It's Friday 25th January and Mr. o' Shanter is exhausted; physically, mentally and spiritually.
It has been a hard week for him at work as team leader in the Bank call centre, many staff have phoned in ill complaining of the winter vomiting virus, some others have been signed off for longer, citing stress and depression as validity for non appearance. Even Mr o'S. is a bit down at the moment, the weather has been miserable, wet 'n windy, a typical Scottish January nowadays.
He got home to his rundown flat till about 7 and by the time he reached for the whisky bottle the clock had struck eight. He hadn't finished till 6, stopping off at the chippy for a haggis supper after working late to try to compensate for the skivers. Since then he has been watching the telly - a lot of nonsense really - but nothing better to do, and, more importantly, it kept his mind off his growing financial problems; most of his salary went to his ex-wife and kids and it all constantly niggled at the back of his mind.
As the clock on the telly struck ten, Thomas poured himself a large glass from his rapidly emptying bottle. It was time for the news.
As always it was mostly war and misery. Northern Rock, Afghanistan, American elections etc. etc. Thomas' spirits slipped down. And down.
To close was a story on writer Martin Amis. It featured Mr Amis discussing his views on Muslims in the light of the September 11th and 7th July incidents. Images were provided. Thomas reflected for a while and staggered to his cupboard. He got out the big bottle of white spirit and an old rag that he had brought for decorating the flat before going downstairs to the Asian shopkeepers. "Fucking Paki bastards."
He tried to pour it through the letterbox but it splashed back over him. "Bastards" Nevertheless, he put his lighter to the fabric he carried and flames burst up. Thomas was too drunk to realise what was happening at first, then he felt the heat. "Bastards." By this time his hair was ablaze, his nylon jacket melting onto his skin. "Bastards." He fell to the ground, still muttering then screaming.
"and in an instant all was dark"
You can see the actual report here.
Tam o' Shanter
Mary Rose/Cutty Sark given restoration funding