• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

'Decadent' used to be five-star hotels. Now it's a bag of Tayto crisps

It's Sunday at the Museum of Rural Life somewhere near East Kilbride and I'm feeling a bit like the weather.

Grey, drizzly, a bit miserable. I am the human equivalent of wet cardboard this afternoon.

It's not the fault of the museum, which is perfectly entertaining and educational. And at least daughter number two can now pinpoint where she lives on a map of Scotland.

No, it's the knowledge that tomorrow I've got to go back to work that has me feeling like a schoolboy on the last day in August. I like my work, but I guess two weeks of sitting on the sofa, eating crisps and watching movies (1) rather spoils you, doesn't it?

It's shameful really. I did manage a couple of days in Northern Ireland where I got to Derry-Londonderry (delete as you see appropriate) to see the Turner Prize exhibition (2), and my mum got to sew all the buttons back on to my coat. And there was one manic day of Christmas shopping. But otherwise I spent my holiday doing nothing. Nada. Zilch.

It felt shamefully decadent, which is probably telling. I'm sure there must have been a time when my definition of that word stretched to five-star hotels, five-course meals and female company. Nowadays it's a big telly and a party bag of Tayto crisps (3).

Time passes and your desires change. These days I even watch Great Railway Journeys and think that's a perfectly acceptable way to spend half an hour.

In Northern Ireland I come across my old school rugby top. Grammar school, you see. Too up itself to play football. It's a lovely mustard yellow with an old-fashioned white collar. It was last worn in a rugby game - one I no doubt spent standing shivering on the touchline conspicuously avoiding the ball - some time in 1976. With a bit of effort - OK, quite a bit of effort - I can still just about squeeze myself into it. Not that that's something I make a habit of. I've brought it home for one of my daughters to wear if they want to. Neither falls over herself to do so.

A couple of days after she first notices it on the back of a kitchen chair daughter number two picks it up and breathes deeply. "Do you know what I like about this?" she says to me. "It smells like history."

That might be because it's been sitting in a chest of drawers for almost 30 years. Or it might be that that's what my past is now. History. Still, at least I can find Falkirk on a map. Then again, ask me to point to Limerick and I might be struggling …


[1] A double bill of The Inbetweeners movie and Ingmar Bergman's Summer Interlude. One of his fun ones. Apart from the tragic ending, obviously.

[2] Lynette Yiadom-Boakye should have won.

[3] Northern Ireland's finest.

Twitter: @teddyjamieson

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.