WHILE it's nice to see various distillers ramping up production at this troubled time ... it's a wee bit disconcerting for those who like a dram as they are doing to to produce hand sanitising products.

More than one aficionado of the amber nectar has told me they are stocking up in case there's a shortage at some point. By my reckoning that won't happen until at least five years for 'cooking' whisky and eight years for the single malts.

To my mind it's a false economy as it should all be sorted soon to allow distilleries to do what they do best. But, just in case, The Raider's drinks' cupboard has been replenished!

Buying the 'Big One'

Alex Paul, of JW Paul and Sons, from Ballingall Mill, Leslie, Fife, is always on the look out for potential winners in his quest to try and win carcase competition at LiveScot.

Recently, he set off to the March sale, at Lanark, to source the ‘Big One’ and on his way there his usual turn off at Whitburn was cordoned off, so he came off at the next junction.

You guessed it, yes he got lost. He then put his trust in the sat nav and it ended up taking him on a circle back on to the M8 and when eventually he got near Lanark, on a road he had never been on before, he wasn’t sure where to go at a crossroads.

Not wanting to trust the pick-up’s sat nav totally, he put it on his phone – with the nett result that one was sending him one way and the other sending him the opposite.

The Raider understands that this upped his stress levels until help apparently came to hand as another pick up and trailer passed him. Luckily, it actually was heading to the market and not on the way home!

Maybe while he was dithering aboot the country roads of Lanarkshire, he actually missed the Big One?

Piece bag and status

ANOTHER unexpected twist in the Covid-19 restrictions is that all of the auction mart cafes have been closed for the duration.

Now this has forced changes on many regulars – at least those that are allowed – who attend the marts. What to have for the all important 'piece' and lunch?

According to Aileen Ingram, East Comalegy, this has prompted a resurgence in the humble 'piece bag'. More than most of those attending the marts would last have seen this in their school days, but now they're re-living that age-old anticipation of 'what has the other half given me today?'

We understand that there's a certain amount of rivalry involved in this and that many a reputation is now being judged on exactly what's in them! Might even be a case of a new sponsorship class for the 'Best piece bag' in the mart?

Aileen's message is: "So, auction marts up and down the country, keep up the good work ... and we'll keep filling the piece bags!" That sounds like a challenge.


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