Howdy. As Harrison swans off on his holidays for a week to a Spanish Castle (to no doubt enjoy the hospitality of the local señoritas and their flagons of Rioja) Ridley here is left holding the baby.
And this time, I mean literally holding the baby. On the 4th July, at three minutes past two in the afternoon, Miss Lois Emmeline Bullus-Ridley was born at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Kent.
My impending fatherhood had previously got me thinking about some of life's decisions... the following might have been at the tail end of the list.
Will fatherhood mean i'll have to exchange my Teutonic Torpedo (aka a late 80's Mercedes 230e) for a sensible (but ultimately tedious) 'People Carrier'?
I've since grown fearful every time I see a Vauxhall Meriva and literally start screaming at the sound of nearby Fiat Multipla coughing into life.
Will fatherhood mean that one's wardrobe suddenly becomes 'infused' with all manner of bodily fluids?
But perhaps even more pertinently, which whisky should I reach for, from the newly constructed walk-in, baby proof cabinet, to celebrate our wonderful and perfectly formed arrival?
The last poser really got me floundering. For a little while i've been picking up some nice bits and bobs where ever I happened to find them. A recently acquired bottle of Port Ellen 6th Release was earmarked for 'special occasions', but the bottle i'd really been itching to uncork was an ancient Laphroaig.
Originally released in 2000, Laphroaig 30 year old has no doubt become the stuff of legend amongst peaty purists. A 75cl bottle was released for the American market with a regular 70cl bottling (at 43%) released into Europe. Whilst on a shopping trip down to Canary Wharf about 18 months ago, I chanced upon a bottle of this rarity in a local Waitrose - for the incredible price of £110! Surely one of the bargains of the century. I eagerly ran to the tills with sweaty hands and vowed to open this in celebration of a significant milestone.
So on the evening of the 4th July, the date that the Higgs boson particle was discovered - arguably the most important scientific breakthrough of the 21st century, I duly celebrated the most significant and profound event in my life to date.
Does a great whisky taste even greater when it has a purpose, a destination and more importantly, a reason to be opened and shared with friends?
Slainte, Lois. As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, an aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.