I miss Glasgow every single day.
I could rattle off 10 things I miss about Glasgow in 10 seconds – that’s how much I love it.
- Living a five-minute walk from an insanely beautiful gallery/museum.**
- The accents.
- Living in a building almost as old as my home country.
- Being close to the rest of Europe.
- Living a short train ride from the ocean and countless lakes.
- Having an endless supply of family-owned cafes within two blocks of my flat.
- Having incredible Japanese food a block away from my flat (that delivered on extra lazy days/late nights!).
- Having a park at the end of my street to sit and read and people watch in.
- The shopping. (THE SHOPPING.)
- The theatre. (THE THEATRE.)
But I’m getting off track. Let’s go back to one of the items on that list: people watching.
I was scanning through the blog I kept when I was living in Glasgow (I took it off the Internet – sorry! – but I kept a copy of all the text), and when I saw this photo, my heart sank:
I know it probably doesn’t look like much, but this view totally changed my life.
I lived in a traditional tenement block in Glasgow’s west end.
SIDENOTE: If you click on that link and go to Wikipedia, the photo they have of Glasgow tenements is literally a block away from my flat.
If you’re not familiar with a tenement block, it’s exactly as it sounds: it’s a block of tenement buildings, and they’re all attached to one another. So they form a solid block of neighbourhood, but they’re all separate buildings. (Remember when the flat next door to mine was on fire and I didn’t know? It’s because it wasn’t just the flat across the hall; it was the next building over.) As such, the back yards of these buildings are all lined up on the inside of the block, forming one giant courtyard separated by iron fences. Which is what you’re looking at in the photo above.
Imagine that many buildings sharing a back yard.
Imagine how many windows there are to look at.
IMAGINE THE EAVESDROPPING.
I became a bit addicted to window watching when I lived in Glasgow.
It started with a morbid fascination with this hilarious, 50-something man who was always naked in his kitchen (even when he was ironing, which seems dangerous), but it expanded from there to a guy about my age who lived directly across from me, a woman in her 40s who always seemed lonely, and a rowdy, rowdy group on the ground level across from me who seemed to have a party every night and who had an ample supply of large, inflatable novelty items. My favourite one was the giant inflatable flower pot, complete with a single flower. It was often hanging out of their window.
Needless to say, I got completely immersed in all of the lives I had easy access to on a daily basis. I even wrote a play based on the idea. I still have notebooks full of ideas and scenes that I wrote about those windows.
I think that view is one of the things I miss most about Glasgow.
Cue my heartache.
2009-2010 was the year I learned that people watching is integral to my being.***
(And people watching people with sexy accents who think I have a sexy accent is even better.)
*If there is, it’s probably in Sweden.
***And the year I fell 100% in love with Glasgow.