That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Let’s have an Internet Party!

Cape to Rio is one year old today!

It’s a new concept, one of my own I think, and one which has caused much excitement round here I can tell you.

Scattered across all points of the compass and 24 time zones as we obviously are, the party will have to last the whole weekend or until somebody, probably the police, spoils it for everyone.

So, come in, come in. This is the place. Throw your coat over the teenagers in the spare room and get yourself a drink from the kitchen.

Drinks: Now obviously we must supply our own wherever we are. I FINALLY found a supplier (Morrisons) of Crème de Cassis de Dijon so I’m on KIRS.

Guests: to make the party go a bit, I’ve invited all the 6.2 billion people who live on the planet. If it gets too crowded, we can bail out to Barney’s. Also, Richard and his wife are coming up tonight, so he will definitely make a comment or two, I’m sure of it. But, because he is gauche and utterly socially inept, he will probably say things like;

“get stuffed!”
“Dr Maroon works for…”

You know the kind of childish thing. We must ignore him, he doesn’t get out.

Now it’s a bit early here, even for me, it’s only 07:05 BST and I have an errand to run, but if it suits you wherever you are, just get wired in. I’ll soon catch up.

Wait, I’ll stick a record on, James Last or Dave Brubeck or something. Just as muzak while we loosen up a bit.

Bottoms Up! Nostrovia! Down Der Hatchen!

Sainte! καλή υγεία! Mud in Yer Eye! 환호!

Buona salute! богатырскя здоровье! 身體好!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Thursday Rant.

SUVs. Dontcha hate them?

There is something despicable about SUVs. It’s the mentality. It’s a symptom of defence, protection, withdrawal. There is an inherent simplistic immaturity about those who drive them. A dullness, a predictability, a poverty of ambition, a lack of imagination, a sheepish willingness to believe the marketers that a jeep will solve their deep rooted psychological problems of inadequacy, that’s what it is.

It’s not only that; they are a hopelessly over engineered solution to the problem of personal transport.

It used to be Mercs didn‘t it?
Although to be fair, there was always something a little disreputable about a Merc. It was an English class thing. Mercs were new money.
They still really annoyed me.
They were so heavy, they needed a lorry engine to haul their Germanic carcasses round the streets, just so their dullard drivers could look out on the non Merc world.
Not now. The Mercedes is a tinny piece of chav junk now.
Common as muck.
The three pointed star is like Burberry. Naff.

All my friends (four) drive totally nondescript old hatchbacks and saloons. The fact we choose to spend all our money on drink is neither here nor there.

My other friend Richard, the finance director, has a Mercedes SUV.
You couldn’t make it up.
His wife, an utter gem, hates it, because it’s agricultural and too high up and awkward to park in the crappy spaces you get in carparks these days. She really did take a wrong turn when she married that oaf.

Post script.

Here is a quote from the page that I got that picture from:

“The only drawback I found to the interior is the presence of a confusing new shift lever on the steering column, which places the gear stops at points that most drivers will find unfamiliar. I found myself engaged in Reverse when I really thought I was in Park. Park is engaged by pressing in a button on the lever.”

God bless us and save us all.

Post, postscript.

I wonder how many of you read the postscript above in that nasal "white man" voice so beloved of Eddie Murphy.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The strangest thing happened this morning.

There I was in the sitooterie, having a java, singing to myself…

“oh roamin’ in the gloamin’, by the bonny banks o’ Clyde,
roamin’ in the gloamin’ wi a lassie --- what the bloomin’ heck is that?..”

A tiny humming bird had arrived and was flitting around the trailing fuchsia (wonderful display this year).

A tiny hummingbird? In Perthshire? In September? Are you quite insane?

‘My God! The lobsters will be back soon. Damn you absinthe! Damn you straight to hell!’ I thought.

But no! It was a hummingbird moth. The first I’ve seen in Britain.

