It’s all so quiet…

I realise that, yet again, I have neglected the blog – I really am awful at providing you all with regular updates on my life. One reason for my sudden quietness though is probably my lack of excitement. Ever since my return from the Highlands life has been nice but quiet. I headed to the Glasgow Mela two weekends ago which was good (but quickly turned into a pub crawl round the West End!) and then finally went to my first BBQ of the summer last weekend for Ricarda’s birthday which was actually a really good afternoon/evening. Apart from that though, I have nothing to report.

I’ve been feeling a little homesick of late. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie as I don’t actually miss home at all (sorry Mum!). I am however missing my friends immensely. While I absolutely love my job and the people I work with, outside of work life is just a bit dull at the moment. To me, only going out socially once or twice in a week is nothing – I’d be out every night if I could and given half the chance, I usually am. Furthermore, after living with friends for the last three years, I’m used to being around people all the time so I didn’t even need to leave the confines on my flat to be social. If truth be told, I don’t like living alone as much as I thought I did. So many people I know on Facebook, twitter etc. are jetting off on holiday, going travelling or heading to festivals etc and enjoying the summer, while at the moment it just feels like I’m stuck up here alone.

Money’s a bit tight at the moment as well so unfortunately I canny go down and visit people etc to fill my time. What with only having so little time left in Glasgow now (66 days to be precise!) I’m also really reluctant to go down to England if it’s not something really special – I feel I should be up here, making the most of Scotland while I can!

Sorry for this massive moan but I promise you, it’s really not all bad. My friend Hannah is hopefully coming to stay this weekend and July is looking like a busy one – I’m potentially down in Manchester, Lancaster and London all in the space of two weeks which is exciting! Won’t be so exciting when I review my bank balance at the end of the month but hey ho, it’ll all be worth it I’m sure ūüôā

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Mother’s Day.

To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I surprised my mum with lunch at a really nice Chinese Restaurant.¬†Because¬†of being away at university (amongst¬†various other things) this was the first time in probably about four years since I last spend any proper quality time with my mum on Mothering Sunday. In general, we do struggle to make time for one another properly so it made a nice change for just the two of us to spend some time together before I headed back to Scotland.

I took my mum to Mr. Man’s, a local restaurant next to Wollaton Park in Nottingham. Neither of us had visited the restaurant before, so it was a bit of a gamble, although it was highly recommended to me by several of my friends. Luckily, the food lived up to it’s reputation. It was buffet so there were plenty of different dishes on offer, including some rather unusual combinations that I personally had never tried before – the mussels in black bean sauce were¬†particularly¬†delicious! The restaurant itself also has a really nice atmosphere and is rather beautifully decorated in the traditional Chinese style.

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Inside

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Outside

My mum was really taken aback with the surprise and seemed to enjoy herself (and the food!) a lot which was great. We had a lovely lunch and it was a very fitting way to end what had been a fantastic trip back home. It was also good to be able to treat her as, let’s face it, she definitely deserves it ūüôā Happy Mother’s Day Mum, you’re the best!

Home Bird.

As avid readers will know, this week I am currently back in Nottingham visiting all my friends and family. I’m about half way through my visit now and it’s safe to say that I have had an absolutely excellent time already.¬†This weekend was¬†particularly¬†good as I finally got to spend some quality time with my parents and the rest of my extended family which made a nice change – I rarely get to see my stepsister and her family as they live up in Yorkshire.

I arrived home on Friday evening. The journey was alright but felt extremely long. Unfortunately my train was delayed before I even left Glasgow and by the time I arrived at the train station I’d be travelling for six hours. I have to admit, arriving home was really quite strange. It felt weird and, if I’m being totally honest,¬†initially¬†it didn’t feel like my home any more which upset me a little bit. However, once I’d got used to being back it all felt totally normal again and I was very pleased to find myself back in my beloved home-town!

To celebrate my arrival home, my parents took me out for breakfast on Saturday morning to a local pub before we all headed into Nottingham to get some last minute bits and bobs for my Nephew’s Christening. Even though I didn’t do anything particularly exciting, I had a really nice day just spending some time with my Mum and Brian and getting to see Nottingham city once again. On Saturday evening I also got to catch up with one of my oldest friends from primary school, Lauren. We haven’t had much¬†opportunity¬†to speak recently as we’ve both been so busy with various things so it was great to have a massive catch-up and hear everything that’s been going on in my absence!

