Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Even Glaswegian Construction Workers are Feeling the "Credit Crunch"

Click for larger

Friday, August 22, 2008

No reason for posting this - other then it being fucking funny.

Also? the pill (birth control, that is) is 100% free in the UK. How civilised, no?
From the "WTF?" Files

While grocery shopping the other day at my beloved Tesco, I found this: prepackaged Jell-O (or "Jelly", as they call it over here - which leaves me wondering, what do they call actual Jelly then?!) in square form, oddly resembling soap.

Ok, first of all - who the hell is that lazy that they can't be bothered to make Jell-O?! All you do is add water and chill! Second of all, who eats prepackaged Jell-O?! Gross.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

from here
If I ever feel homesick for Toronto, I browse the Passive-aggressive note website for some good ol' non-confrontational passive-aggressive attitude, which is often found in Toronto.

Recently, the above photo was posted on the website - I can only imagine the outrage from wee neds looking for their Bucky! And yet, such notes about obvious acceptable behaviour can be found all over Glasgow. Whether it's going to the hospital or getting on a bus, often you will find notes stating that "abuse will not be tolerated!"

Forget passive - Glaswegians can be downright aggressive.

And just to be fair, a passive-aggressive note from Toronto:

Monday, August 18, 2008


Holy shit!

Tim Hortons!

In Scotland!

Too bad it tastes like utter shite.

Paul and I were walking home from dinner last night when I noticed that our local Spar was advertising that they now sold Tim Hortons coffee. I screamed and ran into the store to try some...and then noticed the dry and sad-looking British versions of my beloved Tim Hortons donuts. However, the coffee was what I was mainly interested in.

Alas I'm sad to report that the coffee doesn't taste anything like the Tim Hortons coffee in Canada; it tastes too acidic and of course, they offer milk - NOT CREAM - for your double-double (sacrilegious)!

It's a sad imitation of the real and glorious Tim Hortons that I know and love. Apparently it's not even a "real" Timmy's either. Rather, Tim Hortons has licensed out its brand to Cuisine de France in Ireland and the UK.

In the end, it just feels like a cruel joke; so close and yet, so far from the genuine and decent stuff! Why, Tim Hortons, why? Why not just open a damn store over here already!?

See that look on my face? That's the same face I pulled when I saw Spar advertising that they sold "Tim Hortons coffee".

Friday night, Paul and I had an amazing dinner at Rococo in Glasgow. I won a free dinner for two and seriously dudes? if you have $200 to drop on a dinner, I HIGHLY recommend Rococo.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Oh my god.

I just watched Channel 4's, Wife Swap, and witnessed one of the most deluded, chauvinistic, and lazy males to ever grace reality TV. Tony Butler, resembling a young and creepy-looking James Spader, is married to some Gothic Polish woman, and refused to do any housework or child-rearing - despite not having a job (he lives off benefits) and being in perfect health.

Wow. Tony Butler is totally up there - along with the crazy Christian lady from America's Trading Spouses - as one of reality tvs most vile and deluded characters.

Aforementioned crazy Christian lady and if you haven't seen it before, you gotta watch it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Britain's Really Disgusting Food

Last night I watched Britain's Really Disgusting Foods on BBC3, wherein the host, Alex Riley, searches for the most disgusting thing he can eat - legally - in the UK. Personally, I think that's quite a challenge because there is a lot of fucking nasty British food out there.

The programme turned out to be more than just the presenter pointing at food and lamenting, "ewww"; it was quite political and discovered that manufacturers have ingenious ways of transforming horrible ingredients - such as "beef connective tissue" - into something that looks and tastes like food.

The winner was Scotland's own McKechnie Jess "bangers with beef" (i.e. sausages). To be fair though, who the hell doesn't already know that sausages are crammed full of everything but genuine meat?! Surely everyone knows by now that sausages and cheap meat byproducts consist more of grounded up bones and ligaments than they do edible and "healthy" meat, right?!

Suffice to say, it was one of the few times that I felt like a smug pescetarian (ugh, I hate political labels) and thought, "thank fuck I find meat repulsive".

While I agree with the programme that the actual ingredients are totally disgusting, most people who eat cheap sausages, actually like the taste. While the ingredients - in principle - are nasty, I would argue that there are more disgusting British foods out there. Namely: beans on toast.

I ate beans on toast once (when I was an exchange student at Glasgow University) against my better judgement, when I was persuaded that it tasted good. Even just looking at beans on toast put me off (it looks like puke). I don't care if you try to "posh them up" a la Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (who shouldn't be trusted anyway because every weekend his recipes in the Guardian make me gag at the sheer thought of them), they are still gross. Probably even moreso.

So, forget cheap sausages, based on taste alone, I nominate beans on toast and custard (gross!) as my choice for Britain's most disgusting food.

And while we're on the subject, beans for breakfast is just weird.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Despite having lived in Scotland for only two years, I have moved house three times. And it's about to increase to four now.

You see, despite the media's constant screaming about a RECESSION!!! OH MY GOD!!!, Scottish house prices are on the rise - although actual sales have fallen, my landlord has decided that now is the time to sell the flat that I live in. Even though I have relayed the message, via my letting agency, that I want to live in that flat for a very, very, very long time (pretty much until I die), my landlord is determined to sell it.

