January 30, 2005

the Glasgow way…

You’ve got to love the Scottish. What was meant to be a nice relaxed Sunday, pottering about, catching up on normality, was instead turned into a full-on Scottish laugh-a-thon.

Driving range at 10.30am, shopping and recycling slotted in there as well, followed by brunch at the Observatory – accompanied by a few Russian pints and wine spritzers (guess who?) and then a leisurely walk home through the park to attack the weekend papers.

Not 20 minutes into the Times and we get a call suggesting we hit the road to join some friends at Oran Mor where Glasgow’s Festival of Whisky was winding up for 2005. From 2-5pm Oran Mor was hosting a free whisky tasting with the likes of Auchentoshan, The Balvenie, Bell’s, Benromach, Black Bottle, Bunnahabhain, Connoisseurs Choice, Glenfiddich, The Glenrothes, Grant’s, Johnnie Walker and Jon, Mark and Robbo as the main brands. Each house was set up with their own stand upstairs at Oran Mor with tables set out in the middle. The idea, as far as we could gather, was that you had a chat with the house, took away a dram of whisky, sat and chatted with your friends, before moving along to the next house and the next dram. All very civilized I have to say, especially if you like whisky.

After a couple of hours of whisky, we went downstairs to finish off with a pint for the road, but instead managed to convince ourselves (along with some others) to head out to Mother India for a wee curry on the way home. Mother India is, I think, one of the best Indian restaurants in Glasgow. BYO, it makes for a great night out. No point going home to start preparing pumpkin soup when we could stop by and have a good meal, prepared for us, served to us, couple of bottles of wine and lots of laughs – all for about 30 quid….

No argument.

So there you are. A whole Sunday spent eating and drinking. The Glasgow way….

(now if you’re scratching your head wondering how I managed to recount this day, after such a day, I can safely assure you that not being a whisky drinker, and since I’d had a ‘few’ wines last night at a gallery opening, I didn’t touch the juice till pint time – around 5.30pm….)

filles at 9:55 pm

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January 26, 2005

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY

I’m glad I’m an aussie. Really, I am. Proud to call Australia home as the song goes. Despite all the years I’ve been away, I still feel Australian. More so than anything else. The people just seem to “get” me, and I seem to “get” them too. Every once in awhile I miss it terribly. I mean, I miss the sun and the sea and of course my family all the time, but sometimes stupid things become the trigger for a serious bout of homesickness. An ad for furnishings, an aussie accent, a scene in a movie or tv drama shot in my hometown will sometimes do it…

What can you do?

(I think it’s going to have to be Tim Tams at Walkabout tonight….)

filles at 5:39 pm

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January 25, 2005

Henry Rollins

I have a spare ticket for the show tonight. If you’re in Glasgow, and want to see Henry Rollins do a spoken word gig at the Carling Academy. Message me…

filles at 1:30 pm

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January 24, 2005

a hill in Scotland = a mountain in Australia

It was hillwalking week last week. Saturday. I’m still sore. Beautiful views, beautiful day, lots of fun at the pub afterwards….

hillwalking.gif

filles at 5:45 pm

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January 20, 2005

Snow

glasgowsnow.jpg

It snowed here in Glasgow this week. Real snow. Snow that stayed on the ground and caused chaos on the roads in a town where nobody changes tyres, and where the population only gets to practice their driving on black ice once every three years!!

Lots of fun.

I ventured out into it to get to the gym. Then I came home, and I pretty well haven’t left since. I’ve been holed up here in the house, trying to transfer all the junk off this computer, onto my brand new, raring to go, full spec’d one. Without much success, I have to admit.

But today is a new day. I have to gather myself together and go out in the rain, get some fresh air, struggle with some weights at the gym and go pick up the null modem seriel cable required to do a ‘file & setting transfer’ I’ve only ever read about….

Busy. Busy.

filles at 10:00 am

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January 18, 2005

first things first

I just had to tell you about this amazing site, Mobissimo. If you’ve spent hours trying to search various websites for particular flights or hotels before, you’ll appreciate this service. Not like Travelocity or Expedia, it even includes low-cost airlines which is imperative here in the UK. Even though it is based in the US, anyone can benefit from the service, as it uses an internal currency converter to give you estimates. So cool!

filles at 4:16 pm

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January 17, 2005

A fleeting visit back home

We’re back into the swing of things here. Dinner party here on Saturday night which ended with Michelle & Andy passed out on the couch around 3.30am listening to something from the 80’s, VERY LOUDLY.

Yesterday was spent recuperating at the Observatory. Breakfast pizza coupled with a few Bloody Mary’s, the only way to do it…

Today I’m getting frustrated searching for budget holidays in The Whitsunday’s. Seems May is on the cusp of peak season and budget = $200 a night in northern Queensland. A little more than we had accounted for. I had costed out internal flights last week, BNE/Cairns; Cairns/SYD, but I didn’t book them, wanting to confirm our transatlantic flights first – and now, on top of the accommodation, the fares have doubled. Yep. Doubled. I’m going to gamble and not book them yet, hoping that there might be another sale sometime soon….

