Balloch,Bridesmaids and Brunch.

This weekend my pal Hannah very kindly came up to visit me. She actually only came up to visit in April so I was pleasantly surprised that she was making the journey up again so soon and, I’m not going to lie, I was mega excited to see her come Saturday morning!

Hannah had never been to Loch Lomond before so, as the weather was thankfully dry, I decided to take her up to Balloch on the train and show her Lomond Shores and the beautiful country park. We went for lunch at the Kilted Skirtie at Lomond Shores (I had a rather nice Haggis burger) and then had a wee ice cream from Thorntons – the Honeycomb Caramel Cup is to die for – before heading off on a walk around the village.

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The Loch

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Me and Hannah

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Balloch Pier

For a change, instead of going out for a meal and cocktails or whatever, we decided to stay in on Saturday night and buy some nibbles and just have a really chilled girly film night. I’m glad we did because I had an absolutely lovely evening. It was so nice to just be able to chill with someone and chat about silly things and it was just like when we used to live together at uni. Evenings like that are definitely the thing I miss the most about living with the girls. We also watched Bridesmaids which is one of my favourite films ever and always has me in stitches – if you haven’t seen it yet you really must!

On Sunday morning I decided to take Hannah up to the West End for breakfast. I’d heard really good things about a wee cafe on Dumbarton Road called Tribeca so I thought it was finally time to try it – it was definitely worth the risk. I opted for French Toast with maple syrup and melted butter which was just delicious. The portions were huge as well so, although it’s a little pricey, it was more than worth it. Hannah had a pancake stack with nutella and chopped banana that also just looked brilliant. Safe to say, I’ll definitely try and head down there again soon!

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Breakfast of Kings

To walk off all that food, we headed to Kelvingrove Museum for a wee wander around the exhibitions. I’ve been to Kelvingrove before but I still enjoyed myself and there’s no denying that the building itself is pretty impressive. However, it was soon time to head back into the city centre and get Hannah safely onto her train. As always, I was very sad to say goodbye and wanted more than anything to just hop on that train with her. However, I’m actually in a really good mood at the moment – work’s going well and I’ve had some good day trips with the guys to Xcape and hydrotherapy – plus I’ve just booked tickets to Lancaster ready to celebrate Becky’s graduation. Absolutely buzzing for a BIG night out with the girls, it has been far too long!

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

A quick update…

Hello again! I realise it has been a ridiculous amount of time since my last post so I apologise. If truth be told, I’d started to find blogging a bit of a chore and so thought it best to just take a wee break from it all for a while.

It’s actually been almost two months since my last post and it’s safe to say a lot has happened in that time period. One of my uni friends Sazeeda came and visited for a girly weekend of shopping, I’ve been down to London to finally see City Uni and meet everyone on the course, I went to Warsaw for a wee city break with my pal Craig before heading back home for 5 days and then, last weekend, I was on an epic highland road trip from Glasgow to John O’Groats. Reading it all back, it’s a wonder I even had time to consider blogging!

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Me and Saz

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Warsaw

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Nottingham

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A few from the Roadtrip!

I’m now well and truly in the last three months of my project which is really quite upsetting actually! Over the past couple of months I’ve just become so attached to Glasgow and everyone I support and work with and the thought of leaving this all behind is not a pleasant one. ¬†It doesn’t help that, in all honesty, I’m still dreading the thought of being a student for another two years. I’m at a point now where I want to be in a proper, grown-up job, earning money and looking at getting my first house and things – instead I’ll be living off very little for yet another couple of years and I’ll be almost 25 before I even graduate which is just plain scary! I’m still pretty confident that I’ll enjoy the course once I’m into the swing of things but Id be lying if I said I hadn’t considered the possibility of dropping out of uni (already!)

Life has quietened down a bit now (thankfully!) so I’ll mainly be spending the next few weeks just making the most of being in Glasgow (no trips planned as of yet, for a few weeks at least!). This Sunday is the Glasgow Mela in Kelvingrove Park so fingers crossed we get a nice day for it and I can enjoy a few ciders in the sunshine!

