By Susan McFadzean
A day spent in Glasgow
I moved to London almost a year and a half ago. And believe it or not, this is only the second time I’ve travelled back up over the border and cosied back into the land of thick accents, funny words and stranger talk. And jeezo, I’ve missed it.
First let’s note that it was the 23rd of December, the day before Christmas Eve and I had a lot of gifts to find and errands to run for friends and family who needed last minute things from ‘the mainland’. But thank heavens, angry or stressed shoppers were no where to be found this far north.
So I’ve been gently reflecting on my day spent in Glasgow before catching the train and then the ferry over to my quaint but stormy little island ever since.
Still dizzying over Dave Pearls Street Wisdom, I was back on home ground for the first time
in ages and my senses were wide open. First stop after landing was coffee – and the girl behind the till remarked to me(!) how lucky we were the rain seemed to have slowed for the time being. Laughing out loud I realised how much I miss our Scottish tendency to find a positive in a negative. Never mind it’s been raining all week and probably will start again soon – let’s just be happy it’s intermittently stopped and take a second to appreciate it even if the que for coffee is long and it’s nearly Christmas and people have things to do. I smiled with the reassuring feeling of being home flooding over me. It was time to let my guard down.
Second stop was Princess Square to look for a little gift for mum. Mooching around I started contemplating a pair of soft leather gloves. Whilst unsure and trying one on for fit a wee granny, apparently waiting on her granddaughter in the changing room, proceeded to tap me on the elbow enquiring who I was buying for. Filling her in she helped me lay out the pros and cons of choosing leather gloves or knitted mittens. In the end, we decided a scarf was a great idea. So that’s what mum got. This little lady might have approached me randomly, but taking the time to talk, she helped me choose a gift for one of the most important people in my life. Laughing, we wished each other a Merry Christmas and I headed for my eyebrow appointment.
But returning to the same beauticians I used to visit before moving to London, I was upset to find that the two girls I usually booked in with and had been looking forward to seeing weren’t working there anymore. Or so I thought until I sat down and within the quick ten minute wax I had heard the updated life story of Katy and Lenette from Sarah and was happy to hear they were in fact both just on maternity leave. Too often I can forget everyone has a life, and thier own story and this eyebrow appointment struck that home for me. Whilst I boarded the London rollercoaster many moons ago, Glasgow has still been trucking on and Katy and Lemette are going to have babies for goodness sake!!!! Im glad for the reminder that the world does not revolve around me or SCA.
One more anecdote and we’re done.
Two maybe, because I can’t not note the two deaf girls I watched talking in sign to each other and carrying it on over their shoulders whilst turning to walk backwards as thier parents led them home in opposite directions. What a powerful way to communicate. And the scene was so cosy like from a Christmas movie, I have it recorded somewhere in that noggin’ of mine.
But it’d been a long day, and this is a long post but we’d got everything on our multiple lists (I had my boyfriend as co pilot shopper with me) and we ran for the train. Busier than usual we trailed up through the carriages looking for two seats and space for suitcases and shopping bags. Unsuccessful we decided to split up until an older man, in his construction clothes, most likely on his way home from a hard days work, got up smiling and told us to take those two seats together. That was unnecessary from him and I felt a pang of guilt watching him scoop up his loose belongings and clamber off to find himself a new spot. But I realised he wouldn’t have offered if he hadn’t wanted to. I’m still not sure what to make of that random act of kindness other than know I want to replicate the notion of it more often in 2018. My kindness should shine as bright as his yellow high-vis jacket.
So a small apology if I return to school with a thicker than before Scottish accent. But I’ve realised since being home, being Scottish is part of who I am. And since I’ve failed at hiding the accent up until now, I should defiently stop trying and just as well embrace it alongside our scottish-weather-obsessed-chatterbox-talk-to-strangers-give-up-seats-take-it-easy tendencies.
Merry Christmas & Happy Hogmanay!