A tinge of blue

Today would have been the 97th birthday of the wonderful Nicholas Parsons; this evening Radio 4 paid tribute to him with a look back at his life and career along with an edition of Just a Minute (how could they not!), his Desert Island Discs and two one-offs he made for Radio Four. The Straight Man in particular was very interesting listen, part biography, part lesson in comedy duo dynamics. Fascinating stuff! Ah, Nicholas, the world has been very blue since you departed at the beginning of the year.

Edinburgh anď many parts of Scotland have just had all pubs and restaurants close down for at least two weeks. As a protest bar workers in Edinburgh dumped the remaining contents of their ice machines outside the Scottish Parliament, over in Glasgow the ice was dumped outside the City Chambers. Can’t say I blame them! They’ve jumped through hoops forwards, backwards and sideways to comply with the new regulations, disheartened is probably way too light a word to describe how they must be feeling. In the rest of Scotland licensed premises can serve alcohol in outdoor areas up to 22:00, but only non-alcoholic drinks and food indoors until 18:00.

You may already be pondering whether restaurants can still open if they promise not to sell alcohol, alas, the Sturgeon says no. But, some cafes have alcohol licences – apparently they will be allowed to open but not sell alcohol! You can imagine many in the industry are confused and angry by this contrariness. Indeed, I’ve wondered about the position of restaurants that are purely BYO, the Sturgeon doesn’t want restaurants trying to classify themselves as cafes, but without an alcohol licence what defines a restaurant as different to a cafe?

Even in the areas where pubs and restaurants can open, many are closing their doors because, even if they were as full as now allowed, the latest restrictions will make the businesses unviable. Sad times.

Dear readers, wherever you may be, I wish you all the best in getting through this in one piece. I hope your leaders use some commonsense and care about your well-being. I have to believe there’s intelligent life somewhere out there!

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