The launch at Thornhill went well in spite of , or perhaps because of, it clashing with the Scotland Macedonia game. A genteel and well educated crowd received the potery well, drinking tea, sipping lemon squash and sampling the delicious haggis canapes. Indeed I had high hopes of a very small wine bill until the doors smashed open to reveal Lexie and his mate carrying between them the half stupefied body of Ansel Broon, the richest man in Penpont. Of course it all came to a hurried conclusion then with matrons fleeing in all directions, plates being upturned and bottle after bottle of vintage Chateau Drumsleet drained. At the centre of it all, of course, was Ansel Broon who-and I have noticed this facet of his character before- in spite of being completely unconscious, managed to drink more than everyone else put together. He also did not buy a book as his wallet is suspended on a silver chain somewhere near his long johns and he claimed to be unable to retrieve it. without undressing completely, a prospect even I was not prepared to countenance for such a small sum.
After the launch we carried Ansel across the road to the Buccleugh where he started on the Black Rum. Ansel is a legend in Penpont and Sanquhar so it was a great honour to me when he turned to me at one point, still completely unconscious, and said "That Poetry was SPOT ON, son."
Ansel Broon is 142.