John Gibson: I’ve always been bit of a landlubber

Sir Tom Farmer. Picture: Jane Barlow
Sir Tom Farmer. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Cruising for a bruising? Could be. Tell you the truth, I’ve always been more an airman than a sailor. But I read somewhere that big ships will call at Leith this summer and there could well be something in it for me.

The idea of escorting portly, cigar chomping Americans round Leith has a certain appeal, introducing them to the charms of Great Junction Street.

They could be treading the streets where Willie Merrilees once roamed. Jeesus, who is this Merrilees guy?, I can hear the curious Americans on shore-leave cry. Well, he was to Leithers what Boris Johnson is to Londoners, I’d try to enlighten.

Like I say, cruising has never lit my fire. Too many television documentaries, despite a valiant effort by Tom Farmer to find my sea legs. Tom and Ann welcomed me aboard the Royal Yacht the night it was open house to the public. What lowered the tone was a copy of Esquire that Phil the Greek had left, presumably inadvertently, in the royal couple’s cabin.

Forgive the fib. I’d previously guested on a vessel visiting Leith on a discreet, sun-splashed blether with an actor of renown, Robert Morley. That, though, is another story and this altogether has become a yarn and a half.

Tribute dinner

The 200th anniversary of Waterloo falls on June 18 and the Royal Scots Club in Abercromby Place is holding a dinner at the club, favoured by Princess Anne, on the 19th.

A black tie affair, tickets £36 for the remembrance dinner. Everybody is spick and spanned in tribute to their patron, the Princess.