Have you ever looked enviously at someone carrying out some interesting looking task and thought to yourself, ‘gie’s a shot o’ that?’
Tonight (Friday) author Johnny Gauld will go some way to addressing those feelings of curiosity when he launches his new book at the Commercial Inn.
Johnny’s inspiration came from an unlikely source. He explained: “The basic gist of Gie’s a Shot, came to me whilst I stood on top of a roof in Glasgow in the pouring rain. I was working as the maintenance man for Scottish Opera at the time. I was on the roof was of a blocked gutter.
“After pulling a manky torn poly-bag and the rotten remains of a dead pigeon from the downpipe of the gutter, the idea for ‘Gie’s a Shot’ suddenly came to me.”
‘Gie’s A Shot’ was a labour of love for the Glasgow-based author and raconteur and saw him travel all round Scotland trying his hand at a host of different jobs,.
And it was Arbroath that got him started on his way: “I quickly knew what Scottish products and institutions that I wanted to work with and immediately emailed the various contacts.
“Of the 16 chapters, Stuart Scott (Stuart’s Fresh Fish) was the first to reply, saying that he was very interested in me coming along to work with him for a few days to learn how to make famous Arbroath Smokies.
“Other chapters saw me working in Glasgow’s oldest cinema, making Harris Tweed, working in a whisky distillery, lecturing in Strathclyde University, making Stornoway Black Pudding, being a minister, making bagpipes and many more. Arbroath features heavily in two other chapters. Seeing me working at Arbroath Football Club and also going to sea on the Lichtie Lass to bring in lobster creels.
“Regardless of where I worked I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and Gie’s a Shot is so much more than it might appear on the surface.”
Stuart Scott told the Herald about Johnny’s fact-finding visit in June 2012 and how it was not clear whether he was doing research or angling for a job!: “It’s the first time something like this has really happened to me. About four years ago he Facebooked me with this idea and I said yes straight away. I didn’t expect him to be totally hands on, but he was. He was so enthusiastic, he’s the first visitor I’ve seen to jump into the barrel to light the fire! I’d say Johnny was a modern-day Robert Burns. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments in the book which is full of these great characters and this hands-on experience, that’s what comes through the most.”
Join Johnny tonight (Friday) at 7.30pm in the Commercial Inn for a convivial chat.