After a delicious meal at one of Aberdeen city centre's restaurants last week, I decided to wet my whistle at one of Aberdeen's longest-running establishments - The Grill on Union Street. I have had a drink in there many times before over the years, but boy was this a new experience!
First I had to wait at the front door on Union Street, wearing the obligatory face-mask, until someone came to assist me. It turned out I was only getting inside if there was a free table! A free table? I didn't realise I was booking a meal!
After 3 minutes, someone came to assist, also wearing a face mask of course. To my delight there was a free table.
I was escorted to my table with the instruction not to remove the face mask until I was sat down.
Once sat down, my drink order was taken.
Whilst I waited for my drink, my eyes and ears perused my surroundings.
The first thing I noticed was how deathly quiet it was. No music or TV sound could be heard. Thank you Nicola, I have seen more atmosphere at a wake. I suppose there was the benefit that I could hear conversation! The bar staff became strangely interesting for there was little else to watch.
As I sat facing the bar, mask now removed, I could see that it had been roped off its entire length with the kind of twisted rope typically seen in His Majesty's Theatre. No one was allowed within approximately 3 feet of the bar.
The effect of all this was that the people occupying the half a dozen tables inside were far more aware of those at other tables. Most sat looking bemused. The urge to speak to other tables was more acute than before the pandemic, if only to break the silence. A little loud talking did go on between tables, but not too loud in case it upset Sturgeon by expelling alleged virus particles.
One guy needed the toilet. Now listen to this. He had to walk one way along the length of the pub to the toilet. When he came out of the toilet, he had to leave the pub by the back door, go round the block outside and then come back in the front door! Honestly! Returning to your seat in the opposite direction was strictly forbidden!
Another punter turned up at the front door, stuck his head in the pub and asked the bar lady if he could use the toilet. He was swiftly shooed away with a flea in his ear.
I estimate there were about 12 customers in the pub when it had reached maximum capacity.
You don't have to be a genius to recognise that if this way of conducting business continues for much longer, then there probably won't be a Grill in Aberdeen at all. That's my opinion anyway.
Sturgeon has a lot to answer for.