Tag Archive | Glasgow West End

Little Green

People often refer to Chorlton, where I live now in Manchester, as “leafy” or green – and to be sure, on a sunny day, it is certainly one of the nicer places to be. The scents of flowers and plants drift through the streets from various front gardens and parks to provide a reassuring sense that here at least, nature is asserting herself just a little. Still, moving between two cities throws up inevitable comparisons, and back in Glasgow for a few days, I couldn’t help but think that there is nowhere quite like the city’s beautiful West End, which really does come alive on a warm day (20 degrees Celsius!) with a combination of urban modernity and lovingly maintained foliage that most cities would really envy.

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Well, Glasgow does mean “dear green place” after all. Or something like that. Maybe I’m getting nostalgic! Who would have thought I’d get more of a suntan North of the Border than down here? 🙂

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Fresh Eyes and Fresh Air

Having a friend from Sweden staying with me, I ended up busier than ever over the Easter Break; we did so much that it felt more like a month than just 10 days! We looked around Manchester’s clothes shops, vintage shops, restaurants, and bars. We drank at the Cornerhouse, the Port Street Beer House, Odd, and the Soup Kitchen…I’ve probably forgotten a few others. Come to think of it, that’s probably why we didn’t get much time for visiting museums and galleries. Oops. Guess that will have to happen on another trip. But Easter/Spring Break isn’t all about time off when you’re doing a PhD (when is?), so we also spent time writing, discussing methodologies, musing about new and social media, and working on our literature reviews. Including on the coach North: how’s that for dedication? 😉

Being in Manchester, I’d forgotten how much more space Glasgow has; how much greener it is; and how much more striking the monumental architecture. Being with someone who had never seen the place before, the city suddenly seemed new and different to me as well. The Glasgow bus tour (aimed firmly at tourists) takes nearly 2 hours to go full circuit. Passing through George Square, Glasgow Green, St Andrews Square, Kelvin Park and the Riverside, the city reveals itself as multi-faceted and highly diverse. The scenery, the buildings, the sense of a distinct and designated purpose – i.e. the businesses and activities in a certain sector – change quite markedly as you weave your way through them. At the same time there is a consistency of spirit, some sort of commonalities in the population, that make it hang together. It’s always hard to beat the vibrancy and beauty of the West End. Of course, being in Scotland, we crammed in a range of great food and drink – everything from Japanese noodles and Saki to fish and chips and Irn Bru (the latter during a family daytrip to the coast). Later on, we found ourselves chilling out with cocktails at The Hillhead Book Club, then moving on to the Nice N Sleazy’s Open Stage night, full as always of excellent acoustic guitarists.

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Today, I’m back to thinking about work. Hopefully my next post will be about pilot data gathering exercises and my interviews with academics. Those start on Monday, the first being with two of the guys from MIRIAD and I’m really looking forward to getting started after an excellently hectic wee holiday! I’ll also be moving soon to Chorlton, one of Manchester’s most popular suburbs…so watch this space for updates although I can’t promise I’ll be blogging as much as usual!