Portobello Reporter: Party Animal hits the streets
“A new venture hits the streets this week – literally! “Party Animal” is the brainchild of a couple of newcomers to Edinburgh, a young lad from New Zealand and a wee lass from England. Party Animal promises to bring the party to you in the form of a converted bus, complete with lights, dance floor and, of course, a fully stocked bar.
I had made a lot of casual friends in my short time in Edinburgh, most of them associated in some way or other with bars, so it was to them I went seeking new challenges. It wasn’t long before I found a job in a traditional pub near Waverly Station in the Old Town. It was just a bar job, but it got be back into the swing of things and being part of the industry. One evening I was serving when Angel and Alistair came into the bar.
“What can I get the odd couple tonight?” They laughed and ordered their drinks, then said they wanted to have a word. The bar wasn’t too busy, so I asked one of the other staff to cover for me while I sat at a table with them.
“Here’s the thing Tony,” Angel didn’t bother with small talk but cut straight to the chase. “Alistair and me have been working part time on our own business, and now we want to take it to the next level.” They quickly talked about their new business, “Party Animals”, which was bringing festivities to people in their own location. “We need a partner to help us run the bar side of things, but someone who’s good with people too. So we were wondering if you’d be interested in joining in with us?”
I needed to get back to the bar, but I told them I would certainly like to hear more, and the next day they came round to the house. Ruby was home and listened for a while, before excusing herself to go to her afternoon class in Gaelic.
“Your wife is turning into a real Scot, isn’t she?” Alistair said as she left.
In truth, I wasn’t sure what I felt about this latest venture of hers. Ruby had started attending Church of Scotland services a few months before, and when she found that one “Kirk” (as they called their churches) had services in Gaelic, she became really excited to attend them. As far as I could tell, she was becoming fluent in Gaelic, and wanted to take her knowledge to the next level, and one part of me was really proud of her. But on another level, I was concerned about us moving in different directions. I had no interest in politics, the history of Scotland, or even much time for organized religion. Yet Ruby seemed to be spending more and more of her energies in these areas all the time.
However, I didn’t have a chance to dwell on it, as the three of us talked about “Party Animals” and my part in it. It did sound just the sort of thing I would be good at, so I agreed to start with their next booking. It wasn’t long before I was out with the Party Animal bus most Friday nights and all day on Saturdays. That and my other jobs in a couple of bars kept me gainfully employed, busy and productive.