"She was right. I had to find something new.
There was only one thing for it."
My mother told it straight, London will finish you off,
and I'd heard what Doctor Johnson said, When a man is tired
of London, he is tired of life, but I'd been tired of life
for fourteen years; Scotland, never thoroughly enlightened,
was gathering back its clutch of medieval wonts
and lately there had been what my doctors called a pica
(like a pregnant woman's craving to eat Twix with piccalilli
or chunks of crunchy sea-coal): I'd been guzzling vinegar,
tipping it on everything, falling for women who were
beautifully unsuitable, and hiding up wynds off the Cowgate
with a pokeful of hot chips drenched in the sacred stuff
and wrapped in the latest, not last, edition of The Sunday Post
where I read that in London they had found a Chardonnay
with a bouquet of vine leaves and bloomed skins, a taste
of grapes and no finish whatsoever, which clinched the deal.