Clydeside

We’re back home after a surprisingly enjoyable journey to a surprisingly enjoyable place for a surprisingly enjoyable wedding. Not that we expected any of the above to be anything less, but they were even better.

It was the wedding of Dave and Sharon and it was in Glasgow. Failing to find a train fare that was anything less than fucking outrageous I managed to find a flight/hotel package from lastminute.com that looked ok: it was a night flight to a 3-star hotel for a couple of nights. Dave had managed to scare me by pointing out that the hotel was in a “dodgy” part of Glasgow called “the Gorbels”, and as we were “the two most hated racial groups to the Scots (English and American)” we might get in some trouble. Not only was he merely joking, but it also turned out that everyone in the vicinity we met, including the little scally neds, were all really friendly. So far removed from the arsey attitude-disabled geezers in the Eltham->New Cross belt (ie my life). In fact, from the moment we stepped off the plane the whole experience was like an advert from the Scottish tourist board!
Overhearing a bloke booking a cab, I waited until he had completed the transaction and asked for his cab tip. He turned out to be a lovely bloke and only too keen to help us out. He also turned out to be an HP employee so skilled that they happily paid for him to work in Paris and live in Glasgow!
The cab he had recommended to us arrived so quickly it felt like a chauffer-driven car, and the driver was such a genial guy that once we’d arrived at the hotel he presented Michele with a tartan umbrella “to remember Glasgow” by….albeit in a slightly scary way…and albeit an unbrella with a peculiar white stain on it…hmm.
Anyway, we went into the hotel to find the bar was not only still open but would remain so until 4am! It was like heaven! A lovely warm room, telly, luxurious bathroom, tea/coffee making facility and corby trouser press (natch). We threw down our bags and went down to the bar for some nice red wine and to order a take away.

The next day, after my expensive but very filling Scottish breakfast, Tony came round so that we three could all go to the wedding together and diffuse any embarrasment we may generate. I know I’ve already said it, but everyone we met during this weekend would have made excellent ambassadors for Scotland.

We got to the University (where the wedding was to take place) early, and after bumping into Dave and Andy (best man) having their photos taken under the noble arches of the university we ran, very quickly, to the Student Union for a stiffner. Michele amused herself looking at the beautifully painted list of previous winners of the GUU drinking competition whilst we sampled a couple of gorgeous local brews. I couldn’t resist trying one of their malts and for a stupidly small amount of money I experienced possibly the most delicious-smelling whisky of my life. Googling for “highest distillery in Scotland” reveals the mystery brew to be “Dalwhinnie”. Gorgeous.

Seeing Dave get married had an odd effect on me. For some reason I realised I was crying. They both looked so happy.

To cut a long story short and a short cliche long, we had a lovely meal, and a superb reception in “The Winter Gardens” which is a hugh hot-house. There was a pretty damned good live band too, and plenty of dancing.
After witnissing the “Gay Gordens” and taking part in a ceilidh, I’m amazed that there is anyone in Scotland who isn’t either slim and super-fit, or dead. It nearly killed me! Especially after the “traditional Scottish Breakfast” which was essentially a collection of different preparations of fried lard. Lovely too 🙂

There’s loads more to say about Glasgow, but I really don’t think I can do the topic justice, so rather than blog it I’m going to hope that my memory allows it to become the material for future anecdotes. For my own memory, here is a brief list of the key points:

  • Liz
  • Kaneshka
  • The hotel on the leaving day
  • Tony and O’Brians
  • Sharon, the Science Centre and the Planetarium
  • The bus drivers
  • Uncle Andy
  • Uncle Duncan rules!
  • The Glasgow Underground
  • The Gorbels
  • Harrison and the other kids

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