If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do with it?

Probably drink too much. Ideally I'd finish building my house, develop an engine that runs on carbon dioxide, sell my award winning Loch Fyne Liqueur to the trade, stop the tundra from thawing, learn to play the piano in a boogie-woogie style and read a book by Tom Robbins, not necessarily in that order. I suspect I'll never finish the house.

What's the most bizarre thing that has happened to you while serving a customer?

An English chap once bought something without asking for a discount . Many ask for BOGOF , we tell them it's efoff or nothing. And a bunch of Yanks once believed me when I did my act of never having heard of the United States, but that's more fun than bizarre.

What do you wish you had known when you started out as a retailer?

How to add VAT. No, sorry Mr VAT Man that's a untrue glibism! Good footwear - it took three years before my ankles stopped aching.

If you could swap jobs with anyone for one day, who would it be?

Tony Blair. Outlaw the discounting or similar promotion of alcohol, shoot George Bush and be shot by his special agents - job well done . Then I'd be me again, with whom I'm quite happy. Unfortunately I don't believe the Bush-Blair shoot-out would change a jot.

What gets you our of bed in the morning?

A hoist and a ward sister who reminds me of Hattie Jacques. No, actually my conscience, a lack of a watch and an obsession for punctuality to get the girls to school on time.

What's the best age to be?

Seventeen years if you're a Glengoyne, 18 if you want to buy a drink, 21 if you're a Springbank and immature if you want to be content.

In a nutshell, what's your philosophy?

Avoid glib answers to daft questions. All right, coconut or walnut shell? Either way avoid nutcrackers. How about if you want something really badly, stick patience on it. And if you wear a tie and smile you can be very rude to the customer.

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