Mum & Dad came to visit through September. After a couple of weeks with my aunt & uncle in Lyon we met them in Paris, where gorgeous weather let us explore all the highlights, Eiffel Tower, Louvre (outside at least) Notre Dame, Monmartre and the Sacre Coure.
Catching the eurostar we moved on to London for a couple of days where some decidedly British weather kept us a little housebound (luckily we were staying in a spacious modernist gem of an apartment in Bloomsbury so all was not lost).
M&D provided an excuse to do all the tourist things we would never dream of in our usual east-end hipster type jaunts to the capital. Dad and Tim went up the London eye, we saw the crown jewels at the Tower of London and said g’day to Liz at Buckingham Palace. We also managed to catch up with Touch and meet Annalise her new super-cute baby and have a birthday dinner for me to catch up with all the Glasgow expatriates of the credit crunch!
Having squeezed all of that in we were suitably exhausted by the time we collapsed onto the East Coast mainline for the scenic ride back to Glasgow.
We had a lovely day last month at Troon – the delightful haunt of the Glasgow well to do and all things golf on the Ayrshire coast. Chhay had recovered from her recent skin irritation, the sun was out and we had a cheeky mid week day off. Our focus was lunch at the pointy end of our favourite fishmonger – MacCallums of Troon.
Their Oyster Bar and Wee Hurrie are located right out at the end of the still busy working harbour and marina so we had worked up an appetite by the time we arrived. Sttled into the slightly posher oyster bar resplendent with America’s Cup memorabilia we were served fantastic oysters, fresh fish and a slightly overcooked lobster in a very convival atmosphere.
Once sated we wandered back along the foreshore, before popping into the well stocked charity shops that populate the main street where I picked up the design classic Olivetti Lettera 22 portable typewriter (see above) for the princely sum of Â£4.50. Look out for more old skool posts from me now!
Sorry for the absence – Chhay has been hogging the ‘puter looking up real estate as our landlord is selling our fabulous flat 🙁
To recount, a brace of Chhay’s french relatives popped over across the new year to briefly take in the delights of Glasgow and the heady atmosphere of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.
On a damp and gloomy day we did an extensive walking tour of Glasgow, including Chhay’s first visit to Glasgow uni (below) which dominates the view from our windows.
Hogmenay was as I expected, busy damp and and a little bit dull (especially as I was driving). We did catch a rather drunken set from King Creosote who we had been meaning to see for a while, but apart from that and the fireworks the evening mainly seemed to consist of queuing in the rain. Once we got back to Glasgow we had much more fun blethering over our friends kitchen table till the early hours of the morning.
While the weather is rarely accommodating Scots are definitely up for a party for Hogmanay – even as we were leaving at rather too close to 5 o’clock in the morning on New Year’s Day there were several parties still going strong in the neighbourhood.
Well we have a new addition to Airlie Street … Cousin Claire has come to stay! Leaving the big smoke of London for cosy little Glasgow she’s decided to share the Glasgie experience with us.
We went and saw Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Saturday night at the Barrowlands Ballroom. The band was fantastic and the venue is great – a former ballroom as evidenced by its name, and although the P.A was a little suspect it wasn’t too crowded and reasonably easy to see the band.
The crowd was quite another story. Not sure if I am getting too old for the live music caper or if Glasgow audiences are completely out of their heads at every gig, but they were certainly crazy with plastic cups full of beer flying in all directions.
Despite the crowd it was great to get back in front of some live music again after quite a while, and it appears as though there is a lot more great gig’s coming up in the next few months.
We experienced our first Burns supper last Friday night. Not completely authentic as we were missing pipes, but we improvised with miniture musical instruments instead. We had the Address to the Haggis, a quite delicious haggis, and a mash-off between Tim and another work mate to accompany the afore mentioned haggis (which ended in a politically correct tie). Tim and I proposed toasts to the lassies and laddies respectively, and much Burns was attempted by all – in a variety of accents – Singaporean, German, Australian, North London and even the occasional Scots. Despite most of us barely understanding a word said it was a very enjoyable evening – no doubt helped by considerable quantities of uisge beatha – the water of life!
Testing to see if we can embed video…
Doesn’t seem like it – funny web comic I found and was trying to show on the site can be found here.
Having lost our fridge to the removalist on Monday various friends have been very generous in providing us with a feed these past two nights. The meals have been fantastic, this leaving thing isn’t so bad really, a shame we have to go so soon. Must remember to be fridgeless for longer next time we move.
I’m shocked how long this vacating of our premises is taking, it doesn’t help that all this “stuff” keeps appearing from who-knows-where. Half of what we owned can now be found at the Salvos but we keep finding more “stuff”. We are almost there though. Three and a half years of dust have been wiped clean today. Though I must say tonight’s cleaning was made easier after a few glasses of wine and, mostly for Tim, winning a round of Trivial Pursuit. We stopped cleaning just after 2am.
We found time to do the census in between cleaning and Trivia. Sadly we couldn’t distort the census with our homelessness and unemployment. Tomorrow will be a busy day, we’re off to Toowoomba to see Grandma Gwen for afternoon tea. Here’s hoping Tim escapes the grilling about not planning to be back in Brisbane anytime soon.