Thursday, August 23, 2012

#365. Burlington Bertie, 11-13 Tarvit St, Edinburgh

I don't think I could have picked a more appropriate place to hit the milestone. Not too flashy, not too dour, the Burlington Bertie is a stereotypical neighbourhood Scottish pub, featuring an eclectic mix of friendly locals from varying walks of life. Best of all, it has a jukebox with a fantastic selection.

Karen the Publican and me.

The publican was this lovely woman named Karen (pictured here) who was happy to chat about the history of the pub, and where the name comes from. She said that it has been called the Burlington Bertie since 1976.

While standing at the bar I got to talking with this friendly giant of a man about Irvine Welch and how Filth is his best book. I asked his opinion of the seedier neighbourhoods of Edinburgh, social housing, and the subtext of all Welch's novels. He wrote me this poem.
Christmastime valium and wine
Children indulging in petty crime
Mum's on the smack and dad's out his tree
Christmas is barry when you come from Niddrie
Barry is Scots for fantastic, and Niddrie is a suburb of Edinburgh with a history of problems with anti-social behaviour.

We shut the mother down. On the street at 3AM.
The guy with the Dropkick Murphys jacket was a Tollcross native named Dave. I struck up a conversation with him at the jukebox, and after establishing a shared love of the song Skin Deep by The Stranglers, we invited him to join us. He was pretty lucid for having just been thrown out of The Cuckoo's Nest for being drunk.

For the detail-oriented out there, I will admit that of the 365 pubs counted so far:
Therefore, I plan to visit at least five more pubs before my 365 days have elapsed. And yes, it was a leap-year... but somehow 366 Pubs in 366 Days doesn't quite have the same ring to it. And not all of them were "pubs" in the traditional sense: some were bars, theatres, clubs, cocktail bars, lounges, restaurants with a lounge, etc. The common theme is that all of them were places that people in the community go to meet, commiserate, debate, be entertained, and share stories of love and adventure, all the while enjoying a glass of their favourite beverage.

1 comment:

Stuart said...

Well Done. This has been a very interesting tour of pubs.
Thank you.