Monday, April 30, 2007


As well, i am pleased to say that i am no longer a resident of Maryhill/ North Kelvinside - as much as i enjoyed living there and the characters that took to smoking around my doorway. After moving this weekend, i am now a resident of Kelvinside, living almost next door to the BBC and Royal Botanical Gardens. i now have to adjust to the shrieking drunks as they make their way down Great Western Road. Pictures to come soon.

Friday, April 27, 2007

i am going to settle this once and for all.

Look - i love Glasgow. i know that periodically i might rant and complain about the dog shit, litter and puke on the sidewalks and lack of city-wide recycling, but overall i adore this crazy place. As far as i see it, i must really love something to move away from Canada. Yes, i know such a statement echos haughtiness and goes against the traditional "humble Canadian" grain but dudes, sometimes it's just too hard to maintain when your country is voted the sixth best country in the world (alas, falling from FIRST PLACE from 1994 to 1999) by the United Nations Human Development Index.

A couple weeks ago i met up with some of my distant Scottish relatives (third cousins - i.e. my grandmother's cousins) and we remarked how funny it was that i was living in Glasgow. Funny because my Great-Poppy (their Uncle) was Glaswegian and hated this place. After emigrating to Canada, he pretty much swore the place off and only returned once in the 1970s. i'm sure he's rolling in his grave.

And so, although i remain a fervent Canadian and will always remain one, it looks as though i shall remain in this god-forsaken booze land indefinitely.*

*My initial plan was to maybe stay for one year - a due date which has come and gone - and seeing as i am having too much fun and disgustingly happy well, i have no choice but to stay.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dear Maryhill,

Firstly, i have to admit that "technically" i never actually lived in your scuzzy quarters. While it's true that i literally did live on the borderline, my post code was recognised as being in the "North Kelvinside" district:

South east of the barracks, on the remainder of the old Garrioch estate, are streets of more up-market red sandstone tenements that took the ‘posh’ name of North Kelvinside, to distinguish them from grubby old Maryhill. Garrioch Road seen here looking northwest linked the two. It was an old estate road that ran from Maryhill Road, with the barracks on one side and the railway on the other, before turning across the railway and becoming this residential street.

Nevertheless, dear Maryhill, i have come to appreciate your "charm" - and what charm it is! From the locals who chose to stand below my open bedroom window and scream at 4am in the summer to the local 14-year olds who ask me to buy them booze to the puddles of puked up curry and Buckfast on my front step to the miniature mountains of dog shit on my street; it's been a colourful year for the both of us! To be fair, i will miss catching sight of the junkies at the Maryhill "mall" and wondering how they manage to shop in between their heroin-induced nods.

And so, Mary, it's been lovely but i can't really say that i'll miss ya.

All my love and public drunkenness,


Monday, April 23, 2007


Paul and i walking on Great Western Road

Drinking in "The Loft" - Ashton Lane

(left to right) Jason, me, and Cameron

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Anyone outside of Scotland, is most likely unaware that there is an election May 3 for the Scottish Parliament and for Scotland's 32 councils. Most of you are probably unaware that Scotland has it's own Parliament as well.

Nevertheless, i am quite excited about the election because as a citizen of the Commonwealth and living in the UK, i am able to vote in elections. As such, it will be my first vote and considering i have restricted access to any public funds (and yet i pay full tax), i relish exploiting any government and community rights that i DO have. One of them being my right to vote and access to local libraries.

Speaking of Glasgow's libraries, i never knew how good i had it in Toronto: an on-line and electronic catalogue, the ability to request book transfers on-line, adding yourself to waiting lists and being able to see what number you were in the waiting list, and an abundance of any and every book/cd/film you ever wanted or read about briefly in the paper. In fact, the Toronto Public Library is the largest public library system in North America and is the WORLD'S second most used public library after Hong Kong. I loved the Toronto Public Library and in all honesty, i really do miss it. Although Glasgow's libraries DO have electronic catalogues, they are only accessible in the actual library. If you require a book to be transferred, you must inform a librarian who then does all the input and you receive a POSTCARD in the mail letting you know that your book is ready for pick-up. Bizarre.

Right, elections.

I'm quite excited about the prospect of voting and despite the libraries being fashionably out of date over here, for the first time Scotland is set to use electronic voting, raising fears amongst some. And rightfully justified fears too - remember Bush hijacking the 2000 election via Florida?! I guess making such bold (and obvious) statements as the one i just did and being a member of the NDP in Canada, you can pretty much determine as to whom i will be voting for.

List of Political Parties in Scotland
Scotland - As Seen by my Brother and Cameron

My sketchy staircase ("close" as they call them here)

Jason - in front of the Science Centre

Science Centre

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

So, my brother has arrived bringing his partner and gastrointestinal issues with him.

