Well, tonight she was tidying up a little cupboard which is in the sitting room and came across a box tucked away at the bottom. It contained a slightly weird collection of bottles of alcohol.
A litre bottle of Canadian Club was the first one she pulled out. The other were: Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey 10 years old, Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacoa, Kummel, Cointreau, Peach Schnapps, Ricard and lastly, a bottle of Courvoisier.
She sat down, slightly flummoxed and thought 'Where did they come from?' She looked at the Canadian Club for there was a little label on the neck of the bottle.
And there.. was the answer! It came back to her and she remembered where they had come from, she'd bought them at Malaga Airport, January 1974.
She was en route back to London having been staying with her parents. In those days, you could literally take as much as you could carry onto the plane and she had scooped as much as she could fit into her lovely basket from duty-free prior to boarding Iberia 825.
Upon arrival at Heathrow, she went straight into the Something to Declare channel and said "I've gots lots to declare!"
A customs official roared with laughter and said "Ok, show me", he looked at the bottles, sucked his teeth and said "well miss, seeing as how you've been so honest, I am going to ask you for £10.00 and you can go off and have a happy time with all of this!"
They both laughed, she handed him a £10.00, he
gave her a form saying 'Duty Paid' and off she
went with her swag.
She was living in a friend's flat dog sitting whilst the owner was away working in America and she lived there for just over a year before moving in March 1975 into the flat where we live.
Some of the bottles are still unopened, which is a miracle seeing as how, in those days, people used to drink all manner of 'exciting' drinks after dinner!
But, I'm sure you're wondering about the reference in the title to the old Spanish currency, well, you see the little label on the Canadian Club was the price label.. in Pesetas and how much was the price of this litre bottle?
Be prepared.. Pts 23.90. Ah, life in the 70's was
'pretty good', for you see, Pts 1,000 was £5.00!
November 16th, 2017.