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  • March 31st, 2016 by
    pouring whisky

    We’re fast approaching the quarter-year mark. Three months of 2016 have been and gone, and we’re back to work after the long weekend to tackle the remaining nine months of the year.

    With that in mind, it feels like the perfect time for a first look back on the highlights of the first part of the year – and a quick look ahead to some of the big events coming up in the rest of 2016.

    Five highlights of 2016 so far

    1. England Grand Slam

    Yes, it really is true, you’re definitely not dreaming by now: England won their first Grand Slam in 13 years. Not only that, but they looked pretty good value for their win. Perhaps even more excitingly, Scotland won their first Six Nations match in two years against the Italians, before going on to beat the French for good measure.

    2. Scotch Whisky – a mini revival, but is there a shortage?

    The first three months to 2016 brought a small, but no-doubt welcome, upturn in the fortunes of Scotch. After five years of falling sales, the Scotch Whisky Association recently announced that the industry enjoyed a 2% increase in sales last year as demand soared. However, the good news has coincided with a shortage of single malt Scotch, and prices might just go up for older vintages.

    3. AI beats humanity

    OK so if you’re not a techie, this one may sound kind of dry: a computer beat a human at a board game. It’s a pretty big deal though – it potentially means that humans will start learning from computers, and even that computers will eventually outpace us. There’s a genuine sci-fi risk to all this that even people like Stephen Hawking are worried about (it’s still all rather far-off/far-fetched for now, but it’s definitely a big moment in computer-human relations).

    4. The Scotch Creme Egg

    Did you miss this one? The Scotch Creme Egg is creation of Derby Chef Phil Joy, and it quickly went viral. Well, it’s not too late to try it out – Cadburys sell the eggs until April.

    5. ‘Brexit’ Referendum announced

    No review of the first part of 2016 would be complete without a nod to the looming EU referendum.  On 20th February the Prime Minister fired the starting gun on the referendum debate. It should keep us going with enough non-weather-related talking points for the next few months to make even the most British among us seem like natural conversationalists.

    And five things to look forward to…

    1. The Euros

    It’s going to be football fever this summer, when the Euros kick off in France. The competition gets under way on the 10 June at the Stade de France. England, Northern Ireland and Wales will all be there to represent the Home Nations, with the latter making their first foray into tournament football since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

    2. The Queen turns 90

    Yet another big celebration year for those of you who count yourselves as royalists, the Queen’s birthday is on 21st April. There will be big celebrations from 12th-15th May followed by a second set of events in June. Our agèd monarch is only one decade away from having to post herself a congratulatory card on her centenary…

    3. ‘50 years’ celebrations of… everything

    They’ve already started, but prepare yourselves for a ton more celebrations-cum-remembrances of events (especially music and sport related ones) that happened half a century ago – and the accompanying BBC 4 and Channel 5 documentaries about them, of course. ‘Fifty years since England won the World Cup’; ‘Fifty years since John Lennon claimed The Beatles were bigger than Jesus’; ‘Fifty years since Cooper floored Clay’; ‘Fifty years since Fifty years since lists began’, etc.

    4. The Olympics in Rio

    OK, so Team GB probably wont beat its medal haul from London – but it’s still the Olympics, so it’s bound to be exciting. However, the mood ahead of this year’s event is rather less jubilant: the build-up has so far elicited mixed feelings from the people in Rio, and protests have taken place against a backdrop of forced relocations for Favela residents. There’s no guarantee it’ll all magically fall into shape on time either, what with the current unfolding of a massive corruption scandal in the Brazilian government.

    5. Time for change in the US

    The democratic process, in all its glorious eccentricity and obscene grandiosity, is already in full flow in the US, with Trump and Cruz, Clinton and Sanders still fighting for the Republican and Democratic nominations, respectively. The climax to all this fun will take place in the shape of the US presidential elections, on November 8th 2016. Quite frankly it looks like it might well be the most bonkers democratic event in history.

    British bunting

    Whether you’re musing the past or the present, don’t forget to drop into one of our Boisdale restaurants and treat yourself from our mouth-watering menu and selection of fine wines or even book to see one of fabulous live shows.