Go On, Go On, Tell Me.

So, it’s been all of five hours since I’ve written anything.

Apart from a drinks order.

On repeat.

I like to be organised. And respect my servers. Happens too rarely. But, you know, it’s nice to be nice.

I would’ve appreciated a considerate customer in my bar serving days. The fact that one of the servers is your son makes it all the more imperative that you make life easy for them. Isn’t that what we do?

Bhoyo number one is off to Thailand for a month with his girlfriend. Backpacking. Just to keep my worry levels at optimum. His privilege. My job.

Not content with not even having packed yet he insisted we all go out for a meal and a few drinks. Being the responsible adult I am – I bloody am! – I volunteered chauffer service.

I like driving. Not on motorways though.

They scare the bejaysus out of me.

Unless they’re empty. Then it’s full throttle and thrills.

I just don’t like other drivers. Or people, sometimes.

Especially lots of people. Gathered together. In pubs. Or clubs. Or shops. Or roads. Anywhere really. Nothing against people, per se. I just hate the noise. And the absence of self-control too evident where many are gathered. Think football crowds. That sort of thing. Hate’s really not too strong a word.

Anyway, I digress.

Driving.

I volunteered. Somewhere reasonably handy. Within walking distance for some. A pub that does meals and lets under eighteens in until 9 o’clock. My eldest daughter’s local. If she had a stile in her back yard she could be there in under a minute.

Not my fault it takes her and her fiance about five. And, considering Joe, eldest bhoyo, is staying with her tonight, and has a long flight tomorrow, we figured there was best.

I once worked in this pub. For one night. Whole other story and my digressions make stories way too long as it is. Ask anyone. Apparently, knowing the finer details may not be necessary. Unless humorous. And then it’s, ‘ Oh, go on, tell us!’

This is not the time.

But we got there, me behind the wheel, wondering what delights this newly renovated pub may hold in store for my empty belly. Rumblings just beginning to make their voice known. Funny how a sunny day and a pile of washing can preclude thoughts of food.  I was starving. Well, hungry, at the least. Nothing could put me off whatever joys they had to delect my tastebuds.

Nothing, that is, except a crowd of weans and adults whose parental responsibility was left behind the glittery, ‘Happy 30th’, banners.

Want to know what a teacher’s night out does not consist of? Guess. Yup. Weans. Worse than weans. Adults. Adults who see an arrow pointing to ‘Beer Garden’ and abandon weans to their own mischief.

Well, I’m sorry – no, I’m not – but if you take weans out with you, Mind Them. Exclabloodymation point. Mind them! They’re yours. And I’m off-duty. And is it any wonder teachers want to bitch slap lots of parents instead of the weans?

So, we didn’t stay there. Couldn’t.

That would have been like being in charge of a class while not having the authority to do anything.

I did a bit of ferrying. And, hey presto! My other son’s place of some time employment.

And it were luvverly. Some weans. Loads of adults. But they weren’t too noisy. Is it really just me?

And the Balmoral Chicken was a feast for empty guts. Breast of chicken, bacon- wrapped, mounds of haggis.

Feckin’ waaaashin’ and sunny days. Forgetting to eat. Shall I complain? Not a bit of it.

Not until I nipped out for a cig to the beer garden in this establishment to partake of a nicotine fix and was accosted on the way by a kid from my own class! At which point, introductions all round, a ‘See you on Monday’ dismissal and I was ready for a drag. Lovely, lovely child. Truly. One of my loveliest kids. Including my own! But not on a night out.

Anyhow, the purpose of this long-winded regaling is to ask what the rules are in your neck of the woods. At 9 o’clock, on the dot, weans are ousted from all establishments where alcohol may be consumed.

Mark you, I’m not complaining. I have enough weans in my everyday life without having them all around when I’m relaxing. And, it’s taken us long enough here in Scotland to let them in at all.

Jeez, at one point, you couldn’t take them in for lunch. I remember being humiliated, on our own national behalf, as a French couple, with two kids in toe, were unceremoniously ousted from a pub because, ‘No Kids at all at all’ was the rule. Right across the board. Didn’t matter if you were only in for eats or not. The look of astonishment on that couple’s faces and the thought of how they would explain the archaic was a wonder to me then. Still is. In some ways.

What happens at the magical hour of 9 o’clock that means all kids must leave? Do all adults decide to have an orgy then? I’ve obviously missed that. Bugger! Or are the sleep police monitoring kiddie bed times?

Feck me. I don’t know.

I do know I’m home with my two youngest. We were having a smashing time. But it ended. They kinda want to know why we had to leave.

Not all of us, mark you. Being a good and obedient wife and mother  a tired auld fart with a full belly I was quite happy to come home, let them watch a bit of Nickleodeon while I bored you all to death with a Grouse in one hand and a fag in the other. (different fag, for the benefit of the Us of eh? )

So hubs is still out with my two eldest, their respective partners, a fistfull of dollars, no weans and a curfew that weans can only envy.

Me? Happy as a pig in the proverbial.

Silence reigns. Folk there are none of.

If they all come back here, I’m kidding on I’m sleeping. That’s what all kids do when they’re caught enjoying themselves alone. I’ve heard.

Slainte! And shh! Kids are almost sleeping and mum’s the word. Lots of them, apparently. :/ But that’s Grouse for you. Well, that, and I just like talking. As long as there aren’t not too many people around going, ‘Go on, go on’. Then you can’t shut me up.

What do you mean this goes public?! Ah, feck it, go on.