We’re off to celebrate my nana’s 90th birthday in Sydney and thought we’d take the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef before pollution and millions of tourists take their toll. A couple of years ago we spent a week on Lady Elliott Island which is an eco resort at the very southern tip of the Barrier Reef. It was lovely, certainly enough to make us want to go back, although this time we’re headed up north to Port Douglas. If you know of any nice, reasonably priced accommodation or have an ‘in’ with either Virgin Blue or Qantas, please let me know….

I’m not really complaining. It will be a nice, albeit very short trip. A few days in Port Douglas, a few days in Sydney, and a few days in Singapore on the way home. Nice and sweet. Not really anytime to visit anyone, just my nana and some family and as they say over here “that’ll be us then”. We’ve got to keep a couple of days vacation to spend with those of you who have confirmed trips to Glasgow this year….

filles at 4:50 pm

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January 14, 2005

Do you ever wonder why?

I woke up yesterday morning in the middle of a dream. I normally have weird, convoluted dreams, past present and future (seemingly) all mixed up together. People I’ve known from one place sitting alongside those I’ve met from somewhere else. On the weekends when I can remember them, I usually recount them for the amusement of Michelle.

Anyway, yesterday I awoke in the middle of a dream. Clear as a bell. I woke up because it was late and my morning ritual was way behind and I had to do some serious running about to catch up. But the dream persisted in my head. When I had a minute to sit down I started to unravel what I could of it. In fact there wasn’t much of it that I could remember. Just the last couple of seconds. Kent Steedman walked into my dream and appeared to be about to say something. Then. Awake.

I’ve spent the last 24 hours thinking about it.

I haven’t seen or heard anything from Kent since about 1994. Now if you asked Kent about me I’m not sure he would even remember who I was. But for me, the encounters I had with him have always held some weird significance, just the fact that I can remember them clearly says something considering the times. I remember the first question he asked me because it was so pointed, so direct – it took me momentarily out of myself. A brief moment in time, very clear, but fleeting.

So why now? I can’t help but attach some significance. I did a quick Google, and there wouldn’t you know it: January 13th, Kent Steedman and The Tubular Greens playing live in Santander, Spain. The next piece. I have a great friend living in Spain, Santander in fact. Another enchanted being.

Inexplicably entwined? Perhaps. Maybe they just crossed paths and the only common thread was me. Who knows?

filles at 9:56 am

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free perks with a gold card?

I have been on hold with BMI for over 250 minutes over the last 2 days. At 10p per minute this is outrageous! What kind of loyalty system is this?

filles at 9:43 am

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January 11, 2005

Good times

I have some catching up to do. The girls night went well, as did the Thai dim sum on the Plateau, and the party in the burbs, the sushi night at Maiko, and the dinner at the oh so trendy restaurant on Peel St where we met the new boyfriend, as well as several successful shopping ventures downtown and our trip back out to the country to return the car and welcome in the new year with Michelle’s family.

Busy. Very very busy.

We finally left Montreal after almost 2 weeks, happy to have had the chance to catch up with old friends and family, sad to be leaving again with no anticipated return date, but excited to be heading down to NY city for 5 days.

We had a great trip. Stayed on Ave C in the east village and mostly hung about in the same area and the lower east side. Did a bit of reminiscing and visiting of old haunts from when I was living on Rivington St in ’94, as well as trying some new restaurants and cool bars. I love the area. It’s a lot more trendy these days, and decidedly safe even. Big change from 11 years ago, back then Ludlow had a couple of bars, but you wouldn’t venture further out than that – these days there are some downright mainstream cafes out on Clinton St. All good I suppose, but I still prefer the not so bright, dark and jumping bars you stumble upon on Ave C and the streets off it in the east village. My memories of New York.

Along with the eating and drinking, we managed to get to the new MOMA which was beautiful – although a bit small compared to the Tate Modern in London, the International Centre of Photography, some frantic shopping at Century 21 near the World Trade Centre site downtown, and a couple of evenings with some dear friends who went out of the way to meet us in the city and swap stories and share a moment with us on our fleeting visit.

Nice times. All of them. Nice friends. All of them. Montreal, New York – you know who you are, thank you.

filles at 2:16 pm

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January 10, 2005

home sweet home

Nothing so exciting as 3 weeks worth of washing x 2 and one small washer/dryer combo. It’s all systems go around here.

We’re back. In body and spirit at least. Mind is still somewhere between NY and LON I think… another couple of dodo’s and we should be back in one piece.

filles at 1:44 pm

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