The main reason for my recent visit to Glasgow was to see my elderly father but I also set time aside to catch up with friends. As we only meet once a year, it is fairly easy to keep up the pretence that I am always well-groomed and presentable and that I never, ever answer the door to the postman in my pjs.
But I knew the day was going to go badly when, sitting perched on her side of the bed in the Travelodge room that I was sharing with her, my two sons and two large dogs, my daughter asked through mouthfuls of cornflakes why I had chosen to dye my hair ginger.
Ginger? Really? I shot up and examined myself to find that she was at least a little right. What I had thought to be a pleasing shade of mid-blonde was indeed rather gingery… which proved that not only was my hair turning white, but my eyesight was failing!
The rest of the day turned out to be different to my expectations too. I had carefully researched where I could meet my friend in the centre of Glasgow to have a drink, as I had not only three children in tow but also two dogs. Finally the internet provided an answer and I arranged the meeting after confirming that they did allow dogs in.
So the appointed day and time came and we made our way to the pub, only to be greeted by two men carrying large bundles of wood into the place.
Horrified, I asked if they had suddenly closed for refurbishment. But they hadn’t. Phew relief! They eyed up the dogs. Equally nervously, I stated that I had already phoned them to check that they allowed dogs in. They assured me they did. We were halfway down the steps into the basement bar before they called me back.
“What?” I asked rather tersely by now. “Aren’t you open yet?”
“Naw hen we’re open,” he said in a broad Glaswegian dialect. “An we’re no doin’ any renovations. An aye yer dugs are welcome in. But ye cannae take yer kids in here.” [Translation: “My dear we are open. There are no renovations being currently carried out and your dogs are most welcome here. But not your children, unfortunately.”]
Would you believe it?
Equally as strange, was the pub we ate at that night which turned out to be a deconsecrated church. The pulpit and area for the choir was still preserved, as was the vaulted ceiling and the stained glass windows. The place was incredibly beautiful and somehow very wrong.
So one pub which was licenced to allow dogs but not kids through the door, and another that had once been the site of religious worship and was now favouring a worship of an entirely different kind altogether? Absolutely! Only in Scotland folks, only in Scotland.
Happy New Year!