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Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

Image7_2

P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

600px-US_27.svg

SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

photo(1)

Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Three Hundred Twenty Eight.

Remember my post about Life Math and punctuality?

Let’s keep going with that for a second…

OTHER TYPES OF LIFE MATH I DON’T GET

SIDENOTE: Am still struggling with punctuality a lot of days, but have realized it’s mostly my dogs’ fault. (I know, what an excuse, but seriously.)

1. Toothpaste vs. Foam

Look, I know that some people are able to like, brush their teeth while they walk around the house and get ready for the day. (My BFF Mags does it and it totally confounds me.) But I am not one of those people. I don’t understand how my pea-sized dab of toothpaste always becomes FOAM EVERYWHERE. All over. Everywhere. Like this, which I’m sure you’ve all seen, but I love it anyway:

BFf5pJnCMAAlGBt

It just doesn’t add up!

2. Dogs vs. Bed

My dogs are small dogs. They’re not teacup dogs, but they’re small. And while I may not have a giant, hotel-style king-sized bed (I FUCKING WISH), I do have a nice, normal queen-sized bed. So how, how, HOW is it that when my two small dogs get into bed with me, I have NO ROOM?

on_bed_1024_263614k

Even that guy looks like he has more sleeping space than I get when Oscar and Lucy are in bed with me.

Maybe it’s because they sleep horizontally or wherever the fuck they please, while I’m left trying to push them out of the way for a tiny sliver of mattress space…

SIDENOTE: As I was writing this blog post, I looked up and caught my dogs hanging out like this:

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 10.25.45

AHHHHHHH! Heart exploded.

3. Tears vs. Water

This is sort of like the feeding a baby vs. the amount they vomit question. As I’m sure you may have gathered from some of my posts a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing a bit of crying. Specifically, I’d say I cried a LOT over the course of say, two to three days.

And then I was dehydrated for like, a week and a half.

No, seriously.

I couldn’t stop drinking water. My mouth was dry, my throat was sticking. It was like being stuck in a weird stereotypical movie about someone stranded in the desert. I felt like I was full of sand and I couldn’t get enough hydration. Surely I didn’t cry that much. So what the fuck, body?

Lesson learned: I’ll never get an ‘A’ in Life Math. (Or any math after like, grade six math, based on past experience…)

What are your biggest Life Math struggles/puzzles?

xA

Two Hundred Forty Nine.

To really appreciate today’s life lesson, you need to read the last wee bit of yesterday’s post

Are you really too lazy to click over?

Okay, fine – I’m gonna help you out.

That was the day I learned – you guessed it – to answer my mom when she called me, lest she have a full-on call-the-FBI-freakout.

EXCEPT

(I’m a Libra – there’s always an exception to the rule, y’all.)

I had found it. The perfect hiding spot.

(No, I wasn’t sitting on the toilet, smart ass. My mom had totally learned to check there for me every time I went “missing.”)

I was in the linen closet.

You might think, “DUH, Andrea: that’s the easiest hiding spot ever,” but it had never really occurred to me. You see, it was pretty jam-packed. I had never seen the possibility before.

But on this particular day, I had a stroke of genius, I guess. I moved some of the folded towels and bed sheets up to a higher shelf and I crawled into the closet, leaning back on all of the fluffy linens, my feet pressed against the inside wall of the closet, my knees crunched against the underside of the shelf above me.

WHAT!

How had I never done this before? I mean (A) I was in a closet, which gave me an immediate advantage, (B) I was on linens – linens, people! – and (C) should I suddenly realize that I really had to pee, I was right next to the bathroom. Everything about this was right. Hell, I could have fallen asleep in there. I think I almost did at one point.

The thing that kept me awake was my own smug satisfaction. My mom was once again calling out my name and I was 100% out of sight. She would never find me here. I was, without a doubt, the best hider in the history of Hide and Seek. Sucker.

My hubris was my downfall, of course. My mom got into the hallway where the closet was and called my name. And I couldn’t help myself. I started to giggle and how much she sucked at this game.

“Andrea?” my mom called again, trying to place the source of the giggling.

