Tom Meets Tulok.

“Bye love, keep wrapped up, it’s still chilly in that wind.” Shouted Ethel after her Husband as he left the house.
“I will sweetheart, don’t you fret.” The late April sunshine made Tom squint, but, as his wife had said: it’s still chilly. So off he set towards their Nest Egg, at a brisk as possible pace.
The Ice-cream kiosk had been his idea, he’d sold the dream to Ethel no problem; we’ll make a fortune, rake it in we will, all I’ve got to do is sell ice cream to snotty nosed kids. His every word swam around inside his worried head: Like heck, we will, if this season doesn’t come up trumps we’re finished, good and proper. He thought.

The first two seasons had been flops, unkind weather and the out of the way location of the kiosk had seen to that. Rhyl was a tough place to make a living at the best of times.
This year WILL be better, I’ll make sure of that. Said Tom’s inner voice with conviction. With renewed vigor, Tom straightened up and picked up the pace, he kicked an empty Coke can that rattled along the pavement, just missing a scrawny Pigeon that searched for food scraps, causing it to hop into the gutter.
First Day of the bloody season and look at it, pathetic hole, even the Gulls look as if they’ve had their fill of the place. Still, it’s early yet, plenty of time for things to pick up.

Morning Tom.” Came the voice from across the street. It was Herbert who owned The Golden Goose souvenir shop, he had just finished putting out his pavement display of kiss me quick hats and shrimp nets. Tom assessed the traffic, picked his moment, and quick-stepped between two slowly moving cars. Safely across he approached the portly figure of Herbert.
“Hello, Herbert, ready for it?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be Tom. I say, did you see that bolt of lightning last night? Lit the entire seafront up it did, and the weird thing is, there was no storm.”
“Saw nothing of it mate, Ethel went to bed early, so I indulged in a few nips of the old Heathen Fire Water, that was me zonked until six this morning. Look, I’ve got to dash, those ice creams won’t sell themselves, more’s the pity.”
“Okey-doke Tom, I hope your day goes well, see you later.”
Herbert watched Tom until he lost sight of him, on the now busier promenade, before he himself disappeared into his shop.

The sea breeze helped thin the dark cloud of depression that hung over Tom’s head, the cry of Herring Gulls coupled with the smell of tourism, cheered him up. This would be the year that saved the bacon. He hummed a tune: zipperdy doo dah…

Earlier that morning while most people slept, a large spacecraft came into Earth’s orbit.
“I don’t care who you send, just get someone down there.” Thundered Commander Zorg of the imperial fleet.
“He’s on his way as we speak Sir, we’ve sent Lieutenant Tulok, he’s chosen to go disguised as a Seagull.” Reported 1st Mate Zonger.
In a bright, violent flash, they transported LT Tulok to earth.
“Right, hold a steady orbit until we hear it’s safe to go in. Keep us cloaked and on RED ALERT.” Ordered Commander Zorg.

Tom’s cinder block kiosk was now in sight, only another 100 yards away. It’s like a prison cell, thought Tom. Even if I charged Ten Quid for a lolly, I wouldn’t make enough to make ends meet. I wish I’d never laid eyes on it.

But this morning there was something different about the place, the hairs on his neck stood up, there was something on the floor in front of the shuttered serving hatch. My God… My God, it’s a Seagull. Tom hurried the last few yards then knelt beside the injured bird. “C’mon little pal, let’s get you inside.” Said Tom soothingly as he picked up the cold, limp body of Turlok. Once inside, Tom busied himself preparing a box for his unexpected guest.
“There there, you’ll be warm and safe in here.” Said, Tom, as he placed the Gull into a nest of fluffy tea towels. Continue reading “Tom Meets Tulok.”

Cuthbert the Caterpillar.

Cuthbert paused from chomping his Bramble leaf too observe the approaching family. Mom and Dad walked leisurely hand in hand enjoying the sea air while the two young children ran back and forth along the tarmac path that cut through the sand dunes. 
“Oi! You pair! Keep close.” Shouted Dad.
“We will.” Replied the boy excitedly.
The Welsh coast was enjoying some late-season sunshine that encouraged Holidaymakers out of their Caravans and onto the seafront. From Prestatyn to Llandudno the beaches echoed with the joyful sound of playing Children.   

“Look at those two little Angels Tom, they’re loving every second of this Holiday. Shall we book for the same place next year?”
“Why not dear, I mean, look at them, the little scamps. They are so safe here, it’s a far cry from back home in Liverpool.”
You’re right Tom, they’re safe and we’re relaxed, nothing can go wrong.”

All that Cuthbert wanted from life was a bit of peace and quiet in which to become a fully fledged Grackle Moth. But no, he wasn’t going to find that here, not with all the development of tourist facilities going on, he’s got more chance of being bit by a Lettuce than finding his Shang ri la here.

Young Ben and his Sister Lucy were racing towards the ice cream booth when suddenly Ben stopped.
“What is it, Ben?” Asked Lucy as she peered over Ben’s shoulder.
“I’ve no idea Sis, it’s a Caterpillar of some sort, pass me that little twig so that I can pick it up.”
Cuthbert knew what was coming so he coiled his green and yellow body for protection. Ben prodded the twig into Cuthbert’s ample body causing him to fall from his leaf.
“You’ve done it now Ben, you’ve lost it.”
“Nah, I can see it.”
Ben stretched his arm into the Bramble ignoring the scratching thorns. He fumbled about amongst the grass feeling for Cuthbert.
Ma and Pa were now only yards away.
“Ahh look, Tom, ain’t it nice to see the kids playing as one with nature.”
“Sure is pet – JUST GRAB IT, Ben!”

Ben’s fumbling fingers found Cuthbert who was now pretty pee’d off.
“Got it –  got it.” Rejoiced Ben jumping up and down, holding poor little Cuthby aloft like a trophy.
Lucy jumped up and down too. “I want it – show me.” She pleaded.
“Come on Ben show your sis.” Said, Dad.

Cuthbert was now suffocating in Ben’s clenched hand, making him madder than mad. His body pulsated with venom.
Ben held out his clenched hand, the other three peered in wide-eyed and expectant. Ben slowly unfolded his fingers to reveal the swollen torso of Cuthbert. The family members stared, holding their breath with anticipation.
Now on an outstretched palm with balloon faces only inches away, Cuthbert exploded. BANG!
Venom hotter than pepper spray found curious eyes, sending bodies to writhe in the Autumn grass. 

Vinny the ice cream man vaulted the counter of his booth, Glenis his wife quickly handed him eight cones of vanilla.
Vinny was soon on the scene. Starting with Lucy he shoved two cones of ice cream, one into each eye socket.
After only seconds the soothing ice cream started to take effect. Mom, Dad, and the two kids lay on their back’s, looking as normal as ever, apart from the ice cream cones sticking out of their faces.
“Everything ok Vinny?” It was Mrs. Pibble the Vicars wife, out walking Fifi their French Poodle. Unrestrained and full of excitement, Fifi ran straight for the prone figure of Mom and after licking briefly at the ice cream, turned and cocked a leg. Mom went bezirk. “Calm down – calm down.” Said, Dad.
Don’t just book it…

Chalk ‘n’ Cheese.

Newly built, my new home on Pinfold Lane, Cheslyn- Hay, was in a dream location. From my bedroom window – yes, a room of my own, with a built-in wardrobe –  I could view my new World. Gone were the Days of living on the Village High Street, where I used to observe the daily passage of time through the condensation soaked glass. I would see  Women, a shopping bag over one arm, and a head scarf, knotted under the chin to hold it on, heading to Edwards’, the Grocers shop. Men, wearing long thick overcoats and flat caps, heading to the Red Lion.
Greetings were always exchanged as people passed each other, even to folk across the street, and the chirpy pleasantries, quietened and muffled by the wafer thin glass of the window reached into my space.
On one occasion, whilst stuck indoors, I must have been ill or something, I counted three cars, and the number 17 Bus twice.
The 17’s engine, belching out clouds of black smoke, vibrated the windows. The deep, sudden sound would send Mice scurrying under the skirting boards for cover. That always made me laugh, because they couldn’t get any traction on the Lino, causing them to run on the spot, or skid past the hole.
Now, the simple print pattern curtains that hung on a wire in front of my bedroom window, were thrown open to reveal a new World; a World that infiltrated the daydreams of my subconscious childhood mind, asking questions and demanded answers of me, always luring and tempting me with offers of excitement and adventure.
A row of grey slabs, that divided the garden unequally into two halves, led from the front door porch area to a small metal gate. (We were always shouted at for swinging on the gate).
This gate, although I didn’t realise it at the time, was a key feature. To me, back then, its only purpose was to test how high Butch, my Dog, could jump.
Left or right. If the choice was mine, after the gate, I’d go left. Only four houses away was the cinder track that led to weed covered pools, with Moorhens, Mallards and Coots dabbling and pecking for food, and a haunted wood, with paths that turned and twisted through its middle.
A canal, straight as a dye, but no longer in use,  cut through the landscape, its once sharp edges  softened by an overgrowth of Willow and Hawthorn.
The cut, as we called it, was an adventure playground, created by nature reclaiming what the coal industry had stolen from it.
To turn right at the garden gate meant one of several things: School, running errands or joining Mom on the daily tour of the village shops and family.
Left or right – chalk’n’cheese.

From Russia with Love

“Hello – and welcome to this, our first ever live broadcast, from the former Soviet Onion. I’m Dr Walrus Titty, and today we are attempting to kill two birds with one stone, which two birds is entirely up to yourselves. I’ll be joined later in the show by a well-known Black Tennis Player who will demonstrate what to do with your over ripe Cucumbers and associated salad veg. I can hardly wait. This is why one should never buy more than two Avocados at a time.
Just in case you had not noticed, there is a competition in progress at the moment in the former Soviet Onion, and I bet you have not missed a second of it. I am of course talking about the much-loved Cossack Dancing on eight foot stilts with a Ferret down your trousers on ice.
And I have just been reliably informed that we can now go Ringside and join our correspondent Dr Magnus Fishcake – Live!”
Live, what do you mean live? Ahem… Sorry about that Folks, but you know what these Cossacks are like when they’ve had a skin full. A danger to Society if you ask me.
With all the grace and panache of a flatulent Hippo, that was number 6 Itorrabollokoff and his partner with the hairy armpits, Elga.”
Alas, we must leave our Sabre wielding Comrades, and fore-go the Avocado and Cucumber demonstration, and return to the Land of Hope and Glory and get the Tea on the go.
I would like to leave you with the wise words of Prof I Rubbitupem of the Dudley Space Centre: You never know who’s looking at Uranus.

A tuf nut

Dez stood at the top of the stone steps leading from the Casino, he unfastened his Dickybow and loosened his collar, sighing silently with relief. From the inside pocket of his jacket he pulled out a Gold cigarette case. He removed one of the hand-made Sobrani’s and placed it between his lips.
A couple, clad in evening attire, exited the large glass doors of the Casino. Their conversation, nothing more than Champagne induced giggles stopped as they walked past Dez.
Bonne nuit Monsieur.” said the Man.
Bonne nuit.” replied Dez, he watched the couple descend the steps, once out of ear shot their giggling resumed.
Tilting his head to one side, Dez pressed his thumb down onto the  Gold cigarette lighter, instantly, with a metallic click, a small neat flame leapt into life. Protected by a cupped hand the flame was introduced to the cigarette.
Dez drew the smoke deep into his lungs, enjoying the coolness and relief it brought. He exhaled the smoke long and slow, through pursed lips into the warm night air.
The giggling couple now stood at the base of the steps along with the Valet, who, with a raised white-gloved hand, had summoned their car.
The sound of invisible Cicadas was replaced by the sound of the slowly approaching car, as it’s tyres crunched the pea gravel drive.
Dez drew on his cigarette, and watched as the Valet opened and held the door, gesturing the gigglers to enter. With the couple sat comfortably in the rear of the Bently, the Valet closed the door shut with a gentle push. The sound of crunching gravel escorted the red tail lights into the darkness, fading, until gone.
Once more the deafening chorus of Cicadas filled the night.

With an elegant stretch of his arm, and a subtle twist of his wrist, Dez exposed the face of his Bulgari Magsonic Sonnerie watch. He bent his arm and glanced at the dial.
“Ah Midnight, the night is young.” He thought to himself.
A reflection in the watch’s glass caught his eye, someone was behind him, he turned sharply on the leather soles of his shoes, ready to respond.
There she stood, a vision of magnificent beauty, her sapphire eyes meeting his. Her tall slender frame was covered by a shoulderless, full length, sequined dress that glittered blue and green as it caught the light. Over her shoulders was draped a small jacket, and the crowning glory was a Beehive of golden hair supporting a Diamond Tiara.
Before he had time to step aside, and let her pass, she extended her arm, and offered Dez her hand.
Dez gently held her fingers, and bowing forward slightly, he drew her hand towards his waiting lips. Keeping eye contact, he kissed her hand.
“Bonsoir Monsieur, Je m’appell Alexandria. Comment tu t’appelles?” She asked in her silken Mediterranean tone.
Before answering, Dez  inhaled and savoured the scent of her floral perfume. “Bonsoir Mademoiselle, enchante, Je m’appell Dez…Dez Cacahuetes.”


