Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.
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In praise of whist drives
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I watched the film Rob Roy on DVD the other night. This prompted me to reminisce about the premiere for the film which I had the unexpected invitation to attend. It was a very glitzy affair – the most glamorous event I’ve ever attended in my life. I hadn’t been invited personally, but was tagging along as someone’s partner.
It was rumoured that more than a million pounds had been spent on the evening. Certainly it was not difficult to see how it would have costs lots of money. After seeing the film, guests were taken in coaches to Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh where a series of elaborate marquis had been erected. Entering them was like going to another world – some parts looked like a tropical rain forest with huge trees and waterfalls. Other parts of the marquis were decked out like a medieval fare. One of the most novel features was the tank of swimming fish, covered in glass and located under the dance floor.
As you can imagine the food was extraordinary. There was table after table of every type of food imaginable, and cooks standing about to rustle up various dishes to order. The tables were laden with silverware and goblets and the largest bunches of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.
After the banquet we were treated to the wonderful sounds of Karen Mathieson from Capercaillie and other bands. There was also a chance to dance. And, of course, there was an opportunity to spot the celebrities. Both the main stars were there – Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange – but as they seemed to studiously avoid each other all evening it was easy to form the impression that there was little warmth or friendship between them.
For me, however, the most shocking fact of the evening was that I quickly felt bored. Once I had oohed and aahed over the various features, noted who was there and had a few dances there was little to engage my attention.
The main problem for me (and also for my partner) is that we weren’t there with friends, or even good acquaintances. I would have had a better night with a carry out curry and a few bottles of beer with pals, or even a ham sandwich and a game of whist with my parents and my kids, than take part in an evening which, no matter how glamorous, was devoid of meaning. Sounds like how many celebrities live their lives ….
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