Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have been cycling in Glasgow for a while now and although there are lots of cycle "lanes" across the city, it seems as if the council never really gave too much thought in the planning and implementation of them. Often there are cycle lanes which will suddenly end or, as seen below, are barricaded in. What the fuck!? It's almost as bad as the prevalent sprinkling of glass that populate a lot of the lanes.

Similarly, what's the point in having bike lanes, when cars park in them, as seen below?

Worst of all are some drivers in Glasgow. Don't get me wrong, most drivers in Glasgow are conscientious and give me loads of cruising space on Glasgow roads. However, some drivers have been total dicks. And can I just point out that all the drivers that have raced past me, inches away from my bike, have ALL BEEN MALE? Seriously, I am a girl on a bike, casually cruising along to my destination, when suddenly some dick aggressively revs his engine before speeding past me at a ridiculous pace.

Another problem is drivers going through red lights. On average, I see about two cars a day on my commute, gunning it through red lights. In fact, a couple weeks ago while walking to work, I was actually grazed/ hit by a car that went through a red light while it was a pedestrian turn to cross. As I crossed the busy intersection, a Pakistani dude in a black Mercedes jumped the red light and turned the corner, causing me to jump out of the way. His car actually JUST nicked me but stopped in time before careening into me. Just as quickly, and realising he had hit me, he screeched his tires and peeled away. I was so shocked, I didn't have time to get his license plate but I did have time to punch the side of his car before he got away.

Also, since when do some men think it's ok to sexually harass women on bikes? What is it about the sight of a woman on a bike that stirs some men to harass us? In fact, on my commute home tonight, one Pakistani dude actually catcalled and made some weird guttural noises at me. I sneered back at me and gave him my best, "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" look in effort to shame him.

Also tonight, a Glaswegian dude in a car, pulled up beside me at a red light, looked me up and
and said, "Alright, love? Been shopping?"

And I am but one example of girls on bikes being harassed.

But still, nothing beats cycling across this city on a lovely sunny day.

POST SCRIPT: This morning there was yet another article about abuse hurled at female
cyclists. The author of the article, Dawn Foster, even started a blog about her encounters as a
cyclist in London, aptly titled, 101 Wankers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Today was a glorious sunny day with nary a cloud in the sky, so I cycled from the Southside to the West end to meet up with Kate and Lauren for our Sunday ritual: tea and cake at Auntie M's Cake Lounge (more information below).

Lately I have really been into cycling; cycling to work and back. I must be pretty acclimatised to the Scottish weather because I have even been cycling in the rain.

My gorgeous friend, Kate, finally met my gorgeous bike for the first time and fell madly in love with it. Kate asked to take it for a spin and after getting used to the Dutch brakes (i.e. pedal backwards to brake), she announced that where she once thought she hated cycling, she loves my bike and wants her own. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of the government run Cycle To Work scheme through my employer, and that's how I managed to get such a lovely (but expensive!) Azor bike. Sadly, it looks as though the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition government are changing the rules so people no longer get a deal when signing up to the scheme.

Just one more reason to hate this fucking government that Scotland did not elect.

Although I have been on a health-kick as of late, I couldn't help but make some rose-infused meringues as I had some eggs which were about the expire. With the egg yolks, I made some delicious (but rich) calvados and apple parfaits, a recipe from Regan Daley's brilliant book, In The Sweet Kitchen.

And in other baking news, is it just me or does anyone else find it odd that cakes over here in the UK are boxed and stacked upon each other? Maybe I'm just used to the Canadian habit of refrigerating them and placing them in display cases?

You know, like so?

Also, what is up with pre-made and pre-packaged pancakes?! I've lived in Scotland for over four years now but still, sometimes I'm just perplexed by it all.

As mentioned early, Kate, Lauren and I went to Auntie M's Cake Lounge for our Sunday cake, tea and gossip session. I LOVE Auntie M's Cake Lounge - the cakes are, by far, some of the best in Glasgow and all are made with love by fellow Canadian, Michelle; the sweet potato and pecan cake is out of this world. Michelle also carries a small range of North American goodies Valomilk and Welch's grape pop.

Another place I recently discovered is Taco Mazama on Renfield Street. Having lived in Toronto for many years, I had been spoilt with amazing burrito places and now, finally, Glasgow has jumped on the burrito bandwagon. I always joked with friends that I should start the trend in Glasgow and open a burrito take-away, but it looks like someone has beat me to it! At the very least, it is a pretty decent burrito joint too. Paul and I have been a couple times now and although the service can be slow, the food (and salsa) are worth the wait. Even the Vegetarian burritos, which are usually lazy and uninspired options, are delicious and creative with zucchini with peppers and butternut squash or eggplant and mushrooms.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Remember What I Told You: If They Hated Me, They Will Hate You
I haven't updated in awhile, I know. Perhaps it's been out of sheer laziness with a contingent of work responsibilities. Or, perhaps, it's just down to distraction and depression. You see, ever since the recent election, it's just been a steady stream of bad news. And with all these talks about cuts to the public sector, it's going to be very VERY bad for Scotland, where about one in four working people are employed by the state.

I can't help but question if this is the cool Britannia that I once fell in love with. How is it even possible that these horrid, despicable and posh homunculus's' - known as the Conservatives - represent my beloved country? Yes, it's true - in the fine words of Gary Younge, I hate the tories:

I hate them for a reason. For lots of reasons, actually. For the miners, apartheid, Bobby Sands, Greenham Common, selling council houses, Section 28, lining the pockets of the rich and hammering the poor – to name but a few. I hate them because they hate people I care about. As a young man Cameron looked out on the social carnage of pit closures and mass unemployment, looked at Margaret Thatcher's government and thought, these are my people. When all the debating is done, that is really all I need to know.

I hate them for all the above reasons and now, even more so for the xenophobic measure of capping Non-European Union migration; for the rising unemployment; for scrapping the UK Film Council; for Jeremy Hunt: the most uncultured philistine to ever be Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.

And yet, it's even worse in Scotland - a Labour stronghold where people simply do not and will not vote Conservative; where a timeless battle between England and Scotland continues to quietly fester. For England truly isn't the mythical land of Madame George and roses...