John Gibson: On a Bali high, the major’s back

Major Brian Leishman
Major Brian Leishman
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He’s back. Back from Bali. An we’re not talking about Portyballi.

The Bali Ha’i they sing about in South Pacific and Brian Leishman is back home in Edinburgh raving about his two weeks on this “paradise on Earth” as the brochures rate it.

But he wouldn’t want to live there. Major Leishman at 75 is telling me: “It was one of those blow-out holidays people take in retirement of their own volition or prompted by chums.

“You read about Bali and, I have to say, it lived up to the picture people painted. Fantastic in many ways. The indigenous population keep smiling and they appear to be happy. Tourists can live in comparative luxury. But it’s not inexpensive.’’

A long-time soldier, serving with the Cameronian Scottish Rifles and then the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. “In Germany we were called ‘the poison dwarfs’ and you could say some rejoiced in the nickname.’’

Former business manager of the Edinburgh Tattoo, the major is an inveterate traveller and he’s planning a motoring trip to Italy next month. “I’ll see the rugby international in Rome, Italy against Scotland, and come back through France and Belgium, meeting up with old army chums.”

Go for it, major, go for it!

He’s got thirst

Caught in the act of enjoying a refreshment or three. Simon Cowell has every right to let all that hair down, considering the stress of Britain’s Got Talent, beginning auditions again this week for the next series.

The millionaire slaked his thirst straight from the bottle when snapped emerging from a Mayfair club at the weekend.

Good night out, was it, Simon? Presumably not quite like your passport pic.