Saturday, November 18, 2006
Children in Need, Spitfires, and trying to get served in Glasgow restaurants, oh, and Bond, James Bond...
Back in Aberdeen, momentarily, having thrashed the wee Citroen up the road from Glasgow this morning. Yesterday was Children in Need, and that meant that Janice Forsyth and I co-hosted a three-hour special programme in the afternoon, featuring a veritable cornucopia of live guests. We had The Hazy Janes, Colin Macintyre (formerly the Mull Historical Society) Janey Godley, Gerard Kelly and the cast of Aladdin (King's Theatre)Lang Lang (Chinese pianist) and a truly bizarre double act between counter tenor William Purefoy and hip-hop team The Fountainbridge Collective. It all went well, I think, and we auctioned a lime-green leotard, as worn by Borat, for £150. As you do.
Three days in Glasgow meant some interesting food. The Mussel Inn was fantastic on Wednesday Night, Fratelli Sarti was good but, as I fear is usual, excruciatingly slow on Thursday, and that old standby Pizza Express was excellent but, yes, painfully slow (in parts) last night. I hate it when you have waiting staff who behave as if they're in a gang and trade private jokes with each other while appearing to zone out the customers. Very unusual for Pizza Express, too (this was the Queen Street branch)as the staff are usually hot for tips and extremely nice. Sorry about that 50p, folks, but well, the bill took ages...
I stayed in the Thistle Hotel in Cambridge Street which I thought was very good indeed. Nice rooms (irons!) swimming pool, very efficient and pleasant staff and one of the best breakfasts in Glasgow (hot croissants, good coffee). A lot of the waiting staff seemed to be eastern European and they were highly efficient, very friendly and, dare I say it, remarkably good looking. Good, free, car parking too, which is rare in a city centre hotel. Recommended.
Oh, and the Spitfire is the one at the newly-refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, one of my major haunts as a student. I think there's a lot of utter nonsense been perpetrated in the work that's been done, and an incredible amount of money wasted on uber-trendy, pseudo-interactive bollocks. The shop is a joke, apart from anything else. It's impossible to find old favourites EXCEPT for Christ of St John of the Cross, which appears to be back where it was thirty years ago, shining like some weird beacon at the end of a gallery corridor. Generally, though, this is a shameful shambles. Apart from the Spitfire.I love Spitfires.
Managed to get tickets for the new Bond movie, which succeeds, despite Daniel Craig's protuberant lugs. He's like Plug from the Bash Street Kids. With a waxed chest and weeks on a Bullworker.And doesn't Eva Green look like a young Charlotte Rampling? There's too much poker, which I don't understand, but it has a visceral power none of the Bond movies have had since Dr No. The torture scene, though, is surely a bit much for a 12-certificate movie? Very, very long, but on the whole, good.
To the boat, again. Oh dear.