A spontaneous trip in the sun…

Yesterday the sun finally decided to put its hat on and come out to play so, I thought where better to spend a nice sunny afternoon that down at beautiful Loch Lomond. The whole trip was really quite spontaneous. Originally, I‚Äôd planned to have a wander round Glasgow, grab some lunch and then spend my afternoon in the cinema. However, as the weather has been pretty awful this past week, I found myself with a sudden urge to get outside and go somewhere a bit different. Literally I walked past Queen Street station and the next thing I knew I‚Äôd brought tickets to Balloch ‚Äď very uncharacteristic!

It was a great decision in the end. My first port of call was Lomond Shores, which is a small retail gateway to the loch. Although I had a wee browse round the shops (my favourite being the department store Jenners,¬†mainly¬†for it’s fantastic food hall!), I was really there for the fantastic view.¬† Honestly, it was just beautiful.

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Loch Lomond

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Shopping Area

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Balloch Pier

After stopping to admire the view and enjoy the sun on my back (I’d even whipped out my denim jacket it was that warm!) I then toddled off towards Balloch Castle and the country park. The walk up to the castle itself is lovely, as you go past the river and then through a nice wooded area before making the wee climb up to the castle. Unfortunately the castle is not open to the public and while it’s only a tiny wee thing in comparison to other castles, it looked pretty special in the sunshine. The castle itself is also a rather good vantage point for the loch Рas you may be able to tell I was getting pretty snap happy by this point in the afternoon!

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Boats on the river

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Into the woods

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The Castle

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Lovely view ūüôā¬†

Unfortunately, it‚Äôs apparently meant to rain most of next week so I‚Äôm really chuffed I made the decision to make the journey while the weather was good. After the success of this adventure,¬†I’m¬†definitely hoping to make some more spontaneous trips in the near future ‚Äď who knows where I‚Äôll end up next!

Seven.

Yesterday marked the seven month anniversary of my moving to Glasgow which now means I’m well and¬†truly¬†in the latter half of my project and definitely starting to think seriously about what life post-Scotland holds for me. While I’m incredibly excited to be moving down to London etc., a big part of me is¬†absolutely¬†petrified about becoming a student once more. The thought of house-hunting seems daunting to say the least and, even once that is sorted, there already seems like so much to prepare and sort between now and September. I have a post-offer applicant day on Friday 10th May, whereby I’ll finally get a tour of the¬†university¬†and find out a lot more about the course itself. This is great but I’m slowly starting to realise just how much form-filling etc I’ll have to go through for my¬†bursary,¬† disclosure check and medical clearance test – I’m stressed out just thinking about it all to be honest.

Financially, I’ve totally forgotten what it’s like to pay rent or bills or even a full week of food shopping to be honest so having to budget for all these different things will be a massive change. I’m very lucky at the moment as most of my small income is pretty disposable whereas next year I’ll have to learn to cut back a lot on meals out and clothes shopping and all the other things I waste my money on currently!

My biggest worry though is the thought of going back into education. I am far too used to being in the world of work now and the thought of having to write essays and revise fills me with dread – all the academic knowledge I once had has very quickly disappeared and I feel like I’m starting from scratch again. At present, I really don’t feel up to the academic challenge of a postgraduate degree but hopefully, with a bit of prior reading etc., by the time I start I’ll feel a bit more¬†confident¬†in my academic abilities!

However, despite what the above paragraphs suggest I am so excited to get my stuck into the course and finally start training for my dream career and, in my heart of hearts, I’m pretty sure everything will work out fine as always. Fortunately, I’m prepared to work hard to get to where I want to be so that should stand me in good stead at least (fingers crossed anyway!).

