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Issue 39 - Still in league with the devil

Whisky Magazine Issue 39
May 2004


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Still in league with the devil

Michael Jackson continues the saga of a tasting at Philip Pullman's house

Despairing of my constant travels on various whisky trails, my partner Freckles occasionally retaliates in kind. She packs her goods with the intention of absenting herself permanently.

“I have never left you for another man,” she asserts (that verb fits her like a glove), “but don't take me for granted. Arthur Miller appreciates a good woman".

Will he know that you like a glass of Ardbeg before going to bed?” I observe, tartly. She thinks that, being a sensitive man, he will. “In as many expressions as I can offer?” I persist.

“He's a writer. He is hardly likely to be short of expressions,” she sighs.

I am behaving in exactly the way she expects of a man, she says, mimicking a school yard chant: “My collection of Ardbegs is bigger than yours.”

Who knows what fires people's passions? Freckles glows in the presence of a writer. Perhaps it was mistake to take her to Philip Pullman's home. You may recall, if you have been paying attention, that the evening had scarcely begun when she asked him to sign a couple of his books. Appreciative words were soon muffled by the closed door of his study. What exchange was being pursued?

At length, they emerge, smiling. One of the books, a first edition, is apparently worth a great deal of money. Pullman is entitled to smile, despite the fact that he writes books for readers, rather than collectors or investors.

In much the same way, people may collect whisky, or treat it as an investment, I prefer to drink it...

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