John Gibson: Bogue bowl of Cullen does trick

Barbara Dickson. Pic: Comp
Barbara Dickson. Pic: Comp
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If my memory serves me – and my shrink will confirm it doesn’t – an exec member of the Drambuie hierarchy used to sleep with the recipe for the nectar under her pillow. I know somebody just as intensely possessive with what he raves is his own concoction. Cullen skink.

You don’t drink it (with the Dram you sip it), you sup it with a spoon.

Anyway, Barbara Dickson, whose memory is infinitely sharper than mine, plays the Festival Theatre on Sunday, and recalls the time she came up to Edinburgh to record for Songs of Praise from Cramond. “I should have known better,” she told me. “I didn’t expect it to be so chilly, so I didn’t bring my thermals to wear underneath my coat and trousers. I stood there in the open air shivering like a twit and I got through the shot sustained by a bowl of Cullen skink from the riverside tearoom. Call me a Cullen skink person from way back.”

Alan Bogue also has a recollection. “I know that Cullen skink got her through that day. I made it in my kitchen in the Cramond Gallery Bistro. My place and my own recipe for the soup. There’s Cullen skink and there’s Cullen skink, if you know what I mean. She had my sympathy that day. Bitterly cold and there was snow about. I served her personally with the winter warmer.”

Barbara Ruth Dickson should have written a song about it.

Afterwords . . .

. . . an absolute boon for women drivers. But ladies you’ll have to be patient. A Ford Focus with a self-parking system will be on the market two years hence. You push a button on the key fob and the car parks itself. I do not believe it.