Sack of tatties

A mature party - unlike one we've ever had. Sadly.
A mature party – unlike one we’ve ever had. Sadly. Courtesy of

Why is it I wait until the morning of a party to get something to wear? It’s not just any party either its our party. A party to relaunch our restaurant in Aberdeen.

As ever I have been concentrating on the night itself, the folk, the food, the drink and the music and then come the revolution I think. ‘Och I will just wear that-it’s’ fine’. Then I realise when I try it on and the poundage of Christmas still clings to my not insubstantial fleshy bits  it is not in fact fine at all unless I want to look like a mutton dressed as lamb, VPL, bulgy bodied, baggy kneed harridan. Which I don’t.

The thing is it’s a perfectly good dress, from Sandwich which my pal donated to me but it won’t cut the mustard unless I cut the calories and it’s a little late for that.   To wear a too tight bulger is just not going to do for the relaunch of the restaurant  plus let’s be honest I am seeing people I haven’t seen for 20 years and I don’t want to look well em.. 20 years older. Also I don’t want to look as though I have tried too hard so the frock that was for the offsprings 21st is not getting an airing. “She’s done up like a dogs dinner look at the state of that!” Its a rock and a hard place situation so I get up at 7am and google all the shops in Edinburgh, the majority of which don’t open till 10am ! Why? Anyway we are leaving at 10am so the only real option is John Lewis.  Concession central so I am standing at their locked grill gates at 8.59am  to find something. Anything.

Cramming 20 dresses into a changing room finally I try this one on. Thankfully this photo is not of me in it – obviously – but well I felt black was a little dull. So.images…I tried on another 25 and by now hot, sweaty and grumpy I plumped (sic) for this one from Damsel In A Dress. Bright. Cheery. Machine washable. Yes I have complete aversion to dry cleaning anything. Ever. Grippy and lazy my two watch words.I_5055344785255_01_20151216So relieved off I run to check out, pay, run home, pack car, put sausage dog in car, drive to Aberdeen. Arrive, shower, open bag, realise new dress is still in Edinburgh 120 miles away so I have no option but to wear the original sausage skin.  I blame this stress on what happened next which I can’t quite bear to write down yet. Mortified. Tomorrow when my blood pressure returns to normal I will.

Badly behaved old bat (dehydrated)

PS Googling Damsel in a Dresses website and happily found this great Blog Damsel In A Dress from California which has nothing to do with that stripy thing above and everything to do with a great blog. Its on my blogroll from when I remember how to add it.

The One Baggy Scot Show

Timing is all.


Been up to my not insubstantial backend in restaurants for a month. This involves s a lot of running about so ironically I have dropped a few pounds, but I have also been stuffing my chops at every available opportunity so as soon as it comes off , it goes on again, and some.

So as I stood in Howies Victoria Street on Friday afternoon having just refurbed the whole place exhausted, I turned my phone on for the first time that day  and picked up a message from the BBC asking me if I was available to film for The One Show on Monday.

Of course I said ‘Yes’ before taking a good long look – well when I say long as long as I could bear – in the mirror.


A make-up free, baggy faced troll looked back. No sleep and too much to do is the elixir of aging. Living proof of that I am.  So here I am Sunday afternoon on a train to London with a half hundred weight of make-up in my bag,  a hat, a false moustache –well I tell everyone it’s false, a cornucopia of black clothes to detract from my Aberdonian stumpy shape.

This online train thing is super-sophisticated stuff. Not only do you get wifi but it tells you what speed your doing and shows you a map of the route…which even I know. Edinburgh to London down the country right hand side. But 101mph it said at one point so I just turned it off. Hardly a brave adventurer. I mean it’s not the TGV for goodness sake. Still I am hooked on trains, make no mistake.

But there is danger ahead and it is this.

I am staying with my pal James. He’s head of music at Absolute Radio which doesn’t bade well for an early night to be honest. We usually sit up and listen to endless music and talk talk talk talk but we see each other so rarely it’s a must.

The snorkling of wine will be strictly forbidden and we will see if at this mature stage in life we can develop a modicum of self-control.

I will report back.


If you are wondering what the restaurant waffle is all about then I am blogging about that too Diary of A Scottish Restaurant.


Just in case you thought I was idle. No not ideal. I said idle.  I am far from ideal on any level as well you know.


Alison x




Immortality is yours for a pie.

There’s excitement in the Craig household as the long suffering husband is about to get back into the restaurant business in Scotland’s Capital. It bades well for fun and not so well for the thighs still….several years have gone since he sold Howies and the itchy cheffy finger is getting stuck into another pie. Speaking of which.

The hunt is on for the best pie…one that you think about, dream about, lust after. We are in pursuit of a pie that people will travel the world to eat.

I whipped up a fidget pie the other day. A recipe from The Hairy Bikers it was a labour of love but worth it. Ham, apple, onion, sage, cider and cream and the key to all great pies wonderful pastry. The photos here are close ups – I meant to take more but it was scoffed instantly by the assembled throng. It supposedly fed 8-10 people or as it turned out  6 Scots. Still…seconds were the name of the game and they weren’t exactly slivers of pie more great wieldy slabs. Nice. Lip smacking.

The pie of which I dream.

Limelight NYC Madonnas 3rd arm makes a rare appearance.

I lived in a house in London in the 80’s which was literally packed with Scots & Irish people and at one time or another we all worked in The Cork & Bottle in Leicester Square. A small basement wine bar next to a sex shop it was a great wee place and without doubt they did the best cheese & ham pie in the world. Totally delicious. We spent our time eating it, making it and talking about it but not one of us can remember how we made it. Well it was a long time ago and we were too busy planning on rushing off to The Limelight the second our shift was over to dance and act the goat all night. I googled Limelight and it is now a sex club – it wasn’t then it was full of people dressed in black with back combed hair and in my case with cheese and ham pie in their belly.

So what am I on about? Oh yes. Pies. Yup. Have you got a great pie you love. Is your family pie a thing of beauty? Would you like it to  be the highlight of a menu in Edinburgh’s Restaurant world? What a lovely way to put your family on the map forever….Pie love you. I do hope it’s a yes. And if it is.

Let me know. Leave a note here and in advance myself and my thighs thank you.