If Christmas is cancelled because of coronavirus, I’m good with that.
It’s not a time of the year I’ve ever particularly enjoyed, what with it being a scam to make us buy stuff we don’t need and all.
If you doubt that, there are chocolate Santas on the supermarket shelves already. So that’s either corporate greed or they’re anticipating panic buying of overpriced sweeties.
Think of the money we can all save by not buying enough food to keep a village going for a week, then throwing most of it away. And has anyone asked the turkeys for their opinion?
I am, however, much more worried about what’s going to happen at Hogmanay.
I enjoy joining thousands of folk in and around Stonehaven Harbour for a bit of light fireballs and fireworks.
Hugging and shaking hands with complete strangers while swigging out of each other’s hip flasks. Then there’s first footing and going to folks’ houses for a bit of a sesh.
As it stands right now, there will be none of that, courtesy of Covid-19.
To me, that’s a far more bitter blow than losing out on the chance to pull crackers while studiously avoiding the Queen’s speech.
Which is why I am hoping everyone is going to play nicely with our current constraints to tackle Covid. Is it good? No, it very much isn’t.
I like going over to a mate’s house for curry and beer. I enjoy cooking up my signature dish of chilli for chums joining us for dinner.
I like heading down to the Marine and getting into good company with a gang of folk.
All that is on pause. But the key word is pause.
It’s not forever, and if we all do our bit we can get the numbers down again, then restart that road to normality.
We were getting there, weren’t we, before it all started kicking off again.
Now some folk are blaming the students for becoming willing Typhoid Marys. So here’s a question. You’re 18. You’ve left home for the first time. You are finding new mates and a new way of living. It’s exciting and a chance to party like never before. So what are you going to do?
I know what I would.
Some folk say it’s the government’s fault for making them go to university and live in halls. Meanwhile, over in the parallel universe where the authorities kept universities closed, people are screaming about denying a generation the education and experience they deserve.
So let’s just accept it for what it is – get this university blip over with and move on to the next chapter.
That’s the one where we all wear masks, we all wash our hands, we all watch out for the symptoms, we are all willing to self-isolate if we need to – and none of us are rushing out to buy all the bog roll we can.
The last six months has been hard, but we have achieved so much together. Don’t start losing the plot now.
If we can keep the heid and work together, then we will protect the NHS, save lives and hopefully save Christmas too.
If that’s your thing.
Maitre d’ in pubs needs to be made mandatory
Seeing as how we are back to the 1970s with pubs shutting at 10pm, can I ask for the return of another old-fashioned feature – the maitre d’?
You know, someone whose job is to constantly scan tables to make sure guests have everything they need and aren’t sitting with empty glasses.
Because one thing the rule about table service has shown up is that many places haven’t made the adjustment to getting staff out on the floor to look after folk.
I have now lost count of the number of pubs where I have had to sit and look forlornly over at the bar, hoping to attract someone’s attention seeing as how no one is out on the floor.
One of the worst offenders for this was actually a rather upmarket place we visited in Edinburgh at the weekend. We were shown to our table and promptly forgotten. Repeatedly.
If it wasn’t for the fact we couldn’t get in anywhere else without a booking, I would have upped and left after the first 20 minutes of looking around for someone, anyone, to take an order.
This isn’t for the good of my own health, you know.
I, and everyone else in these places, are spending money – and lord knows the hospitality industry needs all the cash it can get.
So while we are in this phase of table service only, can we actually see people serving at tables – or a maitre d’ making sure they do.
It could be worse – we could be American
Thank goodness for Donald Trump.
It’s because of him we can look at the shambolic circus of Westminster, shake our heads in despair, but at least console ourselves with not being American.
I am aware in the age of social media, you can find yourself in an echo chamber that amplifies your own convictions. However, I can find nothing anywhere that makes me think I am wrong in my belief Trump is a dangerous dictator-in-waiting and a threat to the world in general.
Our best hope for the future is come November common sense prevails and our American friends rid themselves of this nightmare.