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Remembering Summer—Glasgow

After finishing my Phd I am now having the great task of sorting through years of accumulated c…reativity on my hard-drive.

I dug out some writing you may like. Part 01 of an ethnography of a city.

23rd July 2006 Sunday on the way home from work

In the train approaching Glasgow from Central Station—a distracting view.

On a bright and sunny day like this; each pattern and each house is illuminated to its best presentation, as if on a stage. A forest full of houses which don’t fit; not the Victorian one next to the modern red brig with loads of glass, next to others I cannot even begin describing. A playground forgotten to tidy up, leaving a Lego house of each epoch, by each child who was playing there—then. There is no space for such a thing like fitting or belonging, it just is.

The sun is still shining.

Walking down Buchanan Street a different picture shows, everything looks similar. It would not even matter, if I would walk down another of these streets the same shop outfits the same shops: Boots, Starbucks and the others—just randomly changing their content. The character stays the same. I could not even tell if they would have changed. I remember have been gotten send to find one of these shops and passed it 5 times because it just looked like everything else.

Houses like high stone towers, a backbreaking sight. On rainy days it makes me feel like walking through a canon. Today the sand stone facades are reflecting the light. They are shining, glooming and even mirroring the warmth. It is summer. It is Sunday the town is flooded with people, who similar to the street look pretty much the same. The same jeans, the same short skirts, pointed, striped or earthen colored shirts decorated with plastic jewels; interrupted by the same outfit only more expensive looking—supposedly designer shop. I read in one of the magazines at work how to look like; I don’t want to look like, to look alike—no that’s not fully true I want to look like, like me.

Oh someone is sparkling hm someone who looks like not alike. I always wonder if looking alike – streets, houses, people—or not alike—is a statement, a way of life, a way of identification or just a way of ‘nea worrie hen as long as you are happy’.

The girl next to me in the underground smells comfortably fresh like summer fruits. I suppose she just got ready for an evening out with her pals.

Finally! I fled the underground always have to bow my head. The low doors plus the enclosing carriers make me always feel claustrophobic.

Sun is still shining, the usual wind in my hair and face. I send greetings with him brother wind where are you going? South this time? Then say hello to my family. The winds connect around the world like relay runners in an arena.

I love Glasgow now. I hated it when I came, now I love it. It is a weird thing to say to love a place, but Glasgow is all. It is cultured and ‘uncultured’, sophisticated and simple—‘aye pal’—people down to earth. Walking through the park I used to listen to the strange singsong, which now is so familiar. The once so strange rhythm of speech, was like listening to non stop telling fairy tales, a bit sounding like an old dog snarling, an old scarred dog with a golden heart—‘aye lassie, take care and see ye later’.

Home … the cat is sleeping in the rays of sun, on the couch. I am hurrying to start the laptop; if I wait I won’t be able to decipher the scrabbles anymore, thanks to the underground. Smell of coffee. It is summer.

Categories: Teaching

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Nathalie Sheridan

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