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Cat Harvey.

Ihave been accused of this before, but today I am proud to reveal I'm going to talk mince for the entire duration of this column. My tale has all the classic ingredients of a daytime soap opera or maybe even a high-tension Victorian melodrama. For this episode centres round a big misunderstanding, a classical violinist, scenes of shame, uncontrollable laughter and, at the centre of all the action, securing the lead role - a plate of mince and tatties.

I shall set the scene. It's a Friday, classical Dutch violinist Andre Rieu is in Glasgow with his sixtypiece Johann Strauss orchestra. Our leading man, Bobby Harvey, my wee dad, is beyond excited as I've bought him tickets for Christmas, despite the fact I could see over 100 bands at T in the Park over three days for the same cost.

Unfortunately, I forgot to book a restaurant near the SECC and with 8000 heading to the gig, I reckoned we'd have to settle for a fish supper on the way home. But somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered seeing an email advertising a restaurant within the SECC, The Gallery Bistro. Now, I've been at this venue hundreds of times and could NOT even tell you where the restaurant is, so to investigate I pinged an email to my mate Kirsten, who works in marketing there, asking if it was decent and what kind of food they served.

She replied that it was lovely and served general Bistro food, would that be OK for my dad? And this, my friends, is where it starts to go wrong! I replied: "That's great - he'd be happy with mince and tatties! ;)' By adding the exclamation mark and winky face, I assumed she'd click that I meant he's not fussy and would eat anything.

Unfortunately, I then went into a four-hour meeting. When I got out, I opened her reply: "They don't normally do that but I've had a word with the catering manager and they'll try to accommodate."

And like the infamous scene from Tony Roper's magnificent play The Steamie, the misplaced meaty dialogue continued.

Me: "I was joking, he does not need mince." Kirsten: "They've bought it now."

Me : "Seriously, you can stand down the mince." Kirsten: "They've gone to a lot of bother. Can you not just eat the mince?" At this point, I am en route to the gig explaining to my dad the comedy misunderstanding that has ensued and why he will be getting mince. To which he replies petulantly: "But I don't want mince, I can get that at home."

And so I find myself crying with laughter at the wheel and shouting: "Please, just eat the mince!" On arrival, the waitress checked our booking and shouted to her colleagues: "This is the table with the dietary requirement of mince." This is worse than I thought - a dietary requirement of mince? You can only imagine the scenes in the kitchen as they try to cater for 500 covers and one pot of mince.

Once I explained how the whole thing was a mistake, they laughed. The chef, Mark Price, appeared in his full whites and presented the now famous mince and tatties to my dad.

For the record, it tasted mincepirational and the gig was magnificent.

It's father's birthday next month. I wonder which restaurant I should ask about a jeely piece.


Catch Cat Harvey on the RealBreakfast Show, Real Radio 100-101 Fm, Mon-Fri 6-9am or on www.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 13, 2013
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