sort of modified vacuum cleaner sucks the little bastards into an extremely fine mesh net.
This can clear a significant area of even a really badly midge-infested site and could even,
conceivably, just possibly, let people in Highland hotels and back gardens sit outside of
an evening. If this all works in the real world and not just under controlled conditions, the
inventor deserves to become a multi-millionaire and have statues erected to him or her
from Stranraer to Ullapool.
Anyway, Glenfinnan is midge central. We went out one evening years ago and left a
light on and a window open at the McFarlanes' house; when we came back there were so
many midges on the angles between the walls and the ceiling it was as though somebody
had taken a can of black spray paint and sprayed slowly from one corner to the next. We
all just stood and stared, aghast, until Aileen - unknowingly anticipating this new midge-
hoovering device - got the vacuum cleaner out and removed the little horrors that way.
Actually midges would drive you to strong drink too, for the anaesthetic effect if noth-
ing else. I've even heard of people smearing whisky onto their skin to act as a short-lived
deterrent to the little fiends, though it has to be pointed out that a) it had better be a blend,
b) this should only be done under conditions of extreme desperation, and c) there's little
proof it works.
We're back home, between Islay and Speyside (via Glenfinnan). The war continues. Bush
and Blair meet at Camp David to assure everybody it's all going splendidly and those
pesky weapons of mass destruction will be found, gee, real soon now.
I find myself looking at Blair and hating his self-righteous, Bush-whipped ass the way
I only ever hated Thatcher before. I look at Dubya and just see a sad fuck with scared
eyes; a grotesquely under-qualified-for-practically-anything daddy's boy who's had to be
greased into every squalid position he's ever held in his miserable existence who might
finally be starting to wake up to the idea that if the most powerful nation on Earth - like,
ever, dude - can put somebody like him in power, all may not be well with the world.
Dubya is that worst of all things, at least at this level of power and influence; a cast-iron,
100 per cent, complete and total loser who's somehow lucked out and made it to the very
However. Enough. The next leg of the whisky-book-researching tour beckons. There
were pals to see, vehicles to be driven, roads to explore, people to meet, distilleries to
tour, drink to drink and fun to be had, and bottles of whisky waiting to be bought at each
of the distilleries I visited. I must not get upset at the thought of my taxes helping to pay
for this war shit. Hell, I'd just try harder when the time came to convince the tax people
that the bottles of booze were absolutely necessary for my research into the topic's sub-
ject, and therefore a legitimate business expense. (I had thought of claiming them as ex-
penses off Random House, but Oliver the Editor had gone a little pale when I'd tested the
air in this direction and so I thought I'd probably better try the tax man instead.)