Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I have an uncanny ability to write about a new relationship, right before it spontaneously deteriorates before me. It would appear that as soon as I dare to blog about my dating experiences (and mishaps) in Scotland, my all too new relationships suddenly fail spectacularly. And once again, my all too new relationship did just that, this past weekend.

You see, after writing about G, my friend that I was dating, I got dumped. Again.

I could regale you with the minute details of all the events that unfolded this past weekend but to be honest, I don't really know entirely myself what happened and why. And although I love nothing more than to analyse and deconstruct human behaviour, there is simply little point in doing so in this instance. Because whatever his reasoning - however true or false they may be - G decided that he could not be in a relationship with me. Or rather, he choose not to be. As such, I can only accept his mistake (err, sorry) - his DECISION. Or maybe I can only accept his word as gospel truth and you know what? Maybe it is as simple as it just not being enough for him. Oops, see? There I go analysing.

The thing is (and I realise this is SUCH a cliche and I shudder at typing it) above all else, I just want G to be happy. Even as a friend, I just wanted him to be happy but on some level, I wondered whether or not he is capable of it; G is quite a complicated person and I suppose in some way, that is what attracted me to him.

The saddest element to this entire affair is that I will actually miss his friendship; which isn't to imply that we can't be friends in the future. At the moment, however, I suppose we need distance. I'm writing like I have any semblance of an idea as to how to manoeuvre in this instance because the truth is, I don't.

What I do know, is that despite everything that has happened to me in the last six months (e.g. leaving my partner of four years and the house I loved) and despite having my heart broken on various occasions, I'm still optimistic and I don't even have to try at it. I'm actually somewhat surprised at my own resilience because if I'm honest, I wasn't expecting it at all.

In the end, it's easy to be cynical and it's even easier to retreat than it is to experience. And I guess that's where I'm awesome: I fucking love an adventure and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let fear get in my way.

Monday, August 29, 2011

(Long) Weekend in Pictures

I had an epic weekend (ohhhhh guuurl, that is another story) however, today Claire and I went to Edinburgh for lunch, dinner and a spot of theatre. We went to Ruby Wax's, Losing It, as it was the last day of the show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Despite living in Scotland for the last five years, today was my first time at the Fringe. People are surprised when I tell them that I've never been to any festival - ever - in Edinburgh. "Jennifer, you've never been to the Festival?! Why?!" they ask, pulling a concerned face.



Tourists, people handing out flyers, media-types, tv-types, tourists, more tourists, kitschy Scottish overpriced crap, £2.50 for a cup of coffee, TOURISTS IN FANNY PACKS (bum bags), students having animated conversations about "conceptional performance art" in confined spaces and me amidst all the chaos, feeling like a walking mental illness.

So, in a way, I guess it was fitting that Claire and I went to the see Losing It, a musical theatre performance about mental illness and well, losing it.

It was a touching, haunting, brilliant and honest performance. And in some respects, it was quite close to home.

After the play, we went for some dinner in Auld Reekie, before getting the train back to Glasgow. Whilst we were on the train, Claire and I - as usual - were making each other howl with laughter and causing a scene. I seriously had to stop myself from laughing so much as I was beginning to think that I would be met at Queen Street Train Station, by men in white uniforms and be handcuffed to a stretcher, before being wheeled away. "Ohhhh, honey," I said to Claire, "I ain't far off from that....."

Monday, August 22, 2011


Absolutely shocked and devastated to read the news this morning that Jack Layton has died at the age of 61.

When I lived in Toronto, I was a card-carrying member of the NDP (a political party founded by a Scot, and Grandfather of Keifer Sutherland, Tommy Douglas.) Jack Layton, a fellow cycling enthusiast is what Canada is all about: progressive, honest, and positive.

R.I.P. Jack Layton

For the first time in a long time, I am inexplicably happy - to a point where it's almost overwhelming, foreign, but somehow familiar; as if I'm coming back to where I should be.

The truth is, this new found bliss is not entirely unexplained. As previously mentioned, I've been seeing someone; someone that I have known for about four years and more controversially, someone that I know through my ex-boyfriend. The thing is, I hadn't planned for this to happen but I would be lying if I said that I never took notice of him whilst I was with my ex. However, I never even so much as contemplated the possibility because I was already in a relationship.

