This country has one huge problem and a terrible national anthem. OK, two huge problems and a crap football team. So, three huge problems and Craig Thomson. The biggest of its problems is London, which is also our capital asset and the bane drain for the nation. London is simply too big for its kingdom, has too much gravity, too much enterprise, too much opportunity, talent, optimism, too many lights, too many options, too much laughter and far too much to eat.
Look at the rest of Europe. Consider Paris in relation to France, Berlin to Germany, Rome, Athens or Madrid. All svelte, attractive cities that have a reasonable relationship with the rest of the country’s citizens, who also have other cities with their own dynamism unaffected by the capital. But London overwhelms Britain. No other city can begin to compete except in decrepitude and delinquency.
The Great Wen sucks in the best, most innovative, prettiest, smartest, from the rest of the country, leaving the provinces with an undeserved and resented sense of second best, being normal for Gorgie. In every sixth form, the cleverest and most pulchritudinous leave for uni, then London and return only to bury their dads.
Look, before you all kick off; I’m sure you love living wherever you live. And I understand why you’re getting defensive and huffy. “Well, I went there once, and do you know how much they charged me for a bun? And the filth and the crowds and the Underground that was like being in a horror film, and everyone so rude, and it smells, and they’re all in such a hurry, though I can’t imagine what for.” And I know you’ll all rise up and defend your little cul-de-sac of pebble-dashed bungalows, the parade of charity shops and the pub that does wife-swapping lock-ins and roast pork on Sundays.
Londoners moan about going out of town because the standard of restaurants falls off a cliff. It’s not the cooks’ fault, or the suppliers’. It’s, well, because you’re so poor. There isn’t enough money to make restaurants work at the level they do in the capital. Quinn’s simply wouldn’t survive in Huddersfield.
This weekend, Pierre will be serving us two courses after the match with sittings confirmed for 15:00. To begin we’ll be served a starter of hake with artichokes. Our main course will be shoulder of hogget cooked on Pierre’s charcoal rotisserie. Cheese and biscuits are available when coffee is served.
This weeks house wine is a tasty Australian in McWilliams Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon 2005 at the unbelievable price of £19.99 (Jean-Claude informs that stocks are limited).
See you Sunday!