We moved from our seaside cottage in Machrihanish to a flat on the fringes of Glasgow’s west end just two weeks before Christmas. It’s been a fraught couple of weeks. We still have boxes everywhere, at least 1/3 of our pictures have still to be hung and I have no idea where I put my envelopes, but the beds are made up and the kettle has seen regular action so it’s all as good as it can be so far.

Of course, me waking up with back and hip pain so bad I couldn’t walk on the 23rd of December didn’t help anyone. It was the worst pain I had ever experienced. Tramadol didn’t even touch it. But today, for the first time since then, I can honestly say I’m feeling a wee bit better. I was really worried that level of pain was going to be the new normal for me and I couldn’t have coped with that.

So, how am I finding Glasgow? It’s a huge difference from Machrihanish. People are friendlier. I’ve had a chat with a drunk woman and been greeted like an old friend by a stoned hipster in red jacket, shoes and pom pom hat. Our flat is a couple of hundred yards from the Clyde, not that we can see it from here. But the police helipad is there and I like to watch the choppers take off and land at night when their lights flash bright in the sky. There is a multistory diagonally across from us and one of the residents on the third from top floor feeds the seagulls that swoop around the building. I can see shipyard cranes at Govan across the river, shipyards where my grandfather and uncles worked. There are magpies dotting around too and I saw a huge fox slink across the road the other evening. I needn’t have worried that I’d see no wildlife in the city.

And the shops! Dear lord, I had forgotten what choice was like! George and Claire are fed up with me telling them how much I love Lidl. And I can get the heavy stuff delivered by Tesco. It’s a miracle! The closest mall to me is across the river at Braehead and they have a disabled scheme I can register for where I can call up, pre-book my parking space, and a disabled scooter will be waiting for me. I’m in far too much pain to walk far but using the scooter means I can take a slow browse round the shops and not be in a state of painful exhaustion at the end of it. Did I mention they had a Waterstones…?

It’s not perfect, what is? But Glasgow runs through my veins and informs how I think, how I feel, how I express myself creatively. For the first time in 18 years I am home and it feels right.

You may have noticed I’ve had the decorators in here. I like the changes, but I don’t feel it’s me. So I’ll be doing some more work on the site over the next couple of weeks and hope to launch the new site and a new blogging schedule in the New Year.

If this is your first time here, why not sign up to receive updates by post. I never sell email addresses and I hope to be able to regularly give you a laugh or something to think about. Thanks for reading and a Happy New Year to you and yours xxx

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