“Welcome back,” I hear you say. “What gives, droog?” Putting your frankly unfathomable deployment of the argot coined by Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange to one side, I can reveal it’s mighty fine to see you again. For the record, I’ve been here, there and everywhere these past two weeks – well, Newcastle, London and Reading; do they count? – refuelling my mind and body at the fag-end of an incomparably epic year.
So good is it to be back, in fact, that no sooner have my snakeskin Chelsea boots graced the leaf-strewn pavements of the Dear Green Place than I am off. It’s got nothing to do with almost being deleted from the glitchy app of life by a red Skoda Fabia estate driven by Mrs Magoo as I cycled to work on Wednesday morning, or the nimbus of diesel ringing the roundabout near my flat that turned my ordinarily biddable Saab into the automotive equivalent of Torvill and Dean the following day.
And it’s certainly, sincerely, indubitably unrelated to the blackened soggy crust carpeting the city as we hobble glumly towards the winter solstice like condemned men to the guillotine.
It’s so bad that I’m looking forward to spending my first ever night in a static caravan. Happily, not in Saltcoats but St Andrews. Yes indeedy, after nigh on 40 years of dreaming about it, the day has come when I have something in common with the rugged if romantically enfeebled Jim Rockford other than a lifelong membership of Club Bloke.
James Garner’s TV gumshoe was a heroic figure to my young self, not least because of the seaside trailer in which he laid his weary head, the surf soundtracking his egress to the Land of Nod. His Pontiac Firebird was pretty cool too.
It’s at sleeping in a static caravan that the similarities end, alas, though I’m not seriously complaining. I don’t recall Jim Rockford ever taking off to the Kingdom of Fife with a gaggle of greying stallions for 36 holes of links golf, a few tins of lager and an Indian takeaway in an effort to banish the autumn blues.
Yes, so soggy has my default golfing playground become that I’ve given up the fight and taken flight. Endlessly beguiling as soil scientists no doubt argue it is, I’ve no desire to become any more familiar with earth than I already am. In the coastal sod of Fife I hope to find an agreeable level of resistance to my clubs, a quality signally lacking from the borderline quagmire of Balfron. And if not, there’s always beer and curry.
Trailer trash? That’s me – for one night only.
Reproduced with permission of Herald & Times Group.