An Escapologist’s Diary. Part 23.

Bleedin’ ‘ek, I’m only back in ole’ Blighty!

Yes, I have returned to Britain, and Samara will join me in a month’s time, after her stint at the Scope Art Show in NYC. We’re going to live here for six months, ostensibly doing the same things we were doing in Montreal, but with the company of our Glasgow chums instead of the Pepsi-drinking weirdos of Montreal.

I flew from Pierre Elliott Trudeau to Birmingham International on Friday. I found myself unable to sleep on the plane. To occupy myself, I watched Inside Job on the inflight entertainment system and, while trying to sleep, deranged myself with questions like ‘How many airplanes have I been on?’ (I think it’s 47).

I’ve been at my parents’ house in Dudley for a few days, but I spent the whole of Monday in Glasgow, viewing eight different apartments. In the past, I’ve usually viewed two or three flats before committing to one, but since I’d made a special trip this time, I’d lined up a day of bumper-to-bumper viewings. After a run of pretty crapular ground-floor studio apartments, I finally found a decent tenement flat north of the Botanics. I move in on Monday 7th.

Being back in Glasgow was a breath of fresh air. (Not literally, of course. It smells of chips and arses). I think it is my favourite of all cities. If money weren’t an issue, I’d live in Glasgow over anywhere else in the world. I feel very at home among those sandstone tenements.

The walk from Central Station to my first appointment west of Charing Cross was a lovely one. For me, there is a story attached to almost every shop, subway station and stretch of street. I could very easily conduct a mundane walking tour of Glasgow for tourists, telling them the stories from my life, using the buildings as chapter points.

Particularly poignant to me was a momentary stop-off in the Mitchell Library. I wanted to use their WC before reporting to my first appointment, which happened to be nearby. I used the downstairs toilet on the east side of the building. It only has one cubicle and I remembered using it before being interviewed for my first office job in about 2005. I had used the cubicle to change into a clean shirt and tie ready for the interview. Nervous, I also did a massive poo there. That is the kind of story you can expect on my walking tour. Given that I had been in that bathroom to lay the groundwork for my pre-escape life and I was in there again at the start of a new chapter in my post-escape life, it struck me as a nice echo. Maybe my life is directed by Edgar Wright.

Later in the walk, I bumped into Ryan. I was glad to see him. He was the first of several friends I’d bump into serendipitously. I also later ran into Dianne (with whom I used to work at Glasgow University) and the smashing Anneliese (with whom I used to perform at the CCA). I also met more deliberately with Fraser – a brilliant man, still buzzing from the success of his Eclectic Ladyland party night at the Thirteenth Note.

The Thirteenth Note. The CCA. Glasgow University. The Mitchell Library. The Botanics. The very names of these places bring back a lot of pleasant memories. I really can’t wait to move back into Glasgow, even if just for a short time.

I am meeting with Dan on Saturday, to discuss our potential Edinburgh Festival show. If we do this, it will be the first live performance we’ve done together, my first festival performance, and Dan’s first live performance ever, so it should be interesting.

The photographs in this post were taken by sexy Stuart Crawford.

About

Robert Wringham is a humorist and the editor-in-chief of New Escapologist.

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