One Sunday Morning

December 2, 2011 on 8:18 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Random Thoughts, Stories | 2 Comments

Here’s a photo from the archives; one of my favourites. I especially like the soft light in this pic. Here we see mid-August morning sun stream through the great stretch of high windows squintifying the weary, mostly hungover band of friends. [apologies to Sister Wendy: I may’ve ripped off her commentary/patter there].

The picture was taken a good while ago by an obliging wait person at my favourite Cafe Gandolfi, Glasgow (well, there’s only one, but it is a favourite place to eat – and be – in Glasgow). The occasion was a post-World Pipe Band Championship breakfast-brunch-lunch thing – the first food after the long night before: call it what you want.

From left we have Julie Wilson (who today looks very much like this young girl), Andrew Berthoff (Julie’s hubby and resembling, here, a Simon Le Bon wannabe), me (in turn, resembling a corpulent sort of forshadowing of the Harry Potter character), a bearded Jim McGillivray, the ever-smiling Lillian Livingstone and Bill Livingstone, showing just a hint of hockey hair.

Forget T S Eliot and his crappy April, I say November is the cruelest month – at least for us in the northern hemisphere. We’re surrounded by nothing but grey (and not the good kind): short days, long nights, and not much in the way of shimmery snow and invigorating crisp cold. Cheery? Not so much.

So, rotten November, my mucky motivation for today posting this happy pic; I’m sure November exists as it does to encourage our yearning for times like long August days and for places like Cafe Gandolfi (and, by the way, for their unsurpassed Stornoway black puddings – avec champignons [of course – just sayin’]).

We know you can’t have your peaks without your valleys and November – and, um, early December – counts as a valley!

On reflection, I’m reminded, too, in part from this photo, that friends and family are everything.

Bring on the Yuletide season!



  1. This is one of my favourite photos, too. Your sentiments are spot on, and my bride does look exactly the same today, as does Bill’s. I’m pretty sure I never aspired to look like SLB, but I’ll take that as a compliment. The picture was actually the day after the Sunday RSPBA’s Diamond Jubilee competition in 1990, which would make this a Monday morning, August 13th. If people only knew the back-story of the night before! I believe it involves the reinvention of one band, and an eventual monumental change to another . . . and a dislocated birl finger. But the memory of that time at Cafe Gandolfi is as clear to me today as the sun was then coming through that fishy window.

    Comment by aberthoff — December 4, 2011 #

  2. That’s right. So maybe a Monday morning with a Sunday morning feel?! Yes, the back story. The hornpipe in my second book commmemorates that, doesn’t it: Rottenrow Row.

    Comment by Michael Grey — December 4, 2011 #

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