Spent the weekend in Edinburgh and treated new girlfriend to lunch. She has fled the country for a week and is now in Turkey with her parents and won't be back until Sunday. This weekend I should have been attending the "kirkin o' the cooncil" where all the councillors go to church and pray for divine inspiration or something. Unfortunately I had agreed a while ago to help out at the Scottish Countryside Alliance event at Gosford House so I'll be doing that instead. I did a course last week on Licensing Law, which all members of the licensing board had to undertake and passed the exam. I think most of us did, but I didn't see everyone's name on the list. It will be interesting to find out though.
I have organised meetings in various parts of Angus between the licensees, the police and board members. I'm keen to engage with them to encourage sensible drinking and perhaps even a more continental attitude to alcohol. Since I became Chairman, I have been in one pub where a punter passed out completely at the bar, another one where the publicans wife was falling about and playing student drinking games (she's fifty if she's a day) where glasses were getting broken and I was parked outside an off licence when some kids came out of with the biggest bottles of cider I have ever seen. This is not what people want to see when they are our for a drink.
The atmosphere at the council continues to be fairly accrimonious at times and the churlish behaviour of some is in stark contrast to their colleagues at Holyrood.
I got interviewed on TV today for an anti-social behaviour protocol between the council and landlords in a bid to cut down on the kind of behaviour that makes ordinary folks lives a total misery. Outstandingly, half way through the interview, a young woman pushing a pram came and said that the shop owner from the shop she had just come out of had told her the TV crew was looking for her to do an interview. As it dawned on her that she had been the subject of a practical joke by the shop owner, she then launched into a tirade about how 'shite' the council is. The language was choice as you can imagine, but the whole thing was excellent.