You were alright, Jack

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What a year it's been for kicking the bucket.   
First it was David Bowie, who I used to sit next to in a cafe in Beckenham over 40 years ago, 
not having a clue who or what he was only that he
enjoyed a cigarette and gave me a light when I needed it.

And then it was Victoria Wood, a hugely talented British comedian, writer
and actor who probably
didn't smoke in real life – not that it thwarted her

Now it's the turn of Sir Jack Leslie, who has just died at the grand age of 99.

By the way, non-smokers should note that not smoking, or quitting the nicotine habit, won't somehow 
stop Death in its tracks.

So get a feckin life, why don't you, before it's too late. 

Back to Jack, who was born in New York City, ended up in the family residence – Castle Leslie in County
Monaghan - and was a member of what was once described as “one of the most eccentric families in Ireland.”

Jack's younger brother, Desmond, who co-authored one of the first books on UFOs with George Adamski 
threatened to sue the Irish newspaper concerned unless they changed their wording to “THE most eccentric
family in Ireland.”

By the way, Jack's father was first cousin to Sir Winston Churchill.  On the night I stayed at Castle Leslie, 
long before it was completely refurbished,
Jack gave me a personal tour of his family estate and showed
me Winston's
baby clothes, which were one of Castle's many treasures.

He also told how his mother, deciding to pop into Raffles hotel in Singapore for afternoon tea with her 
travelling companion found the place deserted,
including the billiards room in which she rang a small bell for service.

She then decided to take a turn around the town.  When she returned 30 minutes' later, there was a huge crowd and 
a dead tiger on the hotel main entrance steps.

“Are you the lady who went into the billiard room and rang the bell,” somebody asked her.  “Yes,” came the reply.
“Well, there was a tiger asleep under the table and you woke it and we had to shoot it.”

It's moments like these, even if it's years later that I love to celebrate with a good cigar.  Such as the Macanudo Inspirado, 
which my friends at The DCE
I'm sure will be delighted to provide.