July 21, 2006

The homecoming queen!

Glasgow is great! Slap bang in the middle of the bestest weather we've seen this year, there is a huge public holiday for the Glasgow fair, and being the lucky so and so that I am, I got the Friday and the Monday off work! So, 4 days off in a row! The little cogs in my wee brain got moving, and I came up with the ingenious idea of heading 'doon sooth' for my first visit to sunny Southampton since the big move.

So, there I was, on a little BA plane, feeling all sorts of emotions: excitement - it promised to be an awesome weekend, nervous - would all my friends still be my friends, slightly petrified - with a visit 'doon sooth' comes the inevitable meeting with supervisor to discuss thesis progress, and shockingly enough, as we came in to land, tearful - it really felt like coming home.

Anyways, in short, I had the most amazing weekend! It started well with a quiet arrival with a small group of mates, then on to day one with the thesis discussions, which went well! So that totally put me on a high! Then, I hit the pubs. The sun was shining, I'd had good thesis news, and had already started to feel the big love. So, with a white wine spritzer and a smile, I put on my old social butterfly costume, and made my way to my old local!

I then was basically tipsy for the whole weekend (days 2, 3 and 4 got a bit blurred). And despite the rather poor selection of late night establishments in comparison with Glasgow (there are now a couple of bouncers in Southampton who have had a rather in-depth tutorial from a rather innebriated Hannbella telling them exactly what her £6 could get her in Scotland, and just how favourably it compared the the small, sweaty hovel they were offering), and the dodgy curry (which left Hannabella a little worse for wear!) the people really, really made it!

To top it all off, I even got a good dose of Cap'n Jack Sparra at the cinema on Sunday - perfect.

So, the time came to leave, after seeing so many ace mates! I think this had been the bit I was nervous about actually - would I want to go at all?!

Well, I'm pleased to say that I left Southampton, yes, feeling sad that I'd left all my friends there, but no, not feeling like I wanted to move back that instant. I was quite happy to return to civilised, cosmopolitan Glasgow, with its excellent selection of shops, bistros, bars, clubs and public spaces...

...I'm just working on finding a suitcase big enough to get all those wonderful southerners, who I love so much, into, and ship them all up here!

Posted by Han at 05:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 06, 2006


To all my southern readers, no, I didn't just make a word up for the hell of it (for once). A Ceilidh (pronounced 'kay-lee' by me, and 'kier-leigh' by the Scots) is a traditional Scottish dance - like a barn dance. Basically, the ultimate opportunity to get totally off yer face, and dance the night away to funny twiddly music with a load of blokes in kilts that you've never met before (or birds if you’re a bloke).

So, a few weeks ago now (I've been meaning to blog about this for ages!), I went to my first one. Now, Ceilidhs are the sort of thing that are common at Scottish weddings, and, well, any party with a big enough dance floor. But, without either of these sorts of occasions on the horizon, I had struggled to comprehend when I might be able to inaugurate myself up here and actually go to one. I mean, it’s not the sort of thing that just happens in your local Jumpin' Jaks!

But then! It happened! I got invited to a Ceilidh nite! I had no idea such a thing existed! Yes, in a public place, people come, clad in kilts and the like, and get low down and dirty to some serious accordion/fiddle action whilst sweating all over people they've never met before in a frantically organized fashion!

So, there we were, me and the VLDGPE (yes, she's back!), on the banks of the Clyde, in the less salubrious end of town, searching for the 'Riverside' club, and frankly feeling a little bit dubious. We finally found it, down a back-alley, through a fire escape. A shell-suit-clad young man (or ‘ned’ as he’d be classed here) took our £7 (!) and we wondered what the hell we'd let ourselves in for! My pre-conception was that we'd enter a hall full of flashes of tartan as thousands of people jigged about saying 'aye pal' and throwing whisky about the place. But no, it was quiet. A little too quiet! And NOONE WAS DANCING!!!

We hurriedly made our way to the table, and hid! A little scared that we might be identified as English and asked to leave, or worse still, forced to take part in some sort of rock throwing competition Braveheart-Hamish stylee!

But, after we crawled out of our little corner, and had a couple of vodka-tonics and a bit of banter with the locals, that good old Glaswiegan spirit kicked in (no, not the Laphroaig!). The band got back on stage, the twiddly music came pumping, and VLDGPE and I were whisked off our feet by some seriously tartan clad, tall men (oh joy!) and twirled and jigged all round the room.

This continued for some hours, until there was condensation on the walls! I was twirled around by atleast 50 men that night! And have the bruises from ‘strip the willow’ to prove it! GLORIOUS!

Needless to say, I’m now addicted to Ceilidhs, I’m even considering including a Ceilidh event into my infamous three-day Birthday bender!!

Posted by Han at 04:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack