Brendan McGinty lays out his 22 Wishes for 2022

Brendan 01 McGuinty

This is definitely a New Year for looking forward rather than looking back. Despite a diary emptier than last year’s resolutions I’m optimistic. So, with hope in my heart, here are my 22 wishes for 2022.

And we’ll start with the obvious:

1. That by the end of the year the negative impact of Covid will have diminished to the point of irrelevance. I’m done making predictions about this subject. I don’t even like talking about it any more. But please. No more new normal. I want 2022 to bear a bit more of a resemblance to the old normal.

2. And on that note let this be the year when someone shows some vision in revitalising our city and town centres. The time for tinkering is over. This job needs boldness, innovation and guts: radical solutions needed now.

3. A taxi that turns up when it says it’s going to.

4. No end of Good Things for all the young staff who have had to start their working lives in the hospitality sector masked. Remember it’s easy to show your appreciation for the long shifts they’ve done with their ability to breathe normally over the last two years. By tipping well.

5. More Bearface lager and Caesar Augustus on draught. I couldn’t name you the breweries responsible for these two beauties (I’m a keen customer, not an expert). Friends tell me they are both Scottish though and I can’t remember the last time I was so enthusiastic about two homegrown products emerging in such close proximity. Robertson and Tierney maybe? Screamadelica and Bandwagonesque? Must be something in the water.

On tap. Everywhere. Please.

6. If the pandemic does diminish then an end to the special measures required in licensed premises. The minute I see my last Perspex screen can’t come too quickly. I hope none of it lingers past its sell by date.

7. Outdoor areas that don’t smell of cigarette smoke. And I say that as someone who just can’t quite kick the habit (I’m a six a month type smoker). But maybe the time has come for a complete smoking ban in some venues inside and out. Never thought I’d have said that 20 years ago…

8 More non-booking venues. I won’t name names but I like having places available on the night even if it involves a bit of a queue. Obviously this doesn’t work for everyone but I increasingly see these venues as a safety valve for the disorganised (me).

9 The return of romance. I’m interested in the resurgence of venue-based speed dating. Not personally, I should add. But I reckon there’s a fatigue among the 20 and 30 somethings around app based dating and that venues should have one eye on people hooking up in pubs more than they used to.

10 You know that Easter that Ayrshire hotelier Donald Trump said was coming? The end of Covid, people singing in church and women in bonnets handing out daffodils to all comers? That. Only it’ll need to be in 2022 rather than the 2020 of Dr T’s infamous prediction.

11. An end to all supply chain and staffing problems in the trade. We can but dream.

12 That the industry finds consensus where possible and finds a way to speak clearly and effectively with one voice. And I don’t just mean on the obvious. The power of the collective should not be underestimated.

13. A golden summer. In every sense. Birds singing. Cocktails stirring. Our tourist trade flying. Sun shining.

14. And the return of the proper Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. Throngs of incoming traffic, late nights and an atmosphere renowned the world over.

15. Eating out trending up higher than Just Eat. Not that I have anything against ordering a delivery. Quite the opposite. But eating in restaurants is always worth the effort and I want to see the balance tipped back in their favour.

16. Reasonably-priced pints. There’s something about paying six quid for a pint which makes me wince. And I’m generally more thirsty than thrifty. If truth be told I’m sometimes too trollied to notice when I am being charged the best part of a tenner but when I do it feels indecent.

17. An invite to one of these super-cool, super-secret speakeasies or underground bars which seem to be popping up everywhere. With a codeword and everything. Maybe even a safe word for when it’s time for me to tap out. Would be the first time that’s ever happened in a Glasgow basement, but I’m here for it.

18. Later trains. And more late-night public transport generally. I don’t know what it takes to make this happen but let’s do it without delay.

19. The continued resurgence of the neighbourhood.

20. Uninterrupted music festivals packed with young fans having the time of their lives. God knows they deserve it.

21. On a personal level I want to sample some Highland hospitality this year. I made it to Inverness in 2021. Fantastic but all too brief. I want to explore some of the exciting things happening in the north in greater detail.

22. A vibrant season of Christmas parties. My last column was written amid fierce speculation around the possibility of a festive lockdown. What happened was, for many, even worse.

Brendan McGinty – is a former journalist and owner of P)R firm Finnieston Communication  brendan@jmcginty

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