With regards to life in Glasgow, this has been my first month back since my wee visit home and it’s actually been great. I’m out and about more, meeting new people, trying new places, having friends to visit and just generally enjoying making plans for the next few months. Over the next few weeks, my friend Sazeeda is coming up for a girly weekend and then I’ll be down in London for a few days and then I’m headed to Warsaw on a wee city break with my friend Craig, which is shaping up to be pretty amazing in itself. I’ll also have chance for a few days in Nottingham at the end of May which will be lovely ūüôā All in all, I’m back to my usual busy self which is the best way for me to be really! Probably won’t be saying that after my hectic 13 hour double shift tomorrow though…

St. Mungo’s Museum

On Sunday I finally went for a look round St. Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art. I’ve been up to the Cathedral and¬†Necropolis¬†several times but never ventured into the museum itself before. However, I’m so glad I did as I found it really quite¬†fascinating¬† I’m not religious at all myself but I do find the concept of religion an interesting one and I think it’s always good to learn more about other cultures and their practices etc.

The museum itself was actually a lot bigger and more¬†comprehensive¬†than I envisaged it to be. The ground floor is mainly made of a shop and cafe although there is a¬†Buddhist¬†Zen garden which overlooks the Cathedral and is surprisingly¬†peaceful. The first floor is then split between a display of religous art and one of religious life. Both of which were really¬†informative¬†and full of some really interesting pieces to look at. One of the great things about St. Mungo’s is also the fact that, when I went at least, it was nice and quiet with no children running about all over the place – bliss!

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Zen Garden

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Stained Glass

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Shiva

In the¬†temporary¬†exhibition gallery they had a great exhibition entitled ‘Under the Gods: Stories from Soho Road’, a collection of photos showcasing the¬†religious¬†diversity within a three-mile¬†stretch¬†of Soho Road, Birmingham. This was probably my highlight of the whole¬†museum as it was a fantastic exhibition¬†(I enjoy photography anyway) and it was something a little different compared to the other¬†exhibitions¬†on offer. In the middle of the gallery there was also a display cabinet full of¬†different¬†religious items such as prayer flags etc that represented the¬†religions¬†featured in the photographs which added to the exhibition.

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Under The Gods Display

The top floor of the museum also has a great vantage point of the Catherdral and Necropolis which is well worth a look. Unfortunately the sun was no longer shining  but it was still a pretty great view.

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View from the top

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Outside of St. Mungo’s¬†

All in all, I’d really recommend a wee trip to St. Mungo’s – it was interesting and¬†informative¬†and¬†the Cathedral¬†Square¬†is well worth the 10 minute stroll from the city centre.

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

Yesterday, as the sun was shining, I decided to walk up to Glasgow Green and have ¬†a wee look round the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. I’ve been to Glasgow Green several times but never had an¬†opportunity¬†to explore the attractions further so I thought I should finally give it a go.

Before I headed to the Green, I had a nice wee morning drinking Starbucks and watching the crowds pass through Buchanan Street (one of my favourite pastimes) before heading onto a vintage fair, the excellently named Gin and Teacups, that was being held in The Arches Cafe Bar. Although it was a relatively small event, I managed to grab a cute stripy dress and a pair of Rayban-esque Wayfarers which I was rather chuffed with. As you may have guessed, as soon as we get any half-decent weather I just cannot help myself from updating my summer wardrobe – very optimistic in Scotland I know!

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Beautiful Sunny Day in Glasgow

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Gin in Teapcups

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Free Promo Mug! 

After stocking up on yet more bits for my wardrobe I finally headed east to the People’s Palace. I headed into the Winter Gardens first, mainly to warm up a wee bit! Although not as impressive as Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens, it was still quite a striking glasshouse and a nice setting for a cafe – for once, I didn’t eat anything although I was very tempted by the cakes on display!

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Winter Gardens

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Outside People’s Palace

I then headed into the actual museum itself and, if truth be told, I was slightly¬†disappointed¬†by the¬†exhibitions. ¬†While I enjoy social history and finding out more about Glasgow there was something I just didn’t really like about the museum. It was smaller than I expected and also full of children running around and shouting which didn’t help matters at all. However, I am glad I went so I can say I’ve been and I did see and learn some interesting stuff about life in the city. Also, it was all free so I suppose I can’t complain too much really!

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