Letting Go #4: The Drop-off

recordsAfter the SWAG knees up [WLP#3], I’ve managed just four hours sleep. With yet another hangover, the early start isn’t welcomed, yet by noon, I’m at Newport Pagnell services to meet a fine young piano tuner who is taking 25 excellent jazz records [more letting go].

It’s not long before I’m back on the road, powered by coffee as needs occasionally must. On this occasion, the caffeine has the opposite desired effect. Just a few hours into my journey, I pull into a Travelodge car park and fall sleep almost immediately, on the bed which is mostly taken up with the whisky that I’m taking to Perth to be sold at auction [WLP#1].

Bottles on bed.jpeg

After an hours snooze, I’m back on the road. Hours and hours later, I’m across the border and into Scotland.

Scotland sign

I find myself in Eyemouth [pic below], a charmingly quaint picture-postcard seaside port which I hope will offer the perfect stopover for the night. It is not. There are curtain twitchers and ‘no overnight parking’ signs everywhere. I turn around and leave.


I eventually find a nearby lay-by set away from the main road with a view of the cross-country train line. It sounds far from tranquil but it is ideal [pic below]. No whisky for me tonight. A few small glasses of wine, however, and I’m away with the fairies.



Monday 13th July 2020

With the auction deadline today, I’ve only to head directly to Whisky Auctioneer and deliver my consignment. En route, I can’t resist having a little peak at Glenkinchie in the process of improvement works.


I’m unaware of how close Lindores [WLP] is. Thinking it was on the Glasgow side of the borders for some reason, I drive right past it. Damn! Next time. I reach Perth around midday and enter the large industrial site where my sat nav tells me Whisky Auctioneer is based. There’s the sign, I’m here!

whiskyauctioneer INSTA

Laurie greets me and shows me around. Amongst the rows and rows of bottles – many very familiar – is part 2 of the Gooding Collection, soon to be up and running again after a cyber attack earlier in the year [2020]. Further reading: spiritsbusiness

It’s a whisky community who’s who at Whisky Auctioneer HQ. Angus MacRaild is sat the lobby, and once back outside, I see John Beech offloading bottles. People continue to arrive with steady succession with their whisky consignments. I offload my bounty, say my goodbyes to Laurie and head northwest towards Ben Nevis. There’s no symbolic or ritualistic final farewell for my prized whisky collection, nor any remorse or pangs of doubt. I had already let go in the course of the last week. In fact, it’s a huge relief to see them go. I leave them sat on the floor of the open-fronted loading bay and drive off.


Soon on the A9, I see Edradour [see pic above] is near and Google says is open. It is not open and whilst taking a few photos, I am told [shouted at] to remove myself and my vehicle from the empty car park, “IMMEDIATELY”. The message is clear. Stay home, stay away. It’s such a stark change from the usual open-door policy.

My experience at Blair Athol [see pic below] is far softer, though they too are closed to visitors. Having driven into their carpark as I have done on a previous occasion, I’m told “the gate should not have been open”, though I was free to look around as long as I shut the gate behind me. Like at Edradour, there are no visible signs of production.

Blair Athol

It’s already 5pm and I’m done driving for the day. Dalwhinnie – also closed – is close-by, and there’s a perfect spot I know for an overnight stay. It’s been four years since I visited the distillery [WLP], and nothing appears to have changed.


Dalwhinnie planeEven the weather is similar – a varied combination of sun & rain, brooding clouds and blue sky – just no complete rainbows or low-flying vintage war planes this time round.

  • Q: ‘What do we want?’
  • A: ‘Low-flying aeroplanes’
  • Q: ‘When do we want them?’
  • A: ‘Neoooooowwwww’

Speyside Dalwhinnie

I take a number of photos of the distillery before parking the camper for the night. I plan on enjoying a whisky or two tonight, to celebrate letting go of my liquid treasures and meeting the auction deadline. One of those celebratory samples is sure to be a 1946 Haig & Haig which I’ve held onto for perhaps two years, though I’ll need a sighter first. However, I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. I’ve been continually engaged in this ‘letting go’ process since late March and have inadvertently been holding it all together until this moment. Before I even manage to pour any whisky, I suddenly feel very peculiar and lie down. Crawling under the sheets, I sleep, uninterrupted, for 22 hours.





whiskyauctioneer sign

3 thoughts on “Letting Go #4: The Drop-off

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s