I knew I had been found. It was good while it lasted. I threw open the closet door and rolled onto the floor in a fit of laughter.

Best. Hide and Seek. Ever.

So, the lesson here is that you should always answer your mom when she’s calling you, except when you’re totally kicking her ass at Hide and Seek.

xA

P.S. Just so you know – in case you haven’t played much Hide and Seek – once you’ve found the perfect hiding spot, it’s all over. You get one moment of glory, because after that, everyone’s gonna check the perfect spot first, every single time. I learned that the hard way.

Two Hundred Two.

I’m not one for crowds.

On occasion, I’ll put up with crowds, like when my mom and I spent New Year’s Eve in Brussels and we stood, packed like sardines, watching the fireworks super close up, or when I did a 5K walk for breast cancer research with thousands of other people. But for the most part, I do what I can to avoid crowds. If I have to go to a mall (ugh!), I’ll go when I know it’s going to be quiet. If I go to a concert, I’d prefer to sit (I had my fill of mosh pits as a teen). And so on. Crowds make me feel claustrophobic and angry; I either start to hate everyone around me, or I start to panic. Or both.

But on November 5, 2009, I experienced a crowd like no other.

It was Guy Fawkes Day and I was in Glasgow. A few of my classmates and I met up and made the trek down to Glasgow Green for the fireworks and festivities.

The Glasgow Green area and the People's Palace.
The Glasgow Green area and the People’s Palace.

As we were walking over, it was busy, yes, but not overwhelmingly so. There were small groups of friends ahead of us and behind us. Nothing crazy.

The same goes for when the fireworks were actually happening. The Green was crowded, but there were lots of pockets of open space. My friends and I watched the fireworks, played with the sparklers we had brought along, and took lots of photos without anyone being in our way. It was a lot of fun to be a part of such a large celebration.

Then it ended and we had to walk back. That was when it got overwhelming.

Honestly, it felt like every person in Glasgow was walking along with us. We were squished between people, basically being herded along by the momentum. All of the streets were so full of people that you couldn’t see the asphalt, and there were cars stopped everywhere, encircled by the crowds. They honked, to no avail, of course. Every once in a while, you would hear or see a firecracker go off, or a couple people would run by, pushing through the hordes. There was yelling, singing, drunken arguing, and the occasional scream.

And there I was, caught in the middle, wondering how long it would be until I had some breathing room. Feeling like I was stuck in some sort of apocalyptic disaster. Worrying about pickpockets. And fire crackers. And getting run over by an angry, stuck vehicle with a driver who could, at any moment, decide enough is enough.

At that point, I learned something about myself.

Something very, very important.

If zombies ever happen, I would be more comfortable in a 28 Days Later situation:

28-days-later-original

than in a World War Z type situation:

World+War+Z+2

(Filmed in Glasgow, BTW.)

I’m a loner. I’ll wander by myself until I find a small, hopefully sane, group of people to restart the world with. Better than getting trampled by crazy panicking people.

Wait.

Unless the whole zombie apocalypse thing happens like Shaun of the Dead. Then I’ll take that.

And yourself?

xA

P.S. A zombie apocalypse would also be one of only a few reasons I could see myself choosing to spend a significant amount of time in a mall. Hmm.

One Hundred Sixty Eight.

Let me tell you something: these are all true.

SD1

SD2

SD3

I’ve learned a lot about myself by sleeping with Oscar and Lucy. Here’s a sampling:

Wake up!
Wake up!
Wake up now!
Wake up now!

I could probably sleep on a single wooden plank if I had to.

Let’s just say there are nights I barely get the ‘q’ of my queen-sized bed. This is usually due to the fact that Oscar likes to sleep horizontally in bed, and Lucy just likes the middle of the bed in general. Little twerps.

I’m not actually an ‘I’d prefer to be cold’ sleeper.

I used to be. I used to hate being too hot when I slept. But now, if I have to sleep away from my dogs, I can’t sleep at all. I feel freezing and the bed feels too empty. I’d rather have a Boston Terrier plastered to each side of my body and be drenched in sweat.  (Sexy, right? Did I mention I’m single?)

