the forum

16 November, 2007

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Q I have had the same bottle of Scotch in my window since 2002. It's become an in-joke and now we intend to leave it there. Can anyone beat our five-year achievement?

A We've still got the remnants of Christmas decorations we put up in either 1994 or 1995. The particularly tall member of staff who pinned them to the ceiling left us and nobody else can reach - even on a stepladder. We've convinced ourselves it would be bad luck to take them down now.

Julie, Worcestershire

A We've had a bottle since 1970 - a 1919 Springbank. Mind you, it does cost £14,000. Shoplifters note: the display bottle is a dummy.

Mark, Cadenhead's, Edinburgh

Q The Trading Standards officer who conducted a sting operation which caught out one of our assistants has started coming into the shop as a customer. Should I feel ashamed that I can't say more than a grudging "thanks" to him?

A I found myself in exactly the same position last year. I found that I got on speaking terms with the guy and let him become accustomed to how the shop operates. I'm not saying it stopped us being targeted in more test purchasing, but I'd like to think there was at least one person in the Trading Standards office who knew that we were honest, diligent people just trying to do our jobs.

Name supplied

A I hope you asked him for ID and refused the sale if he didn't have any, even if he was in his 60s .

Tom, Essex

Q My staff are clamouring for a Christmas party. What can we do that's both unusual and cheap?

Bob, Sussex

Q Is it acceptable to sell bottled beers with slightly rusty caps?

AH, Leicester

QIs a hibernating hedgehog a health hazard in my stock room?

Alan, Oldham

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know