Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My dark secret....and a very brief encounter

A combination of rough seas (until we were past Orkney) and two wailing children in an adjacent cabin (ah, I remember those days) kept me awake for chunks of last night. Also the occasional twinge of fear, which I don't normally feel aboard the Zetland ferries. That terrible incident in the Pentland Firth over the weekend, with two tanker crewmen killed by a a huge wave, has given all of us who use ships pause for thought.
Anyway. Safely into Aberdeen and on the road by 7.00 am. Breakfastless, but here's the dark secret coming...there's this McDonalds just north of Dundee...
I know, I know. And this from a man who has just decided he will never buy a Young's fish product again, unless they abandon this crazy notion of shipping Scottish prawns to Thailand for de-shelling, then sending them back to Scotland so we can eat them.
The thing is, McDonalds coffee is now as good as Starbucks, and a lot cheaper. Call it 'ghetto coffee' if you must (which being interpreted is, non-posy, non-frothy coffee at cut-rate prices)but I really like it. And then there's The Big Breakfast. Cheap, cheerful, wholesome (sort of; well, 'We Only Use Free Range Eggs' it says on the, uh, polystyrene box. and did I say cheap? Plus you can get Tropicana orange juice. Or bagels with cream cheese. Hey, supersize me! Oh, the guilt!
Traffic begins to swamp me at Dundee, and then outside Perth, the mobile goes. Into a lay-by to discover Susan (wife) wondering if we can meet up. We reckon there's time for a coffee before she has to get her flight and I have to get to Queen Margaret Drive for broadcasting purposes.
But there isn't. The traffic in Rutherglen moves incrementally (All pelican crossings on Rutherglen High Street seem to be permanently in use, and unfairly, not by pelicans)and by the time I find the right house in Burnside, we are both running late. So we catch up as Susan (years of short-cut doctor-type driving experience) directs me across the south side of Glasgow to the west end. When she's not shouting at me to slow down, that is. I drop her at a taxi rank and she's off back to Shetland. I park, unload the bike, and pretend to be environmentally friendly as I whirr into the BBC bike park. when deep in my heart I know that a few scant minutes ago, I harboured dark, anti-pedestrian thoughts.
Tonight, much familial activity involving literate Swedish popster and HUGE TMS favourite, Annika Norlin. See you at the Admiral Bar, pop pickers! Be there or be cuboid (but not cubist).

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