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Slap-up Breakfast! 

Sunday morning, me and the ‘rents headed up to Harrogate for my Nephew’s Christening. I had a lovely day¬†catching¬†up with that side of the family and also I finally got to meet Finlay and have a wee cuddle ūüôā About time really I suppose! Overall I had a fantastic first weekend back at home and I have to say the week’s just got better and better as it’s gone on – but more about that in my next post!

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Me and Mother

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Cuddles

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Christening Cupcakes

Family Night, Stirling Castle and Loch Lomond!

As some of you may know, this weekend my parents came up to visit me in sunny Scotland! I was literally so excited to see them after all this time that Friday evening just could not come round quick enough. Friday night was also family night at work, which is basically when all our service users and the staff invite their families to the house so everyone can have a Christmas get-together complete with lots of food and alcohol. It was so good to have my parents up here so they could finally see where I was living and working and meet everyone and just get to know a bit more about life in Glasgow. The event was also a really good¬†opportunity for me to meet the families of our service users and the staff which was interesting! All in all I had a great evening catching up with the ‘rents and with all the guys at work ūüôā

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Me, Mum & Brian at Family Night

The next day, after a lot deliberating, we decided to head up to Stirling and visit Stirling Castle. None of us had ever been before and, as it was one of the attractions I wanted to see while in Scotland, it actual made perfect sense for us to visit this weekend (especially as my stepdad had the car to drive us!) The castle itself was massive and it took us all afternoon to look round properly as there was so much interesting stuff to see. All three of us had a brilliant time and, even though it was little misty and overcast, the views from the Castle were pretty spectacular. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore the actual city itself but its definitely been added onto my list of places to visit!

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Stirling Castle

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Big Kid!

That evening we headed into Glasgow city centre for dinner and, as Glasgow is the so-called Curry Capital of Britain, we ended up at an Indian on Sauchiehall Street. I haven’t been out for Indian in ages so it made a nice change from all the Haggis and Pasta I normally live on! It was also nice to be treated to a meal out and not have to worry about the cost of anything, so thank you Mum & Brian (they’re avid readers of the blog so I’m sure they’ll see this!)

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My beautiful Mother ūüôā

I couldn’t let my mum visit Scotland for the first time without seeing the beautiful Loch Lomond so this morning we headed to the village of Luss which is just lovely. Although I’ve been there before, it was good to finally be able to show my parents one of my favourite places and we were really lucky with the weather as well which was a bonus! For lunch we headed to the Duck Bay Restaurant which overlooks the Loch and was highly recommended to me by several people at work. I opted for a beef burger with chips,¬†coleslaw¬†and Diane sauce – it was such a large portion that even I couldn’t finish it. The food was great though as was the setting (and the company I suppose!) and it was the perfect way to round off the weekend.

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Loch Lomond

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Duck Bay

Overall, I’ve had an absolutely fantastic weekend and I was really gutted that they had to leave so soon. Even though I’m used to being apart from them, for once it was really difficult to say goodbye and I’m not ashamed to say that I actually burst into tears, which was as much a shock for them as it was for me. I think maybe it was because I realised that this year I won’t be spending Christmas at home and it’ll be at least February probably before I can go back to Nottingham and visit. However, I’m so glad they managed to find the time to come up and its nice knowing that they’ve come up here and have seen how well I’m getting on and how much I’m enjoying myself. Fingers crossed they’ll hopefully make it up again at some point in the not too distant future!

22.

Today was a pretty memorable day – not only did I turn 22 but I also became an auntie (well step-auntie technically) to a beautiful baby nephew!

I’ve had a lovely birthday and was thoroughly blown away by the amount of effort my friends, family and everyone at work made to make my day a special one. Everything started off quietly and I admit I was feeling a little homesick at work this morning as usually I spend my birthdays surrounded by all my friends¬†either¬†at uni or at home (or both!) so spending the day at work, in the house alone, was a bit of a change. However, I really should not have worried as no sooner had everyone gone out on daycare, than I was¬†surprised¬†with a bottle of sparkling wine, a beautiful bunch of flowers and a massive box of chocolates from everyone at work. I got so emotional I started crying, which is rather¬†embarrassing, but I was¬†genuinely¬†so shocked I didn’t know how else to react!

Birthday Flowers!

I also had my six week review today with my manager and the regional CSV manager which went really well (thankfully!) which means that I get to stay in Scotland for the whole year – YAY! So relieved that I get to stay as I’m already rather fond of everyone here and I absolutely love life in Glasgow so that was an excellent bit of birthday news! The regional manager also gave me a birthday card as well, bless him.

After work I was finally free to open all the lovely cards and presents my friends and family sent up – again, I was overwhelmed by the effort they’d all gone to, sending presents all this way. I got some absolutely beautiful things, including a gorgeous dress from my best friend, lots of winter clothes to keep me nice and warm, a bookmark all the way from Korea and some¬†truly¬†excellent DVD’s from my uni friends, full of photos and birthday messages (and dancing!!) It’s safe to say I was thoroughly spoilt -I am definitely one very very lucky girl.

New Birthday Dress ūüôā¬†

This evening the plan was for me and Eujin to go out, just the two of us, for a nice meal at Ingram Wynd which is a beautiful Scottish restaurant in the Merchant City of Glasgow. However, being the absolute sweetheart she is, she surprised me by inviting along a group of the CSV-ers to help me celebrate. Unfortunately a few of them were unable to make it due to work commitments but it was just so nice that she made the effort to plan something that little bit more special for me. I had a great evening and the food was absolutely delicious (as was the wine!)

Ingram Fishcakes with Lemon Mayo & Chilli

Haggis Beef Olive with Black Pudding Mash and Onion Gravy

At Ingram Wynd

All in all I’ve had an excellent day and I am so very grateful to everyone up here in Scotland and all the amazing people back at home etc. who have helped make yet another birthday so special. I have the best friends and family ever and it’s great to know that even being however many hundreds of miles apart nothing really ever changes and it’s also great to know that the new friends I’m making up here are also a pretty fantastic bunch! Definitely feeling the love tonight.

There’s no-one quite like Grandma

Today would have been my Gran’s 81st birthday so I thought it’d be nice to dedicate this blog post to the person who has probably¬†had the single biggest influence over my life.

Me (rockin’ her headscarf) and my gran

I’ve always been really close to my gran and, because she only lived five minutes from my house, I saw her at least once, if not twice, a week. Even when I went off to Lancaster, I’d ring her once a week for a¬†catch-up and she’d often send letters¬†or food packages, bless her! ¬†Unfortunately, during my first year at uni, she had a severe stroke which left her with the language disorder Aphasia. Of course, this got me interested in language disorders and, from there on in, I decided I wanted to become a speech therapist to help stroke victims improve their communication.

I was so interested in language disorders and Aphasia that I decided to write my dissertation on the topic and actually used my gran’s speech as the main basis for my data and analysis. However, two weeks before my dissertation was due, my gran suddenly passed away. She’d been in¬†hospital¬†for the past six weeks so it wasn’t the biggest shock but, at the same time, none of us expected her to go as suddenly as she did. I guess while I’d been aware for some time that she would never become a great-grandma or see me get married I always thought she’d at least make it to see me graduate.

From there on in I threw myself into my dissertation, mainly so I didn’t have chance to think about¬†¬†how much I missed her. Luckily, all my hard work paid off. I got a really high mark which improved my overall¬†average¬†greatly and meant that there was now a reasonable chance I could just scrape a first-class honours degree (which in the end I achieved – yay!)

If my gran was still alive, there is absolutely no way I would be moving to Glasgow. It’s highly likely I would have stayed at home for the year or, if I had moved, it would have only have been an hour away maximum. I’m not even sure I would have found speech therapy as a career had it have not been for my gran’s own communication difficulties. I truly believe that my gran’s passing gave me the kick up the bum I needed to work that bit harder, be that bit more ambitious and to make her even prouder. While I miss her every single day, I’ll always be thankful for that push she gave me, as I doubt I would be in the amazing position I’m in now without her. I guess every cloud really does have a silver lining.

Days until the big move: 7.