I would have to say that her somewhat plebicolar demeanour appealed to me immediately as she leaned back in a contented pose opposite and nibbled nonchalantly on a rosewood toothpick. Not for the first time I felt the soft gentleness of her smooth toes as they left their demure position encased in an expensive high heel and played a mischievous pizzicato upon my leg. I hesitated briefly before ordering another bottle of the sumptuous house red and gestured to the florid waiter to wrap my second T- bone without even the slightest glimmer of shame. He gave me a knowing smile. I gave him a large tip.
"Shall we go home?", she said.
I'm pretty sure that if I trawled back through the still cloudy tumbled gardeviance of my thoughts at the dinner table that evening, I would no doubt have realised that she meant the five kilometres back to our hilltop nidifice. However, never really being a huge devotee of the aquabib fraternity, the clouds that were normally white were more fluffy and opalescent than usual, undoubtedly due to the stiffness of the local grape.
Thirty-six hours later we found ourselves seated at our favourite table in the small backwaters of Gartocharn, the hurriedly packed suitcases still languishing on the back seat of the car. The pitiful foppotee at the door had been quietly, but quickly informed that we were long-standing regulars and no, the small table by the window would not suffice. Before the second complimentary bottle had been uncorked, the delicious waft of roasted grass fed beef fluttered gently across the low beamed room and filled my senses with fond cuisine memories of home. In the corner sat Michael O'Shea, excutient with the rain still sliding from his auld coat. He brought out his ancient fiddle, winked in our direction and began a melody that only a true Glaswegian could ever understand. Somewhere in the background I heard the oaken clock groan and shudder as the hour of eight came and went.
"Tis the sun you have about you this very day sir", said the young waitress as she created a delicious moat of thick fragrant red shallot gravy around the heaped mound of fresh garlic mash. "Are you in yourselves for a quick visit to the west coast of Scotland, or do you think you might want to stay on and see the sights some more?"
I looked across the table at Siobhan and smiled. It went without saying the answer to that particular question.