Weasel's agony and advice column

The blogosphere is awash with comments about the current financial situation and the mess we are in. I place the blame with Labour. They are the ones who have spent our money, who have taken it away from those who prop up this country and given it to those who just scrounge or to pressure groups who claim victim hood and scream blue murder.

So This is not about that.

This is about finding alternative ways to live, because, believe me, you cannot carry on as you were. No more maxing the cards out, no more state of the art TVs, no more shiny new cars..etc.

So here is a tip.

Go somewhere quiet and decide what in life is really important to you. Ten to one it is not money. It will probably something like health and happiness. So, what makes you happy? More of everything?

One of the papers recently published a till receipt for the drinks bill of one party at a London club. The bill came to over £45,000. That was for bottles of wine. Now, I like wine. I like champagne, particulary Mumm and Krug. But, £45,000? What was that all about?

Going back to basics means confronting our insecurities about who we are. I am regularly seen driving a naff little car. I hate it. It makes me feel little and powerless. But it was born out of a decision to save money on tax and running costs. It is not the only car I have, but it gets used a lot. We do not spend a lot on eating out. This being Scotland, and its inhabitants being congenitally unable to cook or serve food properly, it is not too tempting.

But you can go further. You can dump the TV. It is Satan tempting you to buy, consume and sod your neighbour. At Weasel Hall, we read, play games, cook elaborate meals, drink Martinis and pursue hobbies like knitting and magic tricks. If the weather is decent, we spend every moment on the estate, such as it is.

Years ago I was overspending. We learned that lesson the hard way. Weasels have not had credit cards for five years. Everything we have, we own. If we get stuck we go without. None of this is easy, and I wont pretend we are poor, but this era is a great opportunity to re-assess lifestyle and personal goals.

Oh shit, I sound like Mystic Meg!

I don't want to sound preachy. The point is to challenge you about your lifestyle and ask you how you propose to improve it, and protect yourself, as far as you can, against the coming storm.

I am genuinely interested to know what you think.


an ex-apprentice said...

"This being Scotland, and its inhabitants being congenitally unable to cook or serve food properly, it is not too tempting."

I disagree, WW. Some of the best food, and hospitality, I have enjoyed anywhere I found in Scotland.

Before it recently changed hands, Coul House Hotel, in Contin, Strathpeffer was a particular favourite, the chef was truly exceptional, but there were many others, all over Scotland.

Magnificent food and lovely people.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Well ex, I knew I was being provocative, and I knew there are plenty of exceptions. If ever I am in the area, I shall check out your recommendation.

Unfortunately, and in general, my experience has been that the Scots do not understand the concept of service or cooking. I have been down south a couple of times recently and you can pick a place and random and be pretty sure it will be ok, such as a a pub in Masham that conjured up fresh sandwiches, or two places in Leeds where the food and the service was immaculate.

Up here my experience has been negative on most occasions.

The Scots do not understand why people expect something for their money and seem to have an attitude that they are their to take that money and do as little as possible.

Down south, they are a bit more savvy, and tend to work towards building a reputation. They also take immense pride in doing their best. I have never seen that attitude up here, unless it was a French or Italian place.

Jim Baxter said...


Have you tried the Anstruther Fish Bar? Local people serving there who are very proud of their work.

Also there's a nosh parlour at the east end of North Berwick which has some idea of what service means. Helpfully, I've forgotten its name.

Well, when I say some idea I mean that we were kept waiting for a long time before our order was taken but were invited to choose a bottle of wine, on the house, as recompense. The food, when it arrived, was very good.

Generally though, I agree, at least as far as most city-centre places are concerned. See waiting staff who are clearly students and you know, with some noble exceptions, that they think the job is beneath them.

I'm often tempted to explain to them that if you take a professional attitude to any job, however menial, then your chances of advancement to where you would rather be are better. But I never do. I just keep the tip (in both senses) to myself, tight Scotch git that I am.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Yes Jim, I have been to the Anstruther Fish Bar and very good it is too, though there is a very reasonable one in Port Seton,by the harbour, near me. I have also been to something billed as "The best fish and chip shop in Britain", in Biggar. How it got the title I do not know. I have been to dozens that were better and where the fish was fresher and the staff managed a smile, which this lot in Biggar did not. There is one in Oban that is just as good.

I am spoiled. I was brought up in a sea port and later lived on the Fish quay in Newcastle for a while. Eating haddock that was caught at five o'clock the same morning is altogether a different experience and one they do not even manage in Anstruther.

In town, I eat Italian or French, in restaurants with Italian or French waiters and chefs.

Jim Baxter said...


Re Biggar, that wrong has now been righted and Anstruther now has the title.


Ramsay's fish and chips in Victoria Road Glasgow is also first rate. Very friendly people. They really are Ramsays and haven't tried to cash in on a 'celebrity' name.

But, we're not talking about haute cuisine, as they would be the first to admit. If you want good service in a Scottish restaurant then eat Italian, as you say. Very good one on the corner of Queen St and St Vincent Place in Glasgow. Or Indian. Mr Singh's is very good. Asian weegies in kilts. My mother in law loves it. Never eats curry usually, either. No idea what the attraction is for her. Staff downright enthusiastic in both places. They get the tips they deserve from me in those places plus the tips witheld from the undeserving. What goes around comes around.

Never tried French except in France.(Wonders if he has said something he didn't mean to...)


wv: chokey. Must be thinking of the future of the government.