That was not the remarkable thing however. The remarkable thing was that to confirm my identification, I googled it, only to find that there is a huge underground hummingbird moth movement with dedicated websites and forums.

Imagine, while honest folk like us, go about our bona fide business in the blog world, under the surface, a shadowy organisation of hummingbird moth lovers use these same pages for their filthy purposes. I might have to join.

I will return after a proper breakfast and tons more coffee.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cue music, the Grieg, you know the one, the peaceful, dawn-breaking one……

Come gentles, for morning sunlight is streaming through the shutters, sending stripy shadows over the superb feline curves of our heroine still abed.
We may look and wonder. Indeed, if there be men with blood in their veins among us, then wonder we must, but sshh, all should be quiet as a mouse.
Look, she sleeps on yet…

…Captain Barney, most dashing in sea boots, britches and baggy white blouson, stood one foot upon the scuppers and turned his piercing blue-grey, hazel eyes towards the eastern horizon.
At that moment, a wind, soft as a zephyr from Araby, swept across the bay with the tide. The captain filled his chest, hungrily gulping down the air as a fallen Rechabite might an honest ale.

Still in her shift, Fatmammycat emerged on deck beside him, and as she did, the gentle breeze took her glorious mane of hair and sent it billowing out over the rail as fine as any admiral’s pennant, while its warm insistence pressed the thin fabric of her nightshirt against the contours of her delicious body. The captain turned and took her in his manly arms.

“Oh Barney.” she breathed.
“Oh Cat.” he sighed, “where do you keep your black pudding?

Sound of needle skating across vinyl.

“And I can’t find any HP, don’t tell me you’re out of it.”
“Hennessy! I was having a lovely dream there.” She yawned.
“Oh? Was I in it?” shouted Hennessy, pulling pans from a cupboard with much clattering.


Cardinal McShae pushed back his seat and stubbed out his cigarette. He immediately took another from the packet, lighting it in one fluid movement born of long habit.
He tapped the packet with impatience. From his office high in the basilica, he looked down on the tourists, (they hadn’t had a bona fide pilgrim for ages), as they swarmed over the square waiting for the Angelus.

‘If they knew what I knew…” he thought and shuddered.

He absentmindedly took another cigarette from the packet, Navy Cut Capstan Full Strength, lit it, then realising his mistake, stubbed it out with an oath.

“God forgive me.” he muttered.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I wish I had one of those weather-maps so I could superimpose lots of zigzag lines showing where I’ve been hiding this last sevendays. I truly do. But since other people’s tribulations are as interesting as their dreams or their children’s O Level results, I shan’t.

Hotel corridors smell. Their dining areas smell the whole thing merges into a great big fat hairy Trust House Forte hellhole with full English at the buffet breakfast bar upgraded school dinner in the Windsor function suite washed down with some filthy wine served by smiling courteous hatefilled Poles.

Young Polish are moderately goodlooking and yet somehow not. Have you noticed that? They are and they aren’t good looking. A puzzle to be solved. There’s no pretty ones. Striking ones. None that you would think “Hey, it would be nice to run off somewhere with that big thing.” They are Godamned averaged-out clones with moderately attractive physiognomies.

We let them down badly in the war.

Face fixed into rictus grins for my drinking fellows in the hotel bars oh all directors of this or that good suits good shoes no rubbish good smalltalk good talkers yet everyone of them living the life of a sad commercial traveller.

Yes BAe Systems (Bradley Fighting Vehicle among others) has decided to sell its share in Airbus, Rolls cancels opening of new Scottish repair facility, A380 delivery slips back again because airlines can’t make up their minds on options OR AI gave them too much choice in the first place and then the general turmoil of air travel but only FROM Britain.

Rightso, who’s for a snifter? Come on, don’t be shy.

Sing out there! What’ll it be?
I’m having one.