Timing is precarious: six months after breaking up with my ex and a couple months after getting dumped a day before my 32nd birthday, I happened to bump into G at a cafe. He was on a date (of sorts) and oddly, I found myself jealous. Or rather, envious. I found myself wishing it was me. Although, I also found myself wishing it worked out for G because I thought he was such a nice guy and deserved it. I left the cafe that night confused - G was an acquaintance of my ex and sure, he was super HOT but why was I feeling jealous over a dude I hadn't seen in almost a year and only knew as an acquaintance!? I have to admit: I was quite surprised at what I felt walking home that night. However, I rationalised to myself that it was for the best: I couldn't get involved with someone that was in my ex's circle of friends. Could I? Probably for the best that I make a clean break and not complicate my life any further. Yup.

So, of course, I messaged G a couple days later asking how his date went.

Yes, I liked G "as a friend" so there was no harm in messaging him and asking him how his date went, was there? G replied with, "fantastic" and my heart sank. Again, I was surprised at my emotions but hey, WE WERE PALS, right? And pals talk to one another about dating and such. However, he quickly followed up his heart-wrenching reply with an offer of getting a coffee at some point (!)

And so, the following week G and I went for brunch (and coffee) strictly as MATES. And we hung out as MATES (way too long for my liking). We hung out as PALS and talked about bikes, beer and babes. One night after a couple beers (over which we talked about bikes and girls), G walked me home and I couldn't stand one more awkward "good night", so I asked him outright what we were doing. He confessed he liked me but wasn't sure how I felt - especially given the circumstances. Funny because I wondered the same - I liked him but wasn't sure how he felt given the circumstances.

We might have stood there, outside my building, having an awkward clumsy conversation for a good 20 minutes before I told G to ask me out. "You need to ask me out on a date," I demanded. He offered to take me to dinner and asked me when I was free. Ever the cool Canadian, I stated, "TOMORROW!"

The dinner date the following night, although lovely, was slightly strained. Actually, it was just plain ol' awkward. I mean, how do you go from being on friendly terms for years to suddenly dating? From wanting something to happen so badly, to it ACTUALLY happening right THERE?! To be honest, I started having doubts; I didn't know if I was doing the right thing because it just felt so strange. And even worse, I initially found it difficult to allow myself to be attracted to G - he was a pal, after all.

It took a few dates before I got comfortable with the idea of dating a friend. However, last weekend, for the first time, it just felt right. I made dinner for G (as a way of saying thanks for taking care of me whilst I was ill that week) and as soon as he walked through my front door, I felt at ease. Actually, not only did it feel right but amazing. It was a slow burner, I suppose. Now I just feel lucky. And happy. And bowled over by G. He is smart, funny, and a genuinely nice lovely human. Oh, and hot.

I'm reluctant to say anything else because I'm essentially outing us and I don't know who reads this blog (apart from some family and friends). In addition, I need to respect people's privacy (boring, I know, but that's what adults do apparently). More importantly, I'm reluctant to say anything more about G because, in all honesty, I'm terrified of messing this up or jinxing it. I'm just way too happy at the minute and clearly that is just tempting fate - if you believe in that sort of thing and at the minute, I can't help but be a believer.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This past weekend, I cycled up the Tak Ma Doon road for the first time. In a word? Brutal. In the end? So worth it. At the top of the hill, the views are stunning and best of all, at the end of the day, you can gorge on ice cream guilt-free.

Monday, August 15, 2011

it was confessional, yet cautious

Everything is about perfect timing: from waiting those three seconds before delivering that killer one-liner to making the perfect meringues to actually meeting someone decent when you're in a healthy state of mind (somewhere I hadn't been for a while). And life is filled with "what ifs" and near-misses: what if I had never came to Glasgow as a university student on exchange? And what if I had never dated my ex for 4 years?

If I never came to Glasgow, well, I can't be certain but I can guess that I would have been miserable and still living in Toronto. And regretful. And If I had never dated my ex, I wouldn't have met Claire - one of my best friends and one of the most kind and beautiful people I know; I love Glaswegians and Claire makes me love them that much more.

