This time last year I had my car towed from the parking lot of a pharmacy in Los Angeles, on a hot balmy evening. It cost me every penny I had left. I blogged about it honestly. Iona read it and rang me immediately. She recommended I include my payment details, so I edited it and put them in. Over the following 24 hours, people – ranging from close friends to old schoolfriends to loose acquaintances – made small payments. I spent a lot of time the next day feeling extremely emotional at all of their given reasons: “A bit of help” “You stupid twat” “blog subscription” “acting lessons” “friendship bonus” I harboured all sorts of good intentions regarding these. I wanted to pay everyone who had helped me back. I fantasised that, a year later, that would be possible. It wasn’t. A year later I’m still up against it. Next year though…

Lots of people need a tow today, but these will be welcome tows. We drove over the peaks from Manchester to Buxton and it was terrible. At one point we followed a snowplough up a hill. People were driving past us the other way, shaking their heads at us, but we were behind a snowplough. We got to the top of the hill and the fucking snowplough took one look at the shitstorm in front of it and turned around. Robin was driving, not me. Had it been me we’d probably still be trapped somewhere surrounded by sheep after I stubbornly pressed on. As it is, we tried another route. There were many abandoned cars and trucks at the roadside on the other route. There were parked cars that were almost completely buried. Often the drifts forced us into one lane. We had to turn around a few times and abandon roads that were all but impassable. Eventually we made it, and now we’re in Buxton as the sun goes down. Thank God for that. Let the stag begin.

We have unbelievable amounts of Bourbon here. Remarkable bottles of bourbon. In vast quantities. Even if we are snowed in now we’ll be fine. Robin knows his American whiskies. I can’t call the stuff whiskey knowing my grandfather James had a bullet left in his stomach for most of his adult life as a result of his enterprise running Scotch from Helensburgh to prohibition era America. But this stuff drinks well despite the unpatriotic genesis. It’s sweet. And if I’m going to break into Sexy March from the booze free sexy February, it might as well be with a hit of Willett’s Kentucky Straight “Pot Still” Reserve Small Batch. You can tell it’s good by the amount of descriptive words. I’ve had a whole glass while writing this. Now I’m into the Michters small batch. With coke. My father would be spinning in his grave if I put anything but water in whiskey. But this is bourbon. Different story.

I’m sitting at a table with a bunch of beautiful lads. Mostly they are talking about bikes. We were supposed to be riding this weekend but the weather has messed that up. So we’re talking about them instead. And drinking unbelievably good whiskey-like-drinks. With coke. Nom. Sugar Rush incoming.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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