Capsella burse pastoris. Featuring: Ray Kittup.

After his hearty breakfast with his young wife, Lye, Ray stepped out of the cottage and into his garden, and he was instantly greeted by all the joys of Spring, Sunshine poured from the azure sky, and birds sang their sweet melodic tunes, he watched as a Blackbird tugged a worm from the lawn, Ray was happy.
With a beaming smile causing his rosy red cheeks to bulge, and using the tip of his Index finger he pushed his straw hat onto the back of his head and set off down the garden path.
He sang as he approached the Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) covered archway.
“Zipperdy doo dah….”  A Chaffinch sang from the amidst the young fresh leaves as if  accompanying Ray, and sharing his good mood.
Ray passed under the archway and stopped to admire the explosion of colour that met his eyes, the magnificent blooms of Rhododendrons and azaleas adorned the hedgerow, Bees stuck their heads into the apple blossoms, enjoying the new season’s richness.
Watched by hidden eyes, Ray walked towards the jewel in his horticultural crown, the veggie patch. Seed packets on sticks, stuck into the soft, finely riddled soil, marked the drills and identified the already emerging occupants.
Close by, a Wren burst into song. its shrill voice reverberating off every leaf, and making Ray jump in surprise
White fleece seemed as if to breath, given the kiss of life by the gentle sirocco.
Onion sets stood in proud ranks awaiting inspection.
The General inspected the Allium cepa, scrutinizing each one for imperfection. All was well until he reached the end of the rear rank. There it was, bold as brass.
Capsella burse pastoris! The gardener’s worst nightmare.spurse2
Ray bent down, and mortified by the thought of what this unwelcome arrival could do to his chances of winning first prize at the annual show, using his thumb and fore finger, he extracted it from the soil.
He stood, daydreaming, rolling the unfortunate Capsella burse pastoris until chloroform helped to mix it into a unrecognizeable pulp between his fingers.
Staring down at the broken soil, Ray’s eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped in amazement and disbelief, as a mist like vapour, seeped from the soil, and rose up to form the translucent form of a women.
The sounds of nature were joined by the mystical playing of a harp.
The apportion solidified, causing Ray to remove his hat and hold it close to his chest.Within the golden aurora, was a women of  such beauty that all around her paled.
She spoke with a voice so soft that it caressed the soul like silk.
Ray stepped back a pace.
“Don’t be afraid Ray,I mean you no harm.”
thMAZMDP7OBathing within her golden glow, and transfixed by her beauty Ray spoke.
“Who are you?”
He cleared his throat, and changed his startled tone.
“I mean what’s your name?”
“My name is Flora, and I bring you reward.” She said holding out a small Silver chalice towards Ray.
Reaching out, Ray dropped the mangled mess from between his fingers and took hold of chalice. “What is it?” He asked. Without waiting for an answer Ray lifted the vessel to his lips and tipped back the contents. He felt its silky warmth gently tease his palette, and then he licked his lips and gave an ahhh of satisfaction.
“It is made from drops of the morning dew, blended with my last urine sample.
Its powers will grant you a single wish.”
Ray’s response was instant.
“I wish.” He placed a grubby finger against his bottom lip. “I wish  for my Plums to be the size of Pumpkins.”
We know what happens later, don’t we.

Happy gardening.