And if I had never dated my ex, I wouldn't have known what sort of relationship and behaviour I would not be willing to accept; I wouldn't have known the sort of strength it takes to JUST. WALK. AWAY; I wouldn't have known that no matter how impossible you think something is, it's possible.

And what if I had never gone to Tinderbox last month and bumped into G, someone I have known for four years but haven't seen in about....oh, one? Claire and I were having a mid-week coffee, cake and gossip session (a semi-ritual) when G came into the cafe. Claire, facing the entrance way, suddenly stopped mid-sentence and announced, "Oh look! There's G_____!" Turning to face the door, I was floored. As mentioned, I hadn't seen G in about a year and during that time, he had changed appearance: gone were the glasses, floppy hair, and goatee. I mean, he'd always been cute but standing in front of us was someone else entirely.

He took a seat with us and in those brief 10 minutes of chat (before his date showed up!) I cannot recall anything we spoke about; I was too awkward. Shy. In lust.

We exchanged pleasantries before G got up to meet his date. And that was that. Only it wasn't. Impossibilities suddenly become a possibility. And the unavailable suddenly become available.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I had a date this past weekend. Like a proper North American style one wherein you actually go out for a meal or even better, A DAY TRIP AND A MEAL! Yes, it's true; I am trying to start a trend here, ladies! Let's get these dating-challegned Scottish dudes to up their ante! No more drinking in the pub with mates, drunken fumbles in the dark and then deciding what the status of your relationship is, amiright?!

Anyway, it's a somewhat strange situation: we've known each other for some time - strictly platonic - so going from friendly-terms to dating is a bit odd. It's even further complicated by other factors (TOP SECRET!) and you know, I gotta respect people's privacy an' all...

Nevertheless, my date took me to Largs, on the west coast of Scotland, to have lunch at the famous Nardini's, which I have never been to before. Oh. My. God. The ice cream. THE ICE CREAM!!!

Typical Scottish summer

The coast off of Largs

His ice cream sundae - hot toffee fudge

Hers - tablet toffee sundae

Oh no, my date knew better than to offer to share a sundae with me; this greedy bitch needs her own. I am North American, after all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

It used to be that I didn't give too much thought into who read my blog; I just wrote it. In the past few months however, I have found myself imposing self-censorship for obvious reasons (does my ex read this?) And now, well, even when I REALLY want to slap something up here, I'm reluctant. Actually, no. Scratch that. I. JUST. CAN'T.

However, I can regale you with a tale from this past weekend illustrating the selfishness of some Glaswegian men. On Saturday night, my friend, Erica, and I went out for cocktails at The Blind Pig and after one too many whisky cocktails, we found ourselves at Oran Mor. While we stumbled down into the subterranean club, Erica and I accessed whether or not I should text a guy (ain't that always the way). Behind us, a group of squaddies hijacked our analytical chat and forced their presence upon us. "Forget about him!" one of them demanded, "We're here!"

Before we were swallowed up by the nether regions of the club, Erica demanded that I make a decision, "YOU WON'T GET RECEPTION DOWN THERE!" she pointed out. Ack! In a panic, I texted him. Beep. Done. And in we went.

While Erica continued to hold court with our newly-acquired squaddie friends, I sidled up to the bar to get some pints. I patiently wait in HIGH HEELS and a TIGHT DRESS while all those in front of me were served. Just as it was my turn to order, a short ginger-haired dude pushed past me and barked his order at the barmaid. Somewhat shocked but still maintaining my cool, I tapped said accusers shoulder and said, "you just cut in front of a girl?!" Without even making eye contact or bothering to look at me, he just shrugged.

Now, is there anything more dismissive - not to mention juvenile - than a shrug? Here is a fully-formed man, who cannot even look in my direction but instead, half-heartedly shrugs away his guilt.

Undeterred, I waited for him to get his drinks and pay. Before he walked away from the bar, I stood in the troglodyte's path, batted my big eyelashes a couple times, pasted a huge welcoming grin on my grill and in my most sickly-sweet North American accent I calmly stated, "you're a fucking asshole." Without even breaking his stride he AGAIN, shrugged and admitted, "and the worst part is, I don't even care" and walked away.


The night improved though. That guy I texted? He showed up.