Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Comfortably Wandering

Last week I spent time in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Coming in to central Edinburgh down Christorphine Road was a weird experience. Some four years ago I used to play cricket for the Murrayfield-Dafs (or Muffs...) cricket club. Their practice ground is in the shadow of the Murrayfield Stadium. It seemed a lifetime ago that I played there. I remember being out three times in five balls in the 'let's see what the new players can do' warm-up game before the season began. At least I've progressed since then...

I had a couple of days with Wendy, which is always a good thing, as well as dinner with Kirstin and then dinner with Ruth. There was also the opportunity to go cow spotting in the city and send bovine photos to The Numpty.

On the Thursday morning I crossed the lowland belt to Glasgow for a days teaching. Teaching is often the most enjoyable part of the job as I get to meet up with people I've talked to over the phone. Some of my users ring me more often than others (I guess some people just like to talk to me... go figure) and Sal from Australia-but living in Glasgow falls into that category. After the course, her, her friend Emma (another Aussie) and I wandered out into the city. It was kinda of nice to spend time in Glasgow as I never spent much time there while living in Scotland. In fact I only visited it to go to job interviews and to catch planes to Stornaway. We began at Est Est Est, and then found dinner at The Dhabba in Merchant City. Both places worth visiting and the Murg Handi Lazeez (chicken in a cashew and pistachio suace) is definitely worth getting your teeth into. The night (and day after) in Glasgow did much to endear the city to me. The hotel Ibis in West Regent Street did much to undermine that. The worst bed I've slept on since I slept on some tree roots on the banks of the Clutha in Wanaka in 1994.

Included in the conversation topics was the mandatory 'what drives your life' question. Never a good question at the best of times and always a good question at the worst of times. My response is that there isn't a lot that drives me, except for a one litre Nissan Micra - boom boom, rather I'm generally finding myself casually wandering through my world with short moments of direction where I decide that 'I want this and that and I want it now' followed by long periods of semi-aimless wandering. Then I notice that I can no longer remember why it was I was wandering. OK, so it's a sounding a little like senility, which I'm comfortable with, and it's not very efficient, which I'm also comfortable with. And it sums up my day in Glasgow on Friday, where I decided to visit the Glasgow Cathedral (it's hard to go past a place that is also known as St Mungo's), and then decided to sit in St George's square and read Alistair Cook's Letters from America, while drowning out the traffic noise by listening to Money Mark and the Stereo MC's. Most of the time I'm completely happy doing this but every now and again some dissatisfaction creeps in. After a while that dissatisfaction starts to nag a little harder.

Tomorrow I am semi-aimless wandering in NYC. On Sunday, I'll be moving on to Monterrey. Again. Ho hum. I love my job...

The Sleepy Jackson played the Zodiac on Monday night. I arrived late as I had been umpiring my under 17 side, and only caught the last hour of the gig. It was a fair to middling experience, and Luke Steele was in good form (not that I've seen him before, so really I have no idea what form he is in normally), but he did make me laugh. However, I reckon that he is one of those people who's studio work is better kept in the studio than taken out on the road. Lovers is a GREAT album, but only ok on the road. Or does that just make me sound like a music wanker? Whatever, I'm comfortable with that too.

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