12 Angry Men

In Reviews on June 28, 2015 at 9:46 am

I went to the theatre yesterday to see a production of 12 Angry Men. A cast of 13 white men on stage all the time shouting and persuading by turns about what “beyond reasonable doubt” actually means.

One juror was played by Tom Conti who has always been a personal favourite actor but the performances were all excellent. The stage was cleverly set with rain soaked windows, a table which was manually turned by the cast slowly throughout the show so that we could see the jury from various perspectives.

The topic resonates as profoundly now as it did in the old Henry Fonda film. We still rush to judgement unless we pause to examine the facts.

This was the end of the run. Which is a shame. It was exciting to see a full theatre with so many men in the audience. Interesting that it is the serious stuff that is bringing people in.

Sarti, Glasgow

In Food, Reviews on June 28, 2015 at 9:41 am

We arrived at Fratelli Sarti in Renfield Street just before 5 yesterday and were told we could have a table as long as we left again by six. Now, normally I wouldn’t agree to this as I absolutely hate feeling rushed when I’m eating but we thought we could go for just the main then go somewhere else for dessert.

I had Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (v) for £11.90 which consists of fresh potato gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, oregano and tomato sauce oven baked with mozzarella. Apparently this is a dish from Sorrento and it was so flavourful and moreish. On an ideal leisurely evening it would have been accompanied by wine and followed by coffee and a delicious dessert – maybe a lemon tart – but that will have to wait for another time. My companion had Ravioli Pomodoro for £9.50 which was said to be tasty too.

Even although it was only one course, it still felt rushed as they kind of forgot about us until 5.45 so it would have been difficult to grab a coffee if we had decided we wanted to do that.

Fratelli Sarti do a pre-theatre menu too which is worth a look but if you want to have a relaxing meal then book a table.

Sarti, Renfield Street
42 Renfield Street
G2 1NF
T: 0141 572 7000

Father’s Day

In Prose on June 21, 2015 at 11:24 am

My father tells everyone his age, a habit that mortified my mother as she liked to pretend she was much younger than she was. I was raised in the days when dads were largely on the 9-5 treadmill and their wives were part time workers greeting their husbands with a welcome home drink while promising homely meals wafted their scents from beyond the kitchen door. Remote dads asking how the day at school went while decompressing the tension of their day to put on that calm face for family that was expected.

That may have been the dads most people had – remote, monosyllabic and disengaged – waiting for the day when the children would grow up and they would get their wives back but that was not the way my family worked.

My mother worked the 9-5 and my father worked shifts. An odd 10 day fortnight routine where no two days were the same and a “sleep day” was considered essential. What that meant for us in practical terms was that often it was my dad greeting me as I came home from school and often the banana and cheese omelette (don’t ask) would be cooked by him, or later on I carried out my mother’s instructions and we greeted my mother at the end of her working day with something that could be passed off as edible. We often masked it with the smell of perked coffee on the stove.

So it was my dad who took the dog for a walk or grew herbs in the plot outside the kitchen door to put into the dinner that night. He decorated the house on his days off and pretended to like the chocolate rice pudding or mince and potatoes I would bring home from cookery class in first year.

Then they both seemed to wake up to the 60s. Sometimes when I walked between the old school and the annex over the moor I would see my purple flowered shirt/purple cord jeans wearing father walking towards me with the dog at his heels. I tried to hide behind friends but he would always spot me and wave and I would cringe in embarrassment in the way that only a teenager can.

It was Dad who taught me to ride my bike and, much later on, taught my own daughter to ride hers. He had the patience to see a job through without getting into a flap. When I gave up on teaching her to drive and left it to the professionals as my screaming in terror wasn’t helpful, he took her out between lessons and told her what a good little driver she was and how safe she was – even when that was not entirely true.

And now he’s, as he puts it, in God’s Waiting R
oom, he’s still my daddy. He still wants to know I’ve got in to work safely and phones my office to see if I arrived if I forget to text. When you consider that many of my contemporaries are taking early retirement there is something quite sweet about that.

He potters about the house and despite walking with at least one stick on a good day, he will stand on a ladder to change a bulb or paint a wall. He works in his garden and house slowly but with pride.

He was ahead of his time, a modern man whose wife, child and grandchild were his world and there should be more daddies like him.


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