I hate moving house so much, that I briefly considered buying the flat, just to avoid the hassle of moving. Although banks and mortgage lenders were giving away 100% mortgages a year ago like they were candy, such deals no longer exist.

Once again, we're in a climate of "responsible" lending so really, what bank is going to give me a mortgage without a down payment? And as for down payments, who the hell has £10,000 ($20,000 Canadian!) lying around to drop on a flat? Definitely not first time buyers. And definitely not first time buyers with massive student loans ( i.e. me).

I'm sort of hoping that the flat doesn't sell (it's kind of a dump - but a quaint one!), so I can live in it for a long long time. Well, until the next mortgage free-for-all rolls around and I too can get a 100% mortgage (and think about the repercussions later), and buy my own flat because I AM SICK OF LANDLORDS DECIDING ON A WHIM TO SELL THE FLAT I LIVE IN!!!!!!!!!!!

Jesus. It makes me nostalgic for Toronto, where everyone rents until they're 40!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Probing The Psyche Of Glasgow's Mean Streets

Today on NPR's Morning Edition, they explore "edgy cities" and crime and of course, Glasgow is on the list. Denise Mina, the Glaswegian author, tours the city with NPR.

Listen here

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


This past weekend I went down to London, to attend Mark's wedding. I've written about Mark before (he's the rocket scientist - literally! - who hates the word "egg"). It was a lovely wee ceremony in central London and as such, I was able to explore a bit of the city - mainly the Canada Shop in Covent Gardens, Russell Square, and Islington, where Lauren and I had an AMAZING Turkish breakfast at Gallipoli. The best part of the weekend, however, was seeing old friends and finally meeting Mark's gorgeous fiance (now wife), Kylie, who is from Australia (like the other Kylie)!
Some place near Russell Square

Tim! Wa-hey!

This was towards the end of the evening. From left to right: half of Lauren's face, John (who is almost showing his butt), Iain's girlfriend, Iain, and Erica.
Umm, yeah...we had been drinking in a secluded park for a few hours at that point
The gorgeous and six-months pregnant bride (Kylie), Mark, and men in kilts!

Kylie and modest Mark, who is making sure to not show his junk.

Maclay Halls, University of Glasgow, 1999, represent!
These are some of my main pals I met while on exchange at Glasgow Uni. From left to right: (back row): Mike (a.k.a. Green and Brown), Mike (a.k.a. Irish or Irish Mike), Erica (now Irish Mike's wife too!), Lauren (a.k.a. Midget, the one who lived in Toronto for a year, Mom!), Tim, me, Iain; (middle row): John (a.k.a. South African John), Tom, Laurie (a.k.a. Loz, Prince of Cool, hot dude, and the one whose sofa bed I slept on when I first moved to Glasgow, Mom!) (Front row): Husband and wife!

Party like it's 1999

Best Man, James, and Laurie!

Great shot! Isn't the bride gorgeous?! Seriously, good on yah, Mark!

Weekend in Pictures from 3 weeks ago?


Two drunk people at Kate's birthday celebrations

Birthday girl, Kate, and Irish Mike.

Kate! With Erica

Jamie and a pissed off looking, Paul



The Kiss Hello

Being the cliched and aloof Canadian that I am, I struggle with the British (European?) tendency to "kiss hello" when greeting people.

Even while living in Toronto (admittedly a somewhat pretentious city), I was only "kissed hello" once and even then, I let out an audible "wha'?!?!" as the offender leaned in to kiss me - NOT ONCE BUT TWICE - on each cheek. He was originally from Montreal and an artist, so that was his excuse.

We Anglo-Canadians tend to prefer a hearty hug when it comes to friends and family and when introduced to someone for the first time, we merely shake hands. So, all this kissing leaves me somewhat anxious and feeling like Jerry Seinfeld from the episode, The Kiss Hello (you know, the one where Jerry regrets once kissing Elaine's friend, Wendy, on the cheek because now he has to kiss hello every time?)

And according to an article in The Guardian, more and more people are kissing hello in the UK (oh, God).

I remember meeting my Scottish boyfriend's family for the first time. I went in for the hug while his family members went in for the kiss - leaving me feeling embarrassed and anxious. I mean, I rarely kiss my own Mother (shameful but true)! As such, I have come to loathe the "kiss hello" because I always end up feeling awkward.

Bless my boyfriend's family however, because I think they've realised my awkwardness for kissing, and have offered the "hello hug" (sometimes throwing in a kiss as well). Either that or they think I'm a distant and aloof Canadian averse to non-intimate touching (which, alas, is also somewhat true). Which isn't to say that I don't try the hello kiss - I do - but most of the time I just end up feeling like a fraud afterwards.

"I'm going on record right now, that was my last kiss hello. I am getting off the kiss program with her."
"Well, frankly, outside of a sexual relationship, I don't see the point to it. I'm not thrilled with all the handshaking either, but one step at a time."
- Jerry and Elaine, in "The Kiss Hello"