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On Friday Louise and I got a rare night out, sans enfants, courtesy of my ex and Holly & William’s mother, Clare, who kindly invited Alice to stay at her house for the night.

We went for a meal at The Smokestack (Leith branch) with Frank’n’Steph. I had the burger with spicy red onion, jacket potato with garlic butter and roquefort side salad. Good, basic food cooked perfectly and the no-smoking area is a separate room so it really is smoke free. Unfortunately, the meal was followed by an early night as Frank and I were both falling asleep at the table. The night before, we’d done our duty as Leith ambassadors and shown Japanese friend Mee the delights of The Port O’Leith Bar, followed by the free buffet in the local casino.

Mee left for Tokyo this morning after a tearful goodbye from Alice. She gave Alice and I messages which she’d painted (mine pictured) – if anyone can translate it I’d love to know. I think she said it was about trying to be as kind and generous as me, although I can’t think how she got that impression. She did teach me a few words of Japanese: I can now ask for two beers in eight languages.

Sayonara Misuzu.

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