It was back to school for Donald this week.
Well when I say school, I really mean I had to sit a very important exam – the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH, better known as PLH).
A City & Guilds certificate, a personal licence is a mandatory requirement under Scottish Law which allows you to legally supervise and authorise the sale of alcohol on licensed premises, whether they be off licences, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, pubs or clubs.
Even then the premises must have a PLH-named premises manager designated before a drink is poured.
Gone are the murky, mercurial days when you just signed up to a dodgy pub lease and threw open your well-battered saloon doors.
Now we are no longer the “sick man of Europe”, when it comes to our love of alcohol.
Pubs and clubs may still be in decline, but for those that are still managing to stay open, the customer can now expect and receive better service, and feel a lot safer in surroundings that are clean, secure, properly supervised and better managed than they ever were.
But the real and very important point to this little tale is that for those who don’t get their skates on, register and resit their PLH renewal before March 31, they will end up losing their licence.
They will then have to wait another three months before they can reapply.
For them, they should forget a possible no-deal Brexit happening on the same day.
Come April 1, it will be no joke when they realise that having no PLH could very much mean having no job and no opening of their premises.
Incredibly, with the clock ticking down, it’s estimated that 15,000 PLHs across Scotland still have book their renewal course, with Armageddon for the trade being forecast by many industry figures if they don’t.
So if you are a PLH holder, and your license is due for renewal before October 31, 2019, and you haven’t yet woken up and smelt the coffee then I suggest you do so now, certainly before the end of March.
Oh, in case you are wondering, this little swot passed with flying colours . . and no money changed hands.