I thought I should take a minute here to explain the color choices for this website. I’ll admit, when I chose the template, it was more ‘green’ and less ‘day-glo-yellowish-green-that-just-might-blind-you.’ The green template seemed fitting, since while my ramblings will most likely be about a little bit of everything, they’ll all be based here in Glasgow.
I came here to Glasgow in September 2004, after having lived in Edinburgh for a year. Ironically, Glasgow means ‘dear green place.’ Ironically because there are maybe three parks total in Glasgow. It’s big and loud and industrial and dirty and it’s a great place to be. When I first came here, I really didn’t want to come to Glasgow. I’d lived in Edinburgh for a year previously and had absolutely loved living there. The beautiful cobbled streets, the castle, the eccentric winding closes off the royal mile, each one different from the last. Each corner told a story, the echoes of history crowding together as I wandered through the old town each Sunday. I adored how the city spoke to me, how I felt a peace every time I came back from somewhere else. The ride on the bus back from the airport was my favorite part. I knew I was getting closer and closer and then suddenly, the bus would turn a corner and there it would be. Edinburgh Castle, looming ahead on the promontory of a volcanic rock, like a curled sleeping dragon from some long ago age. I adored that city. It was the beginning of my adventure into the wider world and it would always have a special place in my heart because of it.
Glasgow, on the other hand, was a bit like the red-headed stepchild that nobody in the family wanted to admit is actually related to them. Glasgow was loud, crass, often violent and a hell of an entertainer after a few pints. It had history too, but too often it involved unemployment, heartbreak, early deaths (yes, scottish people really do deep-fry everything) and a touch of sectarianism thrown in for good measure.
‘A Dear Green Place’ seems so totally wrong for Glasgow and yet it also makes complete sense. People acknowledge and accept that there are a lot of social problems here, it’s impossible to deny it. And yet people love it. It truly is a dear place to the hearts of all Glaswegians. And to me.
Why, do you ask? Here’s a video that sums it all up:
This is John Smeaton. I love John Smeaton. He is the perfect example of a Glaswegian and why I love it here so much. The way they talk, the total nonchalance in the face of terrorism, how normal he is. People here are awesome, and not just because of how they talk funny and make me laugh. Don’t get me wrong, meet the wrong one drunk on a deserted street and you just might get stabbed, but for the most part it’s been the best years of my life living here. How they say ‘police’ like ‘polis’ is just icing on the cake.