|Blue and White Jute String|
Here are some examples of some of the places we had the pleasure of seeing: Aberdeen, Anstruther
Auchmithie Harbour, David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre,
Culzean Castle and Country Park in Ayr and Cupar
Dalgarven Mill, Dundee City Centre and the Dundee Flower and Food Festival
Boats, bottles and beer in Dumbarton
Edinburgh - The Festival,
Edinburgh Botanic Gardens,
Eglington Country Park and East Neuk
Falkirk, Faulkand Palace
and the Pillars of Hercules both in Fife. One of my favourite places to visit.
Geilston Gardens - Another one of my favourite places for local fruit and veg at fair prices.
Greenbank Gardens (above),
|Irn Bru and Scottish Tablet Ice-Cream Cone|
Inverness, Isle of Mull
Kilmarnock and the Battlefield of Killiekrankie
Lanarkshire - in every direction, Larbert, Loch Ness, Musselburgh and Prestonpans
National Museum of Rural Life, Oban and Paisley Town.
Robert Owens New Lanark, Oban,
|William Wallace Statue|
|Poem about Stirling Castle|
|Clooty Ginger Creams|
But how can I forget Glasgow dubbed as The Friendly City and My Home for all those years It's a fair claim - Glaswegians are some of the most friendliest people I have ever met in my life.
Places and events I've explored here are many, but to name a few: the Merchant City Festival, The River Clyde and its attractions, its West End, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Pollok House, The Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow University where both D and myself attended many years ago and where I met my best friend Leah. The Riverside Museum, the Kelvingrove Museum, the famous Barras Market, as well as discovering community initiatives in
Govan, Govanhill and Maryhill. It's been good exploring and discovering Scotland at my own pace. My memories of Glasgow are relatively positive and warm, but with beautiful came also the ugly. First how can I forget the loss of my allotment plot in a deliberate and malicious fire two years ago.
I know its not worse than any other city: every place has its ups and downs, but Glasgow from my own personal experience seems to have more than its fair share. It's something I noted more after graduating from University and stepping out of the 'comfortable and fashionable bosom of the West end'. Smashed bottles of Buckfast, territorial gang crime, religious sectarianism described as 'Scotlands Shame' between Catholics and Protestants, in the name of passion for football between Celtic and Rangers fans. As a Welsh person of South Asian heritage, I was surprised at the level of vocal anti-English sentiments. This is not unique to Glasgow, you will hear that 'kind of banter' all over Scotland and it is deemed acceptable. The racism and racist crimes towards people of colour, asylum seekers and refugees is no different from that in England or Wales, except when it rears is ugly head its really really ugly. Did you know that Glasgow knife crime and murder rate is double than London's . Unfortunately, we have encountered knife crime first hand - a real part of Glaswegian city life if you just look at someone the wrong way. Something you won't see the Scottish Tourist Board advertising. I think its one of the reasons Glasgow often gets missed off such visit Scotland campaigns in favour of Edinburgh and its famous castle. Glasgow barely features in the new campaign ad. I think only showing King Tuts - agreeably one of Glasgow's coolest and hippest music venues. Some Scottish friends have often joked that a Scottish comedian should do a 'spoof of the campaign' featuring real Scots, not models . I know some Scottish people will upset with what I am about the share, but if they are honest with themselves then they will understand why I am sharing this link: 'Glesga - State of Mind' (one of many parodies on Alicia Keys 'New York'). For me it highlights the Glasgow I only know so well, albeit through a little tacky humour. Afterall, I cannot share the beautiful without sharing the ugly, that would be unfair on my real and honest experiences and memories of Scotland.
Farewell Bonnie Scotland, I take with me many memories - both fond ones and not so fond ones - you were my home for a very long time and one I will not forget.