By Peter Kerr
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Extra info for A Basketful of Snowflakes
In a moody silence, he ultimately placed the ad with the girl, paid up the full whack in cash, turned on his heel and headed for the door. ‘Incidentally, miss,’ he barked at her before making good his exit, ‘that Jennifer Lopez lookalike thing I mentioned? ’ The age of chivalry had taken yet another step backwards, as Jock strode purposefully forwards and (prudently) out into the street. Jock’s annual Burns Suppers had already earned a reputation among expats and natives alike as being one of the highlights 35 A BASKETFUL OF SNOWFLAKES of the Mallorcan social calendar – though firmly ensconced at the unpretentious end of it.
Characteristically, the bell-shaped chimney breast was painted white, offsetting the smoke-darkened wood of the mantleshelf, on which an array of terracotta jugs, greixonera cooking dishes and copper utensils were lined up as they would have been when still in daily use. But now, their only purpose was to state a theme that was repeated on other 56 MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES shelves throughout the room. These, together with randomly-hung clusters of painted plates, provided an aptly simple adornment to the otherwise plain, whitewashed walls.
But it had always been the tinned variety of haggis that had been on offer, a couple of cans at a time having been brought over from Scotland throughout the preceding twelve months by a succession of Jock’s obliging friends and family members when visiting the island on holiday. Not that there was anything wrong with tinned haggis, Jock was quick to stress. On the contrary, its quality was regarded as being up there with the best. And it goes without saying that, when presented with an individual portion on a plate, not even the most knowledgeable of haggis buffs could tell whether his helping had been spooned from a tin or a skin.