Sweats return

There I stood, looking down at my single metal framed bed, that had half the springs missing, and all the comfort of a plank.
If I sat on it in the wrong place, my butt would touch the floor, and escape would turn into a contortionists nightmare. The mattress had a plastic protective cover, that made every movement sound as if I were sleeping in a bin liner. The two woollen ( standard issue) blankets, equal to emery cloth in softness, were separated from the plastic mattress cover by two cotton sheets, of which, only one per week could be exchanged for a freshly laundered one, along with a matching pillow case. The pillows x 2, were stuffed with chicken feathers, the quills of which, would pierce the outer material and spear my head. Most pillows had been run over several times by a steam roller, or so it seemed. No matter how much they were lovingly fluffed up, they would instantly resume a flat as a pancake appearance.
For morning parade purposes, the edges were folded in and Hospital corners sealed the tomb. Bed Boxes were not required here, that was a blessing in itself.
The whole show was topped off with a counter-pane, one of two colours, pale yellow or lilac, that was so taut, a snooker ball could be rolled across its surface.
And I’ve just been reliably informed, by our Northern England correspondent, that assuming it was fully sprung, 3 men could sit side by side.
This was my retreat, my little corner, my escape into another world.
Once inside my envelope of rustling plastic, cold cotton sheets and stabbing chicken feathers, I looked up at the double fluorescent light tubes,  that blazed down, showering their light into my exhausted world, my confused world. So much had changed over the past few weeks, and so fast, my feet had hardly touched the ground.
One minute I was on Mommy’s apron string, next minute, I was being bounced around a parade square, and now, and now here I am, lying on my pit, somewhere in Germany. Bloody Germany, I’d never left our beloved Island before, and yet here I was, caught in a tide of  mixed emotions, somewhere that I’d never heard of.
The lights, bright enough for an airport, were still on, and would remain so, because it was only 2300hrs, and of the other 3 lads I shared the room with, only one was in. He was pressing his kit, I couldn’t see him, a large wooden Army locker stood in the way, but I could hear the dull thud, followed by the hiss of the iron as it came down onto the garment.
The smell of burning starch and diesel mixed with the steam that belched from under the Iron. The sound was quite rhythmic, pssst- thud-hiss.
The other two beds were empty, their neatness and silence filled my world with foreboding, because I knew, the occupants, two of the meanest, most unsympathetic, homicidal maniacs you could ever wish to meet, were out on the WAZ.
With the ironing done, the lights were turned off, but sleep did not come. The general noise of the other 100 or so occupants of the old barrack block were slowly muted, and replaced with an eerie silence, a frightening silence that amplified every drunken voice. Jovial laughter, pushing and shoving, hoots and hollows, the bash and clatter of the heavy swinging fire doors signaled the sweats return.
The sound of inebriated accents bellowed along the bare, stone corridor, the metallic clatter of a fire bucket being kicked like a football, raked the night.
And then, outside the door, drunken ssssshhhhh’s, loud enough to wake the dead, more drunken giggling as the door was opened, allowing the bright tidal wave of light from the corridor to spew in, and wash away the darkness, the darkness that hid me.
With the room now illuminated like the molineux on an evening kick off, the dogs could see the rabbit, the beasting began.
Tune in again for more nighty night bedtime stories, with me, the Bugs, soon.

JD ( job done)

She stood on the quay side in silent anticipation, her hands buried in the warm pockets of her Duffle coat, protected from the chilly wind, the very wind that reddened her cheeks and ruffled her hair.
Dried out Lobster pots, stacked 3 high, acted as a barrier,protecting the unwary from the inevitable.
On an exposed patch of sand, a young boy tormented his yapping, leaping terrier with a piece of drift wood. A little further, stood an angler.
The Lass looked firstly to her left, and then to her right, the Scottish coast line stretched from horizon to horizon, becoming a smudgy grey blur, before blending with the sky and the sea, and then vanishing.
The Harbour was quiet, apart from the Gulls kicking off and squabbling over scraps of food every now and again. She lifted her expectant gaze to the sea, and scanned the choppy surface until it collided with the sky. She spoke inwardly to herself, almost a prayer. “Please be good, don’t play up, not today, please.” She understood the language of the sea, and its temperamental moods. A Herring Gull landed on top of the Lobster Pots, and greedily gulped down its scrap of fish.
There! Lurching through the white caps, she saw the small boat, its bow exploding in showers of white foam each time it met the swell, as it chugged towards her.
She ran the short distance to the end of the Quay, and excitedly started to wave both arms above her head.
In the boat, behind the small covered wheelhouse, stood a man, his stare fixed on the approaching shore line, his calmness be lying the inner turmoil of his emotions.
The steady, chug of the engine, competed against the sound of the Sea, and the growing number of raucous gulls, squawking their laughing cries as they followed in the boats wake.
The thud of a wave, caused the man to squint in anticipation of the coming spray.
The Sun, so far absent, turned the spray into a cloak of rainbows as it broke free of its cloudy restraint, and filled the scene with its welcome glory.
The once featureless shore line, now surrendered its detail, the man saw the welcoming harbour, and on the wall, a Woman, now jumping on the spot and waving her  raised arms criss cross, above her head. The man, no longer able to restrain his emotions, released his hold of the boats hand rail and returned the gesture.
The couple semaphored their joyful, happy feelings to each other across the closing distance that lay between them.
The boat entered the calm safe water of the harbour, passing in front of the waiting Girl, its progress creating a mere ripple, as it headed for the granite steps of the quay side.
With their gazes locked, the Girl briskly walked, occasionally breaking into a short hurried jog, as she followed the boats progress.
She reached the steps just as the small blue boat pulled along side, and watched, as a coil of wet rope was thrown ashore into the waiting hands of the unofficial welcoming party. Heavily accented instructions and greetings were exchanged between the Skipper and his old friend on the quay side. As she descended the the steps, he disembarked, and still a little stiff from his journey, he eagerly strode, two steps at a time toward her.
They finally met, and instantly fell into an embrace, an embrace built over time with love and feeling.
Without breaking the embrace, she pulled back her head, and looked into his eyes, she saw her image reflected in a tear, a tear of happiness and elation.
She wiped away the tear holding back her own and asked “JD?”
Now looking at his own reflection, he winked reassuringly, “JD” he replied.
With their arms draped over each others shoulders, they headed HOME. JD.



