Simple pleasures

Out for a meal with some friends last night (always a nice way to keep in touch and catch up, especially with folks you might not see too regularly); that pleasant and contented feeling you have after eating plenty of lovely food (Urban Angel in Edinburgh’s Hanover Street, highly recommended for anyone, veggie or carnivore, and one of the only places I have had Guinness ice cream) and spending time with friends. Two of us had tapas so we could swap round food, always fun (the crispy friend halloumi sticks and chargrilled artichokes were especially nice). Eventually we brave the howling wind of a November night and step back out into the New Town; naturally a couple of us decide on a quick ‘dessert’ course in a nearby hostelry. Down a back street and into a nice little pub, quiet on a cold Monday night, late in the evening.

Dimly lit, warm and most welcome of all an open fire burning away, casting, cheerful flickers of orange light across the room. We parked our bums on the seats right across from the fire, sat back with pints in hand and basked in the firelight, warmth and soft light, shooting the breeze about anything and everything, from what we’d been up to through to who you would pick if you were taken back in time and offered Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe (a very intellectual discussion, as you can tell. My solution was you would marry Marilyn, knowing it wouldn’t last and after the divorce you’d be free to hook up with Audrey).

We didn’t actually drink that much, but lulled partly by the fire we found we had lingered there till closing time and came out way late and past the last bus (too cold to wait ages for a night bus, so I was gouged by the usually hideously expensive Edinburgh cabs). Still, it was a nice, relaxing evening; even the wind and winter rain only served to make the warmth of a fireside seat in a quiet pub all the more delightful. Food, drink, warm fire and chatting to some friends, the simple pleasures are so often the most satisfying.