BEHIND THE SCENES CONT
room: Chinese prints. a handful of thick tomes. dried grasses. There is a wash-hand basin in the corner. but no hospital smell. no stethoscope or lollipop-sticks. no drug company freebies. The remedies which Diane Goodwin uses I see later: countless tiny bottles inside her briefcase. ‘I don‘t cure people. the remedies do that.‘ says Goodwin. Selecting the correct remedy (they are made from plant. animal and mineral sources) is. however. the time-consuming part. G Ps may average a case every seven minutes. but the first consultation with a homoeopath will take at least an hour and a half.
‘What we need to know about a person is basically their life story.‘ laughs Goodwin. ‘People are never going to tell you what‘s wrong with them. They‘ll tell you what they think is wrong with them.‘ Listening and watching and being with a patient. the homoeopath will piece together a diagnosis. ‘Somebody might say. ‘I'm burning with anger.‘ They‘re talking about their emotions. but it has a physical counterpart. You get an idea of where they are in nature.‘
Having worked as a nurse in lnverness and Edinburgh. Goodwin has had her fill ofconventional medicine. For her. treatment ofthe disease rather than the person stOpped making sense. ‘After you‘ve cut off your hundredth set of piles you think there‘s got to be a better way. I spent years taking people apart. I felt it was time I worked on making them whole.‘ Now fully trained in homoeopathy. she cannot suppress a glint ofglee at having doctors amongst her patients.
‘It‘s hard work.‘ she says in a serious moment. ‘You can practice homoeopathy on a very Mickey Mouse level. but you can also provide the material to allow people to go through a major experience that really shifts things in their lives. It‘s pretty strong stuff.‘
Goodwin treats‘all sorts: people disillusioned with longterm drug treatment: women with menstrual problems whose GPs say there is nothing wrong with them: eczema and asthma sufferers; those who get one cold after another; and people who want to change their lives. A homoeopath. she says. must be able to let go of her ego and listen to people: help them make sense of their lives and not get stuck in the mediocre. physically or mentally. ‘We've given over responsibility for our health to doctors. Homoeopathy is about getting that power and responsibility back.‘
And perhaps a little music with your meal? Jo Roe gets an earful.
These days most restaurants find it compulsory to dish out music with their haute cuisine. Whether it be entreco‘te a la Ella Fitzgerald or pavlova with Pavarotti. the combination is always ‘absolute pollution‘ as far as Conrad ‘Gut Reaction‘ Wilson. music and food pundit for The Scotsman. is concerned. A purist view perhaps. but one which finds many sympathisers.
‘It‘s a pity that we have to have this sort ofwallpaper.‘ laments Tom Jaine. editor of The Good Food Guide. ‘I think there‘s a time and place for everything. It‘s very difficult to eat and listen at the same time.‘
For this reason the pianist. tape machine or genteel quartet usually hovers on the periphery. Ruth Franklin. resident artist in the Scandic Crown‘s piano bar. is philosophical about it. ‘lt‘s a horses for courses deal. If I kept playing music that nobody wanted to hear I wouldn‘t be employed. You have to keep it soft. you have to keep it mellow.‘ Hence the wallpaper.
People involved in the business say
it is important to get the pitch right. It wouldn‘t do to have your customers chomping to a sweaty samba or careering to the William Tell Overture. A jazz funk band recently hired by The Barbizon restaurant proved too raucous for their customers. ‘Live music is
bound to be quite loud.‘ reasons Tom Jaine. ‘Yet if it‘s serious music you feel a heel talking while they‘re hammering away.‘
Then there is the serenade. Most people cower under the violinists how. a far cry from its Hollywood ideal. How many pianists have tinkled in vain. waiting for a significant request. These days you are more likely to be talked at. ‘This is a song I wrote.‘ announces Ruth Franklin. ‘it‘s happened to me. it could happen to anybody.‘
Certain establishments churn out glorious tack. from Killing Me Softly in Cantonese to The Sound OfMusic on the sitar. The owner ofone restaurant I worked in let a particularly poor musician take the stage. It proved difficult to waitress with a straight face as he became increasingly expressive. eventually knocking over his music stand in a sweep ofenthusiasm.
So why do restaurants and bars lay out the expense and hire musicians? Oliver Henderson of Hendersons in Edinburgh says. ‘I don‘t know that the customers necessarily pay a lot of attention to them. It‘s just to create the right atmosphere. In no way is it supposed to be overpowering.‘ Tom Jaine takes a more sceptical approach. ‘There may be some notional service to it if you‘re eating alone or with your wife of3() years standing and you‘ve run out of things to say.‘
Music works best when it suits the ambience. A row of tented men playing pan pipes in a Peruvian restaurant lends authenticity and
many a drunken evening has been spurred on by the balalaika. Friendly jazz or rhythm and blues rarely goes amiss. but then that‘s my taste. If yours is Barbara Streisand — try the piano bar at the Scandic Crown.
Pie Jesu: Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston
Something's Burning: Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
Raw Like Sushi: Neneh Cherry
The Raw and the Cooked: Fine Young Cannibals
Waiting for my Man: Lou Reed Whale Meat Again: Vera Lynn
Love Me Tender: Elvis Presley Salmon-chanted Evening: Bossano Brani
Me and Mr Mustard: Beatles
Sugar Baby Love: The Ruhetts
HOT OFF THE PRESS
I Mushroom Magic Michael Jordan (A Channel Four Book £9.99) The British are stubbornly blind to the attractions offungi. On the continent people ardently gather fungal delights. while we stamp on them with disregard. In Mushroom Magic Jordan enthusiastically illuminates the intricacies of the mushroom. from its biological structure to importance in folklore. Containing a section on edible mushrooms. he mentions mushrooms to look out for. what they will taste like and how to cook them. Get hold of this book before people begin to twig.
I All For One Janette Marshall (Penguin £3.50) A useful book for anyone who often eats alone. Covering a broad spectrum from boned. stuffed quail to BLTs. with plenty ofuseful ideas in between. Marshall makes her recipes straightforward without reducing them to the typically uninspired bed-sit suggestions.
LORD BYRON?» Riil lSH
COOKERY Book WILMA PATERSON DOG & BONE
l The Regency Cookery Book Wilma Paterson (Dog & Bone £7.50) Designed by Alasdair Gray and compiled by composer Wilma Paterson. this little book would be invaluable to fanatics who want to sample the food enjoyed by Lord
74 The List 20 April - 3 May 1990