OH, Anstruther on a Friday night.
What a lively place to be. Well-behaved crowds throng the harbour. There's laughter and contemplation alike, as visitors inhale the healthful sea air, and their nostrils are assailed by the aroma of fish and chips.
It's an extraordinary thing. Neither nightclubs nor pubs have brought these crowds a-thronging on a Friday night. It's fish and chips. That's what we're all here for. We're either queuing up for it, sitting in for it, eating it by the waterfront or feeling a warm, happy glow in the aftermath of it.
No aroma in the world can touch that of fish and chips on the sea air. Anstruther boasts a famous chippie that wins all the prizes, and there are one or two other piscine emporia to boot.
Ainster, in Scots, sits in the East Neuk of Fife. It boasts a secret nuclear bunker, operational until 1993, and now a tourist attraction.
The idea was that Ainster's military elite would be safe underground and, in the event of nuclear attack, would broadcast messages to the citizenry above, telling them to keep a stiff upper lip and maintain civilised practices such as queuing for their fish and chips.
I wondered what it would be like to live in Anstruther, fantasising that within months I'd be a fearful bloater, unable nightly to resist these alluring aromas.
But perhaps, if you live there, you get inured to it and just have curry all the time instead. You've got to eat.
And, as you can tell, I was fair taken with this phenomenon of jovial citizens heeding the call of something so basic as a fish supper and milling around a little seaport.
If your Friday nights have gone stale, and you're sick of nightclubbing, get yourself to Ainster and give your tum a treat.
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