May 31, 2006


‘Alright Dave?’

No, I’m not talking about the intellectually challenged road sweeper from Only Fools and Horses. Although whilst we’re here, I’ll take the opportunity to mention that I am reminded daily of Del-boy and Rodders’ and their council flat in Nelson Mandela House, with its fully stocked cocktail bar, as I pass through Nelson Mandela Place in Glasgow City centre. It looks nothing like the flat; for one, it is adorned with stunning Victorian architectural features, not 70’s Velour wallpaper! But the name’s the same…
(actually the origin of the name is quite interesting I discovered whilst researching this bit of the post – the link is quite interesting!)

Annnnyways, the sort of trigger I’m talking about is an emotional trigger. All sorts of things set me off. I mean, smells for example, really get me, and scary situations that remind me of a certain horrible thing that happened in my past. I find it amazing how some feelings can lay dormant for ages, and then one little trigger can bring them all back…

Since I moved here, I have to say, I haven’t felt too homesick at all. I’ve been so wrapped up in the new flat, all the new shops, the new city, new friends, new places to go out, new work, and that blasted thesis, that I haven’t had time to really feel sick. I’ve missed people, like crazy, but not felt real homesickness.

However, at the weekend, Mum came to stay. She came to stay, and we had the most perfect time. I showed her some of the best bits, and we did a lot of shopping, and got in a fair bit of culcha (including some opera dahling!), and generally had a great time.
And so, what I’m trying to say, is that at the end of the weekend, saying goodbye to Mum, was, in fact, my trigger. I got all watery of eye (but was forced to pull myself together before hitting the office!) And, all of yesterday, I was afflicted with the most chronic bout of homesickness! Not 'place' home, 'people' home - I just wanted to go back...

... It’s ok, back to myself again today, and the sun is still shining!

Posted by Han at 01:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 25, 2006

I fancy myself...

... as a bit of a photographer sometimes, er, not! But I thought that sounded like a good title for this post.

Anyways, I do have a camera, and have been taking quite a few piccies of Glasgow, as those of you who know me would expect (like the contra-jour - get me with the tecchie terms - at the top right of this blog)...

So, at the weekend, I had the first visitors from 'doon sooth' up, and whilst we were exploring, I let the little David Bailey in me out, and took summore! Here are some rather tropical looking plants at Pollok House, and a particularly floral view of Kelvingrove Art gallery and Museum (which is currently being refurbished - I'll be all over it like a rash from 11th June when it opens!) from the gorgeous grounds of Glasgow University across Kelvingrove park and the River Kelvin.

Nice huh!

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May 23, 2006

The perils of Glasgow

The decision to move to Glasgow was a tough one: I knew the job would be awesome, but what about living here? I'd never been to Glasgow. In fact, my first visit was the day of my interview, the second was the day I looked for a flat, and then I found myself living here!

I have to say, its a wonder I'm here at all! I'd been convinced by various sources 'down south' that if I didn't get murdered at gun-point by a mugger after mi wallet, and anything else he could sell to fund his drug habit, I'd probably die of heart disease following an excessive consumption of deep-fried Mars bars, and failing that, I was definitely destined to get hypothermia, and the cold would kill me! So, things weren't looking too good for the new life...

Well, I've been here for over a month now, and none of the above have happened.

In fact, I'm really enjoying living here! The area I'm living in is ACORN type 18 rated (Residents with high income (apart from this one!), Very high interest in current affairs (hmm - does reading Marie Clare count?), Very highly educated...). Extensive resources have been allocated to combat the problems of drug related crime in Glasgow, including a UK pilot Drug Court to deal with drug-related crime and rehabilitation. The Glasgow of today, or atleast what I've seen of it, is a far cry from the Trainspotting-esque metropolis of the 90's - I've not even heard anyone speak about the Ice Cream Wars of the 80's. Whats more, the fish and chip shop across the road from the flat doesn't even sell deep-fried Mars bars, and today, the sun is shining, I wore my new sunnies to work, and I'm in a T-shirt and cropped trousers, and warm! Besides, I like snow in the winter!

So, so far, despite the warnings, I have found Glasgow not perilous, but peril-less. I like it here: The opulent Victorian architecture, fabulous coffee shops open late, awesome, and varied night life, and stunning parks. Not to mention, the 'weegies' - some of the most down-to-earth, relaxed, open, friendly, funny, 'human' people I've ever encountered.

