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The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

Greetings to one and all and welcome to my much belated virtual blog.

I have decided to get in the mood and reward myself with a wee shot of Barbados rum and a fresh pouch of tobacco. I may be punishing my body with these carrots but the intention is to reap the benefits of a satisfied writer’s hand and an at ease mind. Whether or not you agree with me on this one is a moot point but to each their own.

I intend the ensuing entries to be educational (for you the reader) and cathartic (for me the writer) in equal doses but primarily enjoyable and fun to read for all. I shall endeavour the scope to be broad but the content to be specific. I should have been tapping away at this keyboard many moons ago but an insurmountable mountain of ennui and several non-motivational episodes in my life have prevented me from performing this most singular of tasks. My first topic will be cryptic crosswords.

I have long enjoyed the solitary pursuit of thinking backwards, sideways and in rhymes to pass the time and exercise my brain in the hope of dusting off the cobwebs that inevitably start to build up as one passes along the rail of life. I have also found that a good cryptic and several pints of the fine stuff are an ideal way of enjoying one’s own company whilst sojourning in any number of public houses scattered around the globe. My own personal favourite locale used to be Grogan’s Castle Lounge (Dublin) of an afternoon with nothing more than the days edition of The Irish Times, a pint of plain, an Irish coffee and a few hours on the clock to kill. I have decided that more people need to appreciate the solitary joys of cryptic puzzling and I am here to show you how. For those of you that have little or no interest in such activities I shall keep it short by deciphering one clue at a time for your education and understanding.

First up:

Pi (6)

This is a bit tricky but oh so simple and is one of my all-time favourite clues from the Irish Times, courtesy of Crossaire. The answer quite simply is TURNIP. If one were to turn Pi one gets TURNIP. Hey presto it’s a simple as that.

Perhaps more interesting is the story behind CROSSAIRE, the pen name of the compiler. He is an elderly gent residing in Zimbabwe who surmounts herculean tasks in exporting his puzzles to the desk of The Irish Times and has been doing so for more years than I’ve been around.

Now that I have broken the seal let me move on to more fruity topics and in particular the current climate of fear invoked by terrorism and the Global Financial Meltdown. I would suggest everyone get their arses down to their local hypnotherapists and engage in a course of media block out. Yes, it’s as simple as that! People have been known to eradicate the urge to smoke so why not eliminate the desire to watch the news and read banner headlines in the press. I mean, does anybody really care if a bomb goes off in Lahore (unless cricketers are involved of course) or if the Dow Jones nose dives? This might seem a somewhat puerile course of action but . . . if it worked for George W. Bush, then why not you?

The tipple that I alluded to earlier is none other than Mount Gay Rum. This is a delightful blend of coral filtered …yeah whatever you get the idea. I like to drink this rum just as one might drink strong water on a chilly evening. I can fully comprehend the aversion of some people to drink rum but let me educate you. There are several types of Rum available;

Gagging Rum……these are best used in christmas puddings and cakes and are generally hidden beneath the sink. They may also be used as an emetic in times of trouble or even as paint stripper if indulging in DIY. I have found Coruba, Bounty, Bundaberg and Old Navy to be fine examples of this category whose drinkabilty is increased exponentially as more coke is added.

Sipping Rum…..all I can say is if the bottle costs more than a slab of decent beer it is generally better to sip the stuff and leave the bottle in open view so guests can see that you are an imbiber of quality booze and bottomless pockets.

Drinking Rum….. If you can drink it like a single malt whiskey and it doesn’t strip your tonsils it fits in this category. Simply pour in a glass over some cubes of ice and …drink. Some choice examples are; Mount Gay Rum, Cockspur’s Five Star, Bacardi, Appleton’s and many more. They generally have a whiskey like colour and gentle enticing aroma.

Check out this website, it has some lovely music…www.mountgayrum.com

For a more detailed and educated description of this golden drink I would suggest, no recommend, a trip to wikipedia.

To finish off this inaugural blog I will relate to you the good news of the week…I have found a job! Iwish I could dazzle you with accounts of being a stage hand at the Royal Theatre or even of being Boris Johnson’s speech writer but alack alas the truth is that I am back doing that most mundane of jobs that keeps a nation dry; I have rejoined the illustrious ranks of the waterproofer. What I hear you say is entailed in such a position? Well,I check to see that firewater spirits are of the correct proof. What else would I be doing with my time. I mean, the idea of applying waterproof membranes to bathroom floors and balconies is quite simply beneath me. But it does pay well and trumps kitchen work in every possible area apart from the very noticeable absence of waitresses to flirt with and dish-pigs to abuse.

Need I say more?