I am excited, but also infuriated. Monday’s Evening Express brought me the great news of plans to stage an open day in our beloved Bon Accord Baths to mark its 80th anniversary.
But also came gruesome details of the vandalism inflicted on the precious building since lockdown began in March, including smashed windows and doors and racist graffiti. Maks ye weep.
But let’s give a huge round of applause to the members of the Save Bon Accord Baths campaign, who are now cleaning up some of the place, ready to welcome the public for a “nosey-roon”.
Me and my bosom pal canna wait (I’ve just worked oot – we’re only eight years younger than the magical place). Between the ages of nine and into oor early teens, we were at the baths at least once a week – treble or quadruple during school hols, when oor single mums worked and we’d to amuse oorsellies.
Paid four or sixpence to get in, then – the moment you thrust open the heavy glass doors behind the cash cubicle – you got that heavy blast of bleach (chlorine?) straight up yer nostrils. Ran straight ahead to that fantastic view from the balcony; the huge arched gallery over the pool. We’d nae idea about Art Deco. But we did get a huge thrill. Couldna wait to run doon the stairs and into the locker rooms, which were freezin’ – but nae half as cal’ as the pool itsellie. Was it heated? In retrospect, we hae oor doots. But once ye got in, no pain.
Thanks to lessons from some brill Bon Accord Baths gadgie, my mate transmogrified into a water babe, while (lesson-less) Mo remained buoyantlessly unbuoyant. She even (canna stand her!) joined the Dolphin club, where they wore serious-looking black cozzies.
Jealous as hell, I persuaded mum to buy me one just so it looked like I could actually swim, as I blawed a’body I could. Spik aboot bein’ caught bonnie when a pucklie girls from oor Mile End class headed to The Baths one Tuesday (wifies only) afternoon. Sod’s Law, they could a’ swim (or at least keep afloat) while Mo – in her superswimmie black cozzie – sank like an unexploded bomb.
But go on, tell me readers, what did you do after The Baths? Ticky-bets it was to the chipper straight across the road. Canna mind the name. Is there really onything more utterly deliciously luxurious in fine dining than eatin’ a salt and vinegar pokey while yer hair is as sodden as the chips?
Then my pal remembered that, as we got more sophisticated (ie 12 or 13), instead of the pokey chips, we headed across to the street to the Matzuku at the top of Union Street (which cafe clever Dick in those days came up wie such an exotic name? But aye, just The Mitz to us). There to indulge in yet another dream feast – rowie, butter and Coke (must be in a green bottle). Nectar of the gods.
‘Veg doon thrapple challenge’ for chefs
Sometimes I suspect super chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are joined at the hip. Both married and devoted to their lovely ladies for decades, each four super children, then they go off-piste for late babies – the Ramsays’ one-year-old Oscar and Jamie making a splash with trendy names with River.
Both chefs rightly extol the wonders of getting wee yins to eat every kinda food. Presumably wee Oscar Ramsay is well into a curry. River Oliver chills oot on a chilli… Dya think so? I’ve a teeny, tiny suspicion the baby Ramsays and Olivers are as much foodie fusspots as every other kid their age.
On his Channel 4 show the other day, Jamie made a superb cauliflower cheese – the veg disguised in pasta. Looked delish, except… I know my nine-year-old, dedicated anti-vegan, who declared “Horrendous” at the first whifferoo. There’s a challenge to oor chefs… get a veggie doon her thrapple! Nae chunce.
Who’d fill boots of bumbling boris?
I like to think of Boris Johnson as a sort of Bertie Wooster – a bumbling good egg who really hasn’t the foggiest, but whose heart’s in the right place.
Now his father-in-law reckons the loon will pack it in and resign within a year. No, surely not! Let’s just keep oor fingers crossed.
And who in the world would replace such a disaster of a PM?