Sunday afternoon i went out to Glasgow Airport to meet them as they arrived from London; they had flown - FIRST CLASS - from Toronto to London and then transferred to another flight to Glasgow. They were lucky to be greeted by such a lovely sister and a gloriously warm and (rare) sunny day in Glasgow. After arriving at my flat, both Jason and his partner admitted that they were relieved by the place - fearing that i lived in a dump. I must say that i'm not entirely sure why they would assume such a situation. Perhaps my living standards fall far below their Egyptian cotton and duck down lifestyle - to which i am, quite honestly, jealous of. i suppose i take after my Father and i am just as happy to sleep on synthetic bed sheets as i am on silk....

We spent the afternoon wandering around shops in the city centre and finished the evening with a huge and delicious meal at my favourite Indian joint. Jason and Cameron were impressed with the Indian food. For all the things that you CAN get in Toronto, an outstanding Indian restaurant isn't one of them. It's true: Indian restaurants in Toronto are decent enough, i suppose, but there is nothing like the myriad of dishes and places as there are in Scotland.

Afterwards, of course, i was forced to suffer through the green wafts of my brother's indigestion. Evidently blood is thicker than his farts.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Oh My God, You Guys!

His Diva and Royal Highness, my brother, arrives THIS SUNDAY with his partner. Roll out the red carpet, bitches, because a new queen is gonna be in town!

p.s. Take my poll below, bitches!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Monday, April 09, 2007

Weekend in Pictures Part 2

Yes, another photo of us kissing; yes, i know we're gross.
Dudes! This is my living room/eating area (not seen: the tv and ugly ass couch that came with the flat).


Don't be jealous 'cause we're so cute.

Me standing just outside my kitchen in the hallway. i think i was cooking Paul dinner and he just came back from a football and a some pints....ahem....

Me in my glorious hallway (not seen: the big hole in the ceiling yet to be fixed).

Paul in the bedroom with the ubiquitous glass of wine.

The Weekend In Pictures Part 1

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sunshine Came Soflty Through my Window Today...

The last few days in Glasgow have been unbelievably sunny and warm - nary a cloud in the sky. Very un-Scottish. With the reemergence of the sun and warm weather, Glaswegians have suddenly begun to populate the parks in their shorts and pasty white skin, blinding those without the protection of sun glasses with their puckered white flesh. Often resembling the creamy white underbelly of a fish. Such behaviour is also characteristically Canadian.

With the first snow melt of the spring, Canadians often break out the shorts and ceremoniously celebrate with beer and a plethora of children can be seen playing road hockey.

Always with the changing seasons, i become homesick: when winter rolls around, i miss the snow, Christmas lights, and low-fat soy eggnog; with the first sunny weekend of Spring, i miss the play offs (hockey, as it were) and the annual event of disappointment because the Leafs fail me yet again.

Summer, well, i mostly hated it in Toronto because of the smothering humidity and pollution. Running outside was an exercise in breathing and i hated having to be so dependant on my asthma inhaler.

With fall, there really is no experience like it in Canada. Although you do get fall (or "autumn", rather) in Scotland, it's just not the same.

And although Glasgow cannot even compare to Toronto with the changing seasons, Toronto ain't got nothin' on Glasgow when it comes to the rows and rows of Easter chocolate at all the grocery stores this time of year. Praise Jebus!

Monday, April 02, 2007

i've been tagged by Katie to complete an expat Questionnaire:

5 things you love about your new country

1. The people

Scottish people truly are the most friendly and hospitable people i've encountered. Near strangers have welcomed me into their homes and offered me tea and biscuits; people i've just met have offered to help me; random Glaswegians talk to one another on the street and at bus stops.

2. The banter

"Wee beasties", "chin wag", "how no?", "weans", and "pished" - just to name a few.

3. The junk food

Tunnock's Tea Cakes, Scottish tablet, coconut ice, and irn bru.

4. The humour

Cutting, cynical, sometimes cruel but always fucking hilarious.

5. The Landscape

4 things you miss about your old country.

1. Friends and family
2. Toronto
3. Food in Toronto
4. Recycling

3 things that annoy you about your new country.

1. Lack of recycling
2. Littering (and general acceptance of such behaviour)
3. Sectarian violence and aggression / general violence and aggression

2 things that surprise you about your new country.

1. The general appreciation and overall acceptance of camp/gay performers like Will Young and the Scissor Sisters, openly embraced in pop culture and the general public, and yet an underwhelming homophobic current still runs through the Scottish psyche. Very very strange.

2. The amount of food that can be deep-fried and is.

1 thing that you'd really miss if you had to leave your new country.

1. Paul