If you’ve been on Facebook recently you may have noticed people posting a daily list of things that they are grateful for. I’m not really sure why they do that. However I’ve never let my lack of understanding get in the way of active participation in a cause – that by the way is the definition of a liberal. I also wear sandals with socks and hug trees when no one is looking. Yesterday I even turned off the tap while brushing my teeth and could actually feel the planet being saved by my small action.
So today is my first day of gratitude. On the seventh day I will rest and go back to being an ungrateful bastard.
Today I am grateful for the really hot waitress in a too short skirt, who despite her inability to speak English, recognised that I needed to eat more greens and gave me an extra olive in my martini. It’s the small things that matter. My faith in humanity thus restored, she then found me a cab to get me home. Double secret grateful.
The waitress in question was at Boisdale of Belgravia – a Scottish Restaurant in London. I had gone there in search of food and Scottish people with whom to discuss the Scottish independence referendum. The winsome lass who greeted me might have been a candidate for such a conversation but alas she was an Eastern European in a tartan skirt. In fact there were no scottish lasses around that night. Frankly there weren’t that many lasses of any nationality present, barring the usual assortment of older gentlemen taking their young nieces out to dinner at a place where they wouldn’t run into their wive’s friends. This is a masculine restaurant with a rabbit’s warren of dark rooms with wine coloured carpets that don’t show stains and red walls with the odd dead animal hanging on them. It’s the kind of decor that pubs and restaurants have been trying to get away from for the last twenty years. Or maybe it’s just Scottish decor.
Boisdales has a huge selection of whisky, a selection of Cuban cigars to smoke in the covered cigar terrace, live jazz and an “authentic” Scottish menu. There is a lot of advertising speak about where the food is sourced, but frankly it is all rather ordinary. If you are in the mood for bits of sheep innards cooked in a sheep’s stomach (yes the Scotts do kill it first!) haggis is your thing. I like haggis and Boisdales makes a decent fist of theirs. They are proud of their steaks and their burgers – but better can be had elsewhere for less money.
The live music is played on a tiny stage stuck in a corner by the entrance and can’t really be heard outside the main room. It’s not Ronnie Scott’s but there aren’t that many jazz venues in London – Boisdale attracts decent talent. If Scotland becomes a foreign country and you feel a bit nostalgic you might be tempted to visit Boisdale of Belgravia (they have branches in Bishopsgate and Canary Wharf). Otherwise I really don’t see the point.
There is something unreconstructed about Boisdale’s that I suspect is part of the Scottish character. Perhaps therein lies their desire for independence. Going down the path to independence is a bit like joining Opus Dei. It will hurt, but the people who do it anyway enjoy this.
I have a sneaky fondness for our cross dressing cousins from the north, even though I can’t really understand a word they say. Without them Great Britain would be, well, just Good Britain. If Wales were to leave as well we’ll be the Untied Kingdom. So I will wake up the day after the referendum hoping that the result will be a celebration of staying together. For that I will be grateful. In the meantime I am driving up to Scotland to buy some whisky before they close the border.
If you have a wee more time to waste
Check out this video to understand how the Scottish freedom movement got started…(it has to do with accents apparently)!