Your humble Devil must admit that he has sold his soul, although not for a mess of pottage. I have merely agreed to be on the organising committee for FoREST's 30th Anniversary celebrations, which are occurring this year.
To be honest, I thought that it was the least that I could do, considering how much of their money I have drunk and it is, in any case (and being the heavy smoker that I am), a cause that I support. So, that's the disclaimer out of the way.
As Simon Clark has pointed out on Taking Liberties, the next FoREST event marks a very special occasion.
I am pleased to announce that Forest supporter Ranald Macdonald will be hosting a very special reception on Monday 22 June.
The event, at Boisdale of Belgravia, is to mark Forest's 30th anniversary and the publication of Christopher Snowdon's impressive new book Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A History of Anti-Smoking.
Expect cocktails, canapes and live music. Chris will be signing copies of his long-awaited book and I imagine there will be one or two (short!) speeches.
Why is this special? Well, Chris Snowdon is a very good friend of both myself* and the Filthy Smoker—plus, I am proud to say, the book cover was designed by your humble Devil.
I have been reading my advance copy over the last few days, and it is not only informative and entertaining, but horribly prescient. Chris's description of the tactics undertaken by the anti-smoking lobby is actually rather chilling, and anyone with half a brain will recognise the same strategies being used against drink, drugs and anything else that The Righteous want to ban.
So, your humble Devil will be there, naturally: FoREST always throw a good bash and I haven't seen Chris for a little while now (I can't, alas, speak for the Filthy Smoker, who is rather jealous of his anonymity).
If you want to come along, do pop over to Taking Liberties to see how you can get onto the strictly invitation-only guest-list.
P.S. Last time that we were at Boisdale, Ranald asked my tasting advice on a couple of wines: I hope that I made the right choice. In any case, there is an article about Ranald and Boisdale in the Independent today...
* I should point out that I contacted him after he gave me the rather generous quote that appears at the top of my Testimonials. Chris and I did not know each other previously...