Too many formerlies to mention. Presented and written innumerable TV and radio programmes and for the past decade have been half of the underperforming Scottish team on Radio 4’s Round Britain Quiz. Founding editor of The Scottish Review of Books. Was a Booker judge. Have written for countless newspapers and magazines from Life and Work to the New Yorker. Still waiting to hear from the Pulitzer people.
Sheltering in an archway I overheard an elderly woman remark, without a hint of humour, that it was "God's wrath" while her male companion nodded vigorously and invoked Noah, the Ark and the Flood.
Moments earlier they had learned to their horror that their fellow commissioners had voted to allow congregations to appoint gay ministers, a move which the Kirk's spin doctors were keen to portray as "historic" and which the Moderator, Lorna Hood, insisted was "a massive vote for the peace and unity of the Church".
"Smug" perhaps best sums up our mood. In a few hours, all being hunky-dory with Ryanair, we would be in Siena, tanning our hides, sipping prosecco and pondering which ristorante to grace with our euros.
And so there we promptly were, together with the entire population of Milwaukee and legions of Italian children who, in lieu of imbibing draughts of dreary history, took to harassing the pigeons which flock to Il Campo – venue of the famous horse race – to fatten up on discarded pizza. All was extraordinarily well with the world.