"Sing a song of seasons, Something bright in all . . ."
Brightening up these dark days are nights out; perty nights, cabaret and karaoke, discos and dinner dances, all you can eat buffets and the full festive menu.
In the damp and narrow aisle of a Govan emporium, a discussion on the merits of Glasgow's hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs is getting lively.
Liz has been to two already, one was a tribute night, no very good, with loadsa curry which was quite good. Well, it was reasonable. The other was . . . Carol interrupts. Her work's going doon the watter, for an overnight at the Seamill Hydro and some people are booking a room tae the Sunday.
"Ah'm lookin forward tae it. It's a' peyed a'ready," and she nods her blonde head, pursing her lips and closing her eyes with an air of self satisfaction.
Liz finishes her report on the second night out at her part time night job which was just a dinner and the meal was lovely and good value for the money.
Liz has a cousin, Mags, in tow who doesn't work and who looks about vacantly at the bottles of ginger towering around them. Her head and neck are making sudden, jerky movements and her eyes are darting from side to side.
"You a'right?" Liz quizzes her aggressively.
Mags pushes past her towards the front door, pulling a fag out of her pocket and lighting it with a yellow lighter. She stops by the fresh rolls lying in a bread basket in their poly bags, and takes a draw, holding the cigarette between two fingers, her knuckles grimy and her nails coated in chipped varnish of duck egg blue. Mags holds the smoke at the back of her throat, reclines her head and closes her eyes, before making a lengthy exhale and exiting the shop with a skip.