Life is always full of little surprises and as we explore this little lump of rock on its journey round the Sun, there is always something to learn.
When we checked into Edinburgh’s Haymarket Travelodge last Thursday, we were delighted to get that massive room with the bow-window again. (Don’t ask about the room with the demented plumbing sounding like the mutant offspring of the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band and a Heinkel bomber we’d swapped it for) Once we had settled in, since the weather was so lovely, we set off from the Palladian mansions of the New Town to the daughter’s flat, stopping off here and there for a drink.
Mathers Bar is an old school boozer at the bottom of Queensferry Road, dating back to 1903,
It looked intriguing from the outside and inside there was a lot of the original brass, glass and polished wood. So far so good, but as soon as we crossed the threshold we realised we were not welcome. It was like that moment in the Western saloon when everything goes quiet and the customers turn their heads to look at the strangers. Worse still one of the those strangers was a woman.
The barman was friendly enough and the hand drawn Scotch ale was great, but we were quite obviously intruding in a private sub-culture of damaged hard drinkers, judging by the cloud of resentment overhead. We finished our pints and left, only to find two of the old drunks following us as we headed into Princes Street. We soon lost them, but disturbing nonetheless.