That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Every day I promenade the Island, checking the horizon for Japanese patrol boats and suchlike. I’ve been here a while and I like to keep a weather eye for any trouble. Don’t worry; it’s not all typhoons and tidal waves, in fact most of the time I sit around waiting for something to wash up. I can guess what you’re thinking; you’re thinking the only thing washed up around here is…yeah well, I do the quips, such as they are, thank you very much. Fancy a reviver? Why didn’t you say? Come on, we’ll stroll up to the house; it’ll give me a chance to show you round. I think you’ll like what I’ve done with the old place.

See? I told you. Isn’t it great? As you can see it’s the typical Old World fantasy (nice off-white pillared fa├žade with portico, in the colonial style). Those jungle creepers give an air of neglected opulence I think. Too tropical for you? They took an age to cultivate but the market demands it. That diastolic thumping you can hear is the antique generator out back. It powers all this. It might run on for ever or it might stop tonight. I hope it’s not tonight because it’s steak and kidney pudding tonight, with new potatoes. Let’s go inside. No, please, after you.

Well? Whatdya think o’ the fittin’s? Not bad eh?. “Eclectic” is the preferred term these days. I call it “romantic scotch revival with gothic overtones”. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s taken a lifetime. I’ll agree it’s not to everyone’s taste and that it’s heavy on the sarcastic baronial (soft furnishings are not my forte) anyway I think it’s balanced by the open aspect and the wonderful outward views. Hell, you are totally right, I shall scrap the tartan carpet in the lobby – make it more welcoming.

You’re probably wondering how all this got here to the Island, I wonder myself sometimes; well there’s no mystery there. It just fetched up, over the wide oceans of the world drifting with the Trades. Come on, I’ll show you, bring your glass, we can drink on the way. No, look, change of plan. We’ll avoid the windward shore for today, it’s high tide anyway. When it turns, we may find a 42” flat screen home cinema, on the other hand, a dozen half-dead seabirds covered in oil, so for now, I’ve a better idea. There’s this little cove where I like to sit when the sea’s combing in. When it’s running high I avoid the beach and the breakers and come here instead, to sit and have a kir and watch the dolphins.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Lost Island Of Doctor Maroon

Father’s Day

I was just seven years old when I was struck by the realisation that my father was up the creek. He was turning into a woman and the stress was killing him. To let you know, me and Mum were in some room and the doctor had come in to give us the bulletin on Dad. I was pretty confident. This was the Western Infirmary after all, which was the best hospital in the world, ask anyone.
The doctor was tall. He had funny eyes and a stethoscope and pens in his pocket. I didn’t like that stethoscope one bit. It was black and rubber and threatening. I felt distinctly threatened. My knees were shaking.

“…so it’s really just his Jemima and we’ll keep a close eye on that…”

The affairs of adults were never discussed in front of me so I was making myself as small and quiet as possible but I must have gasped or something because my dear mamma looked over and sent me out so I tore down the corridor to Dad to tell him the bad news. He’d looked fine five minutes ago. Perhaps the strain of motor factoring and light engineering caused his Willy to fall off, but would that leave a Jemima? Would he grow bosoms? I was certain he’d had a Willy. I had seen it at swimmies, only for a second mind but there could be no mistake. It’s not the sort of thing you can misinterpret.

When I got back to his bed I saw I was too late. He looked different. Cybermen had put plastic tubes in his ears to suck out his brains and his handsome face was all twisted. He winked and waved me over.

‘Here.’ he said, sticking the hissing pipes in my ears.

It was Round the Horne, a radio programme that gave him more joy than all his beloved family put together.

“…hello, I’m Julian and this is my friend Sandy…”

This was too bad. This was whistling while Rome burned. I took command.

“Now look here Pater, Mater and I have had a chat with that medical Johnny next door and the upshot is you better pull your socks up. He’s not at all happy with your progress, and frankly I don’t blame him. It’s time to beat your ploughshares into swords and fight the fight. Gird up your loins and face the coming storm. Via veritas vitae!”

In reality I said;
‘Dad, are you turning into a lady?’
‘What? No. Don’t be silly.’
‘The doctor said you’ve got a Jemima.’
Dad was probably drugged because he just stared at me.
‘Go and get Mum.’ he said thoughtfully.

He was home the next day and the whole thing was never mentioned again.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

To my mind, the “Aviation” is the best of cocktails.

I’m a convert and believe me there is nothing in this wide world that is worse than a convert. As a general rule, don’t drink this one after dark unless a long night of dancing is in store.

You mix it thusly:-
Wait. Remember, Maraschino is a clear dryish liqueur not that weird syrup you get in jars of cocktail cherries.
Right, let’s go.

1½ ounces gin,
½ ounce maraschino liqueur
¾ ounce lemon juice

Give it all a shake with hundreds of ice, strain into a chilled glass and top it off with a cherry. A link with aeroplanes however tenuous, really helps the enjoyment. .
Doors to automatic !
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about a down to earth mix that still packs a punch like Joe Louis. I call it the Buckfast Bronco.

Down the hatch!

Talking of hatches who left the hatch open?
Must have been the ground staff
Yeah but there’s a warning light, right?
Yeah but it’s on your side
But it’s on your list
I called it and you said “check”
So we’re all the way to Sausalito with it flapping like that?
If it lasts that long
Listen to it
What a racket
You better tell them
You tell them, you’re captain
Exactly, and I’m telling you to tell them
Only if I do the landing
It’s your turn anyway


Monday, June 11, 2007

I looked at my watch,
It was 12 hours into Monday,
So I thought;
I better go and see the Man.
He said; Hi, you got the package?
I said no.
He smiled and he said; I understand…

Apart from pushing things to their elastic limit, I have been mainly concerned with my total lack of progress. A scan of the paperbacks in the supermarket yesterday showed a lot of unimaginative thieving swine have stolen my ideas but rather than faff about, fantasising about the South Bank Show, they have got off their hynies and got themselves printed and onto the shelves.

It was encouraging in a way. I went straight to the liquor section and asked where the absinthe was.
Young lad, weekend job for pocket money, searched all the Bacardi Breezers and Smirnoff WKDs for me. (My cruelty knows no bounds.)
Ok skip it, I said, any calvados?
The little rat found a bottle.
I haven’t opened it and nor shall I. I don’t like the look of it. It looks like medicine.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Turning left.
You know how sometimes your fat pointy nose gets all scabby with sunburn and your big baw face puffs up with the drink and your eyes are like piss-holes in the snow and you think you might have type 2 diabetes because your body shape has gone all feminine and you might have some inner ear issues because you’re bumping off the walls like a knotless thread and there’s an invisible Martian brain slug drawing out your life force like a poultice while you sleep?
Me neither.
Suck it up, is what I say.
We’ll have no moaning Minnies here. Life’s too short.
If a big hearty double knit outward bound type comes near me today and says how great life is, I shall bang his head off the fake maple desking solutions.

I wish it was summer.
That’s a crock.
I wish I was eighteen.