Posted by Han at 01:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 14, 2006

The friends situation

I'm not entirely sure what I expected when I moved. I was so caught up in the excitement of moving to a new city and the new job, all the leaving dos (awesome the lot of them, even the accidental folk nite, but how many is it possible for one girl to have?!!) and, of course, the new flat! That I hadn't properly considered what I would do about the friend situation when I got here.

The last time I moved city was when I left home for the first time to go off to Uni. Very exciting, and heaps of new friends to be met during freshers week. This time, there was no freshers week, no new flatmates, and no fellow homesick teenagers. Before I left, I just thought I'd join a few clubs through the new University, and of course there would be the work bunch!

The first week or so, I was quite content to be on my own, adoring my new surroundings, and gathering for my gorgeous new nest.

But then it happened!

I kinda knew it would, I mean, there’s only so much re-arranging of cushions, and positioning of paintings a girl can take! It got me, it was back, Hannabella wanted to go out! I wanted to get my groove on so bad it hurt! I wanted to shake my little tooshie! I wanted to hit the tiles! I wanted to paint the town red! And I wanted to do it NOW!

So, who to take on this quest for alcohol, disco lights and low down and dirty dancin’? Well, good question!

I tried with the work crowd. They didn't seem so up for it (dramatic contrast to the last lot!). I tried a local running group - potential there, but it was taking too long! I wanted to go out NOW!!! I tried a few exercise classes at work, great fun, but I realised just how much older I am than your average undergraduate nowadays!

The situation was critical, my social life was experiencing a drought, a drought so desperate, the highlight of Friday evening was a trip to the supermarket to pick up some washing up liquid and a pink begonia!

So, that was it, it had come to this. It had happened, and emergency measures were required. So it was with nimble finger, and attentive eye that I turned to our mutual friend the wonderful world wide web. Now, I'm well aware that some of you reading this are completely au fait with the whole business of getting to know people using this wonderful medium! Hell, here I am pouring out my life to complete strangers through it! But, I thought it was odd. I had serious issues with using the web to meet people! I'd noticed an ad on a local forum from someone who sounded just like me. Similar age, similar interests, looking for a gang of girlies to hang out with. I saw it, I thought it was perfect, but I did nothing!

It took me a week to drum up the courage to reply.

A meeting was arranged. There were 3 of us (at this point the old Hannabella would introduce some acronyms - what the hell - brace yourselves), myself, and internetty girly pals 1 and 2 (from now on IGP1 and IGP2). One elaborate contingency plan (in case they turned out to be Rab C. Nesbitt-a-likes with an insatiable apetite for Vodka-Irn Bru and something else entirely in mind!), some serious deliberation over suitable attire, nerves to rival those of a first date, and a bit of searching at the bar later, I found IGP1, equally nervous - and thankfully normal! IGP2 soon joined us, also normal, and an evening of wine, gossip, and giggles insued. Two and a half hours and a bit too much wine and gin later, I had miself two lovely new mates, and a plan to meet up again! Bloody brilliant mate!

And then I discovered, friends are like busses (in the 'you wait for one for ages, and then 2 come along at once' kind of way, I'm not referring to backside size here!), and I spent Friday night out with fabulous company from work, and then Saturday night out with more fabulous company from work, and even managed to meet summore new people too! Now I have a stonkingly gratifying hangover, a phone book full of new numbers, and a social diary so full, I have to keep reminding myself about that blasted thesis!

Speaking of which...

Posted by Han at 10:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 10, 2006

Ok, let me set the scene...

... I've just moved. I spent the first 25 years of my life down south. A cute, little, Kentish, blonde bright spark of a child, who soon turned into a loud, outgoing, closet geeky teenager who soon went off to University at Southampton to develop the geeky side, and alcohol tolerance.

6 1/2 years of higher education; A BSc, and nearly (!) a PhD later, I found myself in a van, loaded with all my worldly posessions, and two very good friends, on my way to a new career, and life in Glasgow!

So here I am! Thesis not yet finished, new job started, new flat, new life...

... and what the heck, new shoes too! (couldn't resist some red pumps at a bargain price!)

I'm going to use this space to talk about what happens here - doing Glasgow 'Hannabella' style!

Posted by Han at 10:47 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack


Well, here I am. New city, new blog...

... Watch this space!

Posted by Han at 10:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack