One of my fondest childhood memories of Christmas was the annual visit from Uncle Leslie. He would show up at our door, positively brimming with Christmas cheer, with two of his government sponsored ‘Research Assistants’. These ladies, who always seemed much younger than my dear Uncle, never seemed to dress for the British climate. They both seemed to be having a competition with each other to see who could catch my Uncle’s eye by exposing the most bare flesh. I can’t imagine who would have won but I’m sure that my Auntie Gwen wouldn’t approve.
“Do you want your pressie now?”, he’d enquire and I would run to his side. He would juggle the Woodbine and his glass of scotch into one nicotine stained hand, reach into his ‘Diplomatic Pouch’ and produce a present lovingly wrapped in a brown paper bag. I would rip the paper, my little hands trembling with excitement, to find a half empty bottle of Johnny Walker. “You’re never too young to start drinking”, he’d say and would then try to get me to take a sip from his glass. One year, when I enquired about the excess air in the bottle, he said that it was no doubt due to the cabin pressure in the jumbo on the flight over.
Sir Les Patterson : The Unofficial Webshite