Yesterday, the eve of my 59th birthday, as I stood watching and waiting for the Chickens to turn in for the night, I thought to myself, “you know what, tomorrow, I’m going to treat myself to a few hours writing.”
As the light fades, our 7 chickens, start their predictable routine, strutting and clucking around the coup. They ignore my presence as they take their last sips of ice-cold water, or peck inquisitively at potential morsels. Simple creatures, they don’t ask or demand a lot from us, yet, they reward us with the finest eggs this side of the Mississippi.20171026_140555.jpg
I do enjoy my daily trip to the Chickeroonies, keeps me in touch with the daily cycle of light and dark, the importance of daylight. I make sure that they don’t miss a second of it.
Well, as I promised myself, it’s now 03:50hrs Zulu, and I’m sat here, glasses perched on the end of my conk, poised, raring to go, let the festivities begin, yeeha.
Not really, I’m not that way inclined these days, I’ll more than likely spend my day doing my Saint Francis of Assisi routine, feeding, watching and generally keeping a north eye on things. I wouldn’t wish it any other way.cropped-dscn06051.jpg
There will be ample time during the course of the day, as I await my ultimate present, to reflect on how lucky and blessed I am, to spare a thought for others, not necessarily those less fortunate, just others in general. The others that make up and complete my jigsaw of life, Brother, Sister and Friends.
Anyway, back to my ultimate present, I’m bouncing up and down on my seat just thinking of it, I’ve had this present for the last 24 years of my life, and I never tire of experiencing the joy, love and happiness that it
I am of course, talking about A’r Jack, the Women we all love.20171229_133009
As we raise and chink our glasses of Tenuta Frescobaldi, then my birthday will be complete.hoopoe


New life

Mud, and more mud, the horses, Kracker and Poppy, although wrapped up warm, squelch through Winter’s  mire.
Redwing and Fieldfare chatter as they search through the leafless hedgerow, for any remains of Autumn’s bounty. A chill wind ruffles a feather, times are hard.
The sky remains forever grey, full of unpleasantness, waiting to catch us out.
The spirit of every creature is tested during these difficult months, mine included, but as I trudge across the garden, willing myself on, I notice a break in the soil, and just below the surface, waiting for the moment, Snow Drops.snowdrop-flowers-spring-flower-plant.jpg
The first in a chain of events that will lead us out of the dark and onward into Summer.
With a smile, I snuggle inside my fleece, look at the waiting ducks, and carry on.
With assistance from Hazel (my stick) I return to the cottage, a crackling log fire and a bottle of fine malt greet me.
With the chill dispelled from my ageing bones, and sat comfortably, I reach out and grab my Old Pulteney.
I watch as the amber liquid poures into my glass with a reassuring glug, filling the air with its scent of Speyside.
I raise my Glencairn of glowing spirit to the fire, the flames, distorted by the cut crystal, dance a glowing dance.
“Happy new year everyone.”