06 December, 2020

Ian Jack

Ian Jack

I left home at 18 and moved to Glasgow.  It was a journey of only 40 miles, but the social, cultural and even climatic differences were large, Glasgow being on the wet west coast of Scotland and my coming from a village in the frostier east. I had a room in a room in a tenement flat down a dark street where the people could be categorised neither as rough nor respectable—a binary way to look at the city, but useful for staying safe. A dancing troupe from a nearby theatre lived across the landing—‘dancing girls’ in a sense that no longer exists. A Polish delicatessen stood on the corner. In 1963, Glasgow got no closer to la vie boheme.

One day of that autumn 50 years ago, a new acquaintance from the Shetland Isles showed a noteworthy sense of adventure by suggesting we ate in an Indian restaurant, of which Glasgow then had two. I’d never eaten Indian food before; there were no Indian res­t­au­­rants in Fife.  “But won’t it be hot?” I asked, but my friend ignored this concern and we went off...



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