Well, we left the St Patrick’s Day bash at the Irish Consulate at 7.55 pm precisely although I suspect it had a day or two yet to run. Beautiful food and posh wine – but there was somebody pulling reassuring-looking pints of the black stuff over in the corner. The room seemed to have a fair number of Irish exiles wandering about and thinking wistfully about going back home – so that was all right. De Minister made a warm and witty speech about the ethnic links between Ireland and Scotland. And we went home the direct route.