Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Piano Bar

I think I'm sleeping light and that my regular waking up during the night is causing my tiredness. I was up half a dozen times last night, so although getting to bed at a decent time I still feel like I've only had a few hours. A couple of my pals are coming through from Glasgow tonight for a meal and drinks so no doubt I'll be back to square one tomorrow morning with my attempts at catching up with sleep.

Nevertheless it was a short day. My energy levels received a welcome boost over lunch when I ate some Marzetti leftover from last night. As I was eating at my desk I was emptying out my 'E-mails to Read' folder and realised I was meant to have written The Scruffy Dog Review (hereafter known as TSDR) blog entry for Tuesday! I totally forgot and so started to rattle my brain for something to write about.

I bought a Scotsman and checked the BBC art's pages - nothing. I scanned google for ideas - nothing. Then I remembered the catalogue I got in the post last week. It was the brochure for this years Guildford Book Festival, which is currently running down in south-west London.

I rattled an article together and posted it a day late, but couldn't find the Admin forum address to apologise, so I logged on from home later.

On my scan through the BBC Scotland website I came across this horrific story from right in my hometown: Boy, 3, found dead with mother

What can you say about it? Tragic, awful, sad, all this is true but I just hope the wee laddie doesn't end up in some place worse off now he has no parents. Hopefully his gran will be able to support him, if not, I fear he'll join the list of unfortunates who had to be brought up under the Social Services and had their life fucked up as a result.

Here in Scotland, there is a poor track record for care, particularly for small children. All too often are stories appearing in the papers about the Social Services letting down kids who were at risk. They turn up dead or on drugs and jail is the only place they know by the time they are twenty. If we want to cure many of the ills of Scottish society, then we should start to look at the support system we have in place, install the right people and inject some cash because the wages these people are on is a disgrace.

I used to have a girlfriend whose job it was to go around the streets and try to pull off junkies and alkies into the van to offer them help. They would take them to the Centre and try to get them into programmes within hostels or services that would try to give them a leg up. But she was faced with daily assaults, abuse and threats - all for £18k. She had no support either, only told to get on with it or get a new job.

People say Scotland is becoming more socialist these days and very left-wing. I don't think it is. I think it's just the politicians in the giant council building they like to call the Scottish Parliament. Jumped up Councillors like our First Minister, Jack McConnell, who thinks tax payers money is better spent on holidaying in the States telling people how great it is here, instead of putting the money to better use. Maybe if he did, I would not fear for the wee boy from Leith quite as much as I am today.

Mikey and Craig, my two Weegie (pr. Weejay) pals came through from Glasgow for a meal and drinks. They wanted me to show them something new in Edinburgh, so I took them to The World's End bar and The Jolly Judge on the High Street before dinner at The Filling Station. For some reason the waitress found it hilarious to leave the pepper pot in my pasta, but I think it was only because she found me a remarkably sexy individual.

I then took them into The Last Drop (sorry Devon!), the White Horse and then Mad Dogs. They wanted to keep going, and so despite my pleading to the contrary, we ended up going to The Piano Bar.

It was dire. The place is a haven for heffers and a den for dickheads. Standing under the speaker didn't help change my opinion either and you can imagine my astonishment, when at about 2am Tom Daly (as seen in Clark's) walked in through the door.

His first question was based on his knowledge of me and my opinion of the establishment I was now stood. "What the hell are YOU doing here?" he asked in a strong, southern Irish accent.

After a few words he went to the bar and then I heard from Craig, that he thought he saw Zander at the back of the pub. Sure enough, when I went to look, there he was.

It was a surreal ending to a good night out. Next time I see the guys will probably be over Christmas and New Year, which is approaching far too quickly for my liking.
Colin 10:48 am


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