Saturday, 17 December, 2011

When the late Christopher Hitchens sang Carrickfergus, the lyrics were personal: “For I’m drunk today and I’m seldom sober / A handsome rover from town to town / Ah, but I am sick now, and my days are numbered / Come all ye young men and lay me down.” And soon he will be laid down to rest for ever, that wonderful voice stilled, never more to inform, provoke, entertain and enrage us.

In the Q&A session following a speech Christopher Hitchens gave to the Commonwealth Club of California on 9 July 2009, one audience member asked what was his favourite whiskey. Hitchens replied that “the best blended Scotch in the history of the world” is Johnnie Walker Black Label. He claimed that it was the favorite tipple of, among others, the Iraqi Ba’ath Party, the Palestinian Authority, the Libyan dictatorship and “large branches of the Saudi Arabian Royal Family”. For one night only, the Rainy Day team will join that list in remembrance of Christopher Hitchens, who brought us so much happiness in the course of the past three decades. Sláinte!

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