with a big smile. The past is the past and we should move on. He was holding a wee toddler and I said ‘wow things have changed’ as I’d known him as Mr Batchelor. He said ‘what do you mean?’ which I felt was an interesting response in the least. I alleviated any misunderstanding by declaring ‘well you’re holding a baby’ (which I presumed was his)

I think he got my point. Smu is actually a very decent guy underneath all the Merchistonian surface facade thing going on.

But this is going to be well interesting now to see who else is a member of the Spa. The issue is that I’ve been quite eclectic in my activities in Edinburgh life and have spanned a few industres in my work, been active in many different sporting and extra-curricular activities (yes I really was a member of The Really Terrible Orchestra), all spanning several interlinking social groups (all Edinburgh social groups are interlinked on some levels). Added to this I’ve been a not infrequent visitor to many of Edinburgh’s drinking dens. All told I know a lot of people. Or let’s say I know who a lot of people are! Even if some individuals care to forget who I am or just suffer from a worrying and deep amnesia. I remember I bumped into Les Rennie, an Edinburgh property mogul (I much prefer the word ‘mogul’ here than ‘tycoon’ as he is rather a good skier) in the Old Course Hotel a couple of years back. Now I swear that he claims he didn’t know me from Adam. But this was the guy who I had met through an old girlfriend and who had personally invited me up to dinner in one of his new chalets in Le Chatelard (Les has three rather nice chalets in Val D’Isere) when I was doing one of my season’s there. I remember the evening very clearly indeed and got rather too inebriated on the back of his very generous hospitality.

Mind you Les has a property developer acquaintance who I sat next to at a dinner many moons back and the conversation went exactly like this;

Me: ‘What do you do?’ Other chap: ‘I’m a property developer’ then there was a momentary pause when I guess he either thought I didn’t know what property developers did or didn’t like the potential non-plussed expression on my face, as he quickly added ‘I sold twelve flats today’

He never asked me what I did which was just as well as I was then an aspiring jobbing gardener.

Anyway he ho. Aren’t people funny.

I’m playing back at Mortonhall next week which will bring back many memories indeed. Like stepping back in time. It’s been about ten years since I last played there as a member. So much has happened in that time.

However I’m sure Morty won’t have changed and I see from the start sheet that there are still some old stalwarts hanging on in there, a lot like me creeping into the Seniors category. Now I think they should reclassify that as the Vintage category, capital V with a well rounded finish like a good Rolly Gassmann Alsace and my new follow through.

Now, they’re all going to be well surprised when they see me pitch up next week for the Seniors Team Tournament.

If they remember me that is?!

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