Too right I am.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I’m only looking after him
He followed me home.
It’s only temporary
He needs the company
Don’t pet him
Don’t make any sudden movements
It’s just for the hols
His coat was a disgrace actually.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hennessy found her sprawled on the strip maple floor of the penthouse. With great tenderness, he carried her lifeless form to the Louis Vuitton couch where she now relined in his strong arms. The lines of concern etched on his face melted as her eyes opened.

“What were they?“ She murmured, “they were so thin, -they seemed without fleshy substance, -skeletons almost.”

His reply, chilled her to the marrow:

“From what you said in your delirium. You have been most fortunate. There are many, great in renown, who have fallen to The Six. They are the Narmani-gul!
Once, they walked the earth as women, as real as you, but they were swayed by the hollow gifts of The Necromancer. Style, panache, grace, a local branch of Harvey Nicks: all these things he promised them. But ever in his malice, there was a cost. The price they paid was terrible.
They are condemned now to wander the land, surviving on rocket salad and weak spritzers. The Dark Lord himself controls them through the pages of aspirational magazines. From now on, you must not show your Versace accessories or Tifanny jewellery. It draws them. They can smell it.”
“Bling wraiths!” wailed Fatmammycat.
“Aye.” nodded Hennessy sadly, “and now you are known to them.”
“What am I to do? They want my summer collection! Will you keep it safe for me?” she asked.

Hennessy shrank back from her as if scalded.

“No Cat!” He exclaimed, ”in my hands it could end up in Asda or K-Mart!”

At these words, a window blew open putting some of the scented candles out.

“Ronnie Hennessy! Said Fatmammycat in alarm, “never have those words been spoken in this fair place. Speak not that tongue here in the hours of darkness.”

“Yet I make no apology Cat.” he replied, “if we are to win through, we shall hear worse than that before our trial is over.
This much is clear. You must come with me to Rome: Cardinal McShae will know what to do.”

And with that, he stood and took a bottle of Jägermeister from the freezer. He poured two measures of the smoking liquid, handing one to Fatmammycat.

They drank in candlelit silence.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fatmammycat gunned the Maserati round the cobbles in a skitter of squeals.
The private show had gone well. Very well indeed. She patted the sharkskin portfolio on the passenger seat beside her. They had lapped it all up. This time next year, fashion week would be toasting FMC Internationale as the new black. In five years, street markets across the continent would be awash with Chinese counterfeits of her new label. She had arrived.

In the basement carpark, Fatmammycat pressed for the penthouse elevator.
As she did, some of the lights flickered and went out. She instinctively moved away from the wall, into some space on the floor.

In a rush of black silken taffeta they were upon her. Six of them. Fashion Ninjas, and by their scent and Paris manicures they were D & G. Obviously.

“No matter what,” she thought, taking up her defensive stance, “they must not get those designs.”

At Milan airport, Ronnie Hennessy relaxed into the backseat of a taxi.
“Piazza Del Santa Maria” he ordered.

They circled her, feigning attacks, trying to draw her out. She stood her ground, waiting her chance.
The elevator pinged.
“Now or never” she thought.
Before the weighted handbags started to rain down, she pushed through to the lift which now stood with its doors open, then turned to face them. None of them dared approach the cornered feline in such an enclosed space, but instead gathered just out of claw reach, mewling and posing and striking the right attitude with what light was available, cursing her most foully.

“Marks and Spencer,” said one, her faultless teeth framed in beautiful full lips now twisted into an erotic pout.

“Come on come on!” thought Fatmammycat as she stabbed in the code that would take her home to safety.

“Top Shop.” said another, running her hand down her waist to rest on her hip, accentuating the superb cut and workmanship of her outfit.

“Jesus,” Thought Fatmammycat as the doors started to close with treacle slowness.

When the gap was less than a foot, the tallest of them, their leader presumably, leaned her impeccable upturned nose in to deliver her venomous barb.

“T K Maxx!” she hissed.

“Oh Christ nooo” Fatmammycat heard herself say as her world spun and the merciful embrace of unconsciousness took her in its yummy arms.