As this is posted, I will be walking to work. Yep, it’s one of those Saturdays. I’m writing this on Monday night, around 9pm, and it’s been a busy day. I seem to have spent a lot of my day talking, which is a key part of my job, to be fair. Now I am really content not to talk but to write instead.
I’ve been thinking a fair bit today about Dunbar, where I grew up. Usually that’s a good indicator that I may soon be paying a visit. This weekend’s out – I’m even missing the football tomorrow for a prior engagement in Glasgow – and next weekend I’m away up north. Following weekend might work. I was last in Dunbar just before my birthday and had a good walk along the Prom and out to John Muir. It was quite cool despite being late July but I liked the walk. After I turned past the skittery burn and headed back towards Dunbar, I looked back and saw East Lothian unfold over the fields, to Pencraig, Tyninghame and Traprain. Usually when I’m in Dunbar I focus my energies on one place in the area. Maybe this time might be out towards the East Links, a walk I last did last summer when I went out as far as Barns Ness Lighthouse then up Doon Hill. That was a gorgeous day.
Why Dunbar came to mind was an article I read on the BBC News website about how the people of Rutland, England’s smallest county, have resisted McDonald’s opening a restaurant in their part of the world. Until recently East Lothian must have been the only part of Scotland that didn’t have a McDonald’s. There’s one now in Dunbar, right by the A1 and next to Asda. It makes me giggle every time I see it because I grew up in Dunbar where trips to Asda, cinemas, big clothes shops or any sort of fast food that wasn’t a chippy, Italian or Chinese required a trip to Edinburgh, not to mention hospitals and most other public services. We would sometimes bring popcorn chicken or McDonald’s the 20 minutes on the train or slightly longer in the car from Edinburgh. Where I live in Glasgow, I can get these delivered to my door through a touch of an app on my phone. I can reach cinemas and big clothes shops within half an hour. I still find that a bit space age.
The other week I was nominated for one of those blogging award things where you have to answer a whole bunch of questions than ask a lot of other bloggers some more questions. That’s nice but I don’t have time for that. I’m about to study again and I work full-time. I write in bursts around what adventures I can fit into my life. Plus I regularly mention and celebrate other bloggers. What I can offer instead is a list of eight things you might not know about me.
- I don’t drink tea or coffee – tea is okay but it’s a sensory thing. I like the smell of coffee but it is rank. If I have a hot drink, which I do maybe once a year, it’s hot chocolate, preferably with whipped cream which cools it down. I drink diluting juice or water, sometimes fizzy juice. I despair of the many events I go to which don’t cater for non-tea and coffee people.
- One of my prized childhood toys was Buzz Lightyear – that probably ages me a bit. I still have my Buzz somewhere.
- I carry two pens in my pocket almost everywhere I go – partly in case of stress so I can twiddle them or click their tops, partly because I’m a writer. Usually it’s one stylish in blue, the other more functional black. Today’s came from Paperchase and Zebra (bought in Morrison’s).
- I once wanted to design football stadiums and drew them a lot – this brought about my continuing interest in architecture.
- I’ve never finished a Lord of the Rings book – they go on for about a fortnight.
- I don’t like sudden movement around me – that includes, but is not limited to, people, animals, bangs, lights.
- I have voted for three of the four major political parties in Scotland – the other I would never, ever, ever vote for in any circumstances. Luckily that particular shower don’t do so well around my part of Glasgow.
- My favourite number is 7. It’s a Hibs thing, it’s also a Harry Potter thing.
One last thing I’ve been thinking of is a quote from Peter McDougall, ‘Glasgow is not a geographical site, it’s a state of mind’. I just Googled it and amusingly one of the top results was my own Streets of Glasgow post about Virginia Street. A post from the Cheers, Govanhill blog made me think of it, about the various villages and districts that form Glasgow. It’s one of the many things I love about this city. In a few minutes you can be in another area. Each has its own character, its own architecture, words, feeling. Those who haven’t spent time here don’t get it.
Anyway, that’s us for today. Tomorrow is Loose Ends and it’s still in Glasgow at one of my favourite ruined places south of the river. Wednesday is about some Glaswegian lanes. Next Sunday will see a pause as I’m away for the weekend. Thanks as ever to all readers, commenters and followers. Have a lovely weekend, whatever you end up doing. Cheers.