Monday, October 22, 2012


Yesterday was surprisingly sunny and half-way warm; I say surprisingly as Scotland is soon-to-be descending into its notorious autumn/ winter season - when mornings tend to be dark, cold and wet. Yesterday, however, we were blessed with few clouds, a warm Fall sun and most importantly, no rain. As such, G and I took full advantage and cycled out past Helensburgh, looped around Rosneath peninsula, past Kilcreggan (up over Peaton Road - an epic HILL!) , back through Glen Fruin, before gliding into Balloch for a coffee and then catching the train back to Glasgow. In total, we managed about 60 miles. 

During our ride, we cycled past Faslane: home to the UK's "strategic nuclear deterrent" - a.k.a. submarines that contain nuclear warheads. How can such beautiful scenery of this land be punctuated by the horrors of man? Maybe I'm naive but as I stopped to take a picture and take in the view, I wondered: in what world do we live in wherein we no longer "guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought by the military-industrial complex". Although that said, Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, recently announced that should Scottish people vote "yes" in the referendum and we become independent in 2014, he would rid Scotland of nuclear weapons. That's enough to illicit a "yes" from me then (and yes, I can vote in the referendum). 

Stopping for a coffee in the Cafe at Kilcreggan 

 Making our way to the top of Glen Fruin 

And atop one of the undulating hills through Glen Fruin - you can see a big grey box, home to weapons of mass destruction.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I'm trying to get back into longer cycling expeditions on the weekend. On Sunday, I struggled up the Tak Ma Doon Road, near Kilsyth; it's been a while since I have been up it. View from the top, from the parking lot.

One thing you may or may not know about me is that I love to bake: cakes, muffins, pies, you name it; pretty much anything sweet, I'm going to bake it. And I love to eat said cakes, muffins and pies. Naturally, I love the UK show, The Great British Bake off (Canadians: imagine a sweet and well-made version of American Idol only, instead of delusional singers, it's populated by talented self-taught bakers).

Anyway, my FAVOURITE baker on the programme, James (who also happens to be Scottish), stopped by my work earlier in the week. James made it into the final three on the Great British Bake off. Sadly, however, he wasn't crowned the winner but no doubt, he is the unofficial winner in Scotland - he did us proud with his inventive recipes that often combined Scottish ingredients.

Ok, when I was back home in Toronto, I discovered these sweets from Japan. I AM ADDICTED. Anyone seen them in Glasgow? I can't stop thinking about them: green tea with a hint of cherry blossoms. W O A H.

Another thing I became addicted to whilst back home: Toronto's very own Drake. I'm late to the party, I know, but his latest album, Take Care, is simply amazing. Such variation and so much talent. No wonder the ladies love him.

On Monday 8 October, it was Canadian Thanksgiving, which also happened to fall into the same week as G's birthday. As such, we had about 8 people round to my house, where G and I cooked an elaborate feast (menu at the bottom). In true typical Thanksgiving fashion, there was too much food; too many leftovers and too much alcohol. Success!

Not to brag y'all but it was pretty amazing. I probably should have taken pictures of it all because not only was it outstanding, but also the last time (for a while, anyway) that I make such a huge feast from scratch. 

Hence the reasons for 50 mile bike rides on the weekend. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Two Drifters Off To See The World

So G and I got back from Canada a couple weeks ago; it was G's first time in Canada and surmise to say, he wants to emigrate. How serious he is remains to be seen, however. Obviously as a fervent Canadian, I love my home country and I miss it dearly but am I ready to move back to Canada? I'm not sure. There are so many elements that I miss about it though: the four distinct seasons, decent coffee, cream for my coffee, amazing sushi in abundance, friends, family and of course, Montreal bagels.

Did I mention the weather?

Coming back to Glasgow, this time round, was really hard for me. Saying goodbye to my oldest friend, Bombo/Coco, was sad for me and strangely, I found myself missing his chubby wee bulldog too. I suppose after my recent health run-ins, it was nice to just go back home, stuff my face with doughnuts and coffee and not worry too much about the ever-increasing growth on one of my internal organs.

Which brings me back to reality; back to Glasgow; back to the rain; back to more tests and ultimately surgery.

But at least I'm back in the city I fell in love with; back amongst the grumpy and warm people of Glasgow; back on track to getting healthy; back to cycling in the land of rolling hills and £2.50 for shite coffee.