I will put up with just about anything if I love you

Have you ever met a Boston Terrier? They – like all short-faced breeds – snore and fart. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Oooh, doggie snores – so cute!” No, no, guys: Boston Terriers snore like tractors. And I have two. They often wake me up with their snoring, and then they keep me up because I watch them snore because they’re cute.

SIDENOTE: When they wake each other up with their snores, they don’t find each other cute. They give each other the stink eye.

Don’t even get me started on the farts. I can’t even.

Guarantee you she was snoring when this was taken.
Guarantee you she was snoring when this was taken.

…Except when I want you to move and you won’t.

I never really thought of myself as a whiny sleeper. You know the ones. The people who swear at you when you try to wake them up and then go back to sleep. I don’t have a problem being woken up, but here’s what gets me: when I get up to go pee and find a dog in my spot upon returning to bed. And then that dog – OSCAR – will NOT move. He might look small, but he still weighs 30lbs, and he knows how to make himself heavier. When this happens, I turn into the most juvenile, whiny bitch that ever was. I embarrass myself with how whiny I get.

SIDENOTE: This also happens when I’m trying to turn over and Oscar won’t get out of my way.

Get out of my bed.
Get out of my bed.

I can wake up in an instant when someone is vomiting, but apparently not when someone is having emergency diarrhea all over my floor.

……………

I LOVE CUDDLING.

And then there are the nights where sleeping with Oscar and Lucy is like a dream come true. Sometimes it’s a Mama sandwich, and sometimes I get a puppy sleeping in my arms, belly up, like a tiny person. Sometimes I’m extra lucky and I get one in each arm.

Ridiculous.
Ridiculous.
RIDICULOUS.
RIDICULOUS.

These nights happen once a week or so. I think they plan it that way so that I forget how annoying they usually are and keep letting them sleep in my bed.

Clever twerps.

xA

One Hundred Sixty One.

Okay, it was early summer in 2009 and I was with my BFF Louise at the theatre I worked at, preparing for a photo shoot for one of my upcoming Fringe productions.

I had just finished putting A LOT of makeup on Louise, who was playing an alien in a bizarre, 1950s B-movie sci-fi play I had written. Basically, she had green glitter from her eyelashes to her eyebrows, green glitter on her cheeks, and green lipstick. Her hair – which was half black and half blonde at the time – was curled. Oh yeah, and she was wearing a corset wrapped in tin foil, which was her makeshift costume until we got her head-to-toe silver spandex, courtesy of American Apparel. (Who buys that shit for real life use? Seriously.) I almost forgot: she also had antennae on.

She looked very similar to this production shot:

"Astronomic-os - they're out of this world!" Copyright Meryl Smith Lawton for Cowardly Kiss Theatre
“Astronomic-os – they’re out of this world!” Copyright Meryl Smith Lawton for Cowardly Kiss Theatre

At the time, Louise was a smoker, and the makeup job had taken a long time, so she wanted to have a quick cigarette before we started taking photos. She put on a hoodie and we went to stand out front.

The reactions were instant. Every car that drove by honked. Some people rolled down their windows when they stopped at red lights to shout random shit at us. We even saw a very near accident, all due to a little green makeup.

Then we noticed a lady coming down the street toward us. She was a black woman (which I promise is relevant, and not just some random statement) in her late 20s/early 30s, and she was pushing a baby in a stroller. Her second child, who looked like she was about three, was walking next to her, holding onto the stroller.

We braced ourselves for a big reaction, since this woman was going to be our first face-to-face encounter, not just someone passing by in a car. She walked up to us looking very serious and paused.

(Our mutual inner thought: “Here it comes…”)

“Is this the way to the black lady hair salon?”

In my mind, there was a painfully awkward five minute pause while I tried to absorb what was happening, but in real life, I’m sure it was two seconds. Had she just said what I heard? Had she not reacted to Louise’s green face?

“Oh, um, well, there’s a specialty African salon across the street and about half a block down that way. Or just on the corner there is Images and Shades – they have lots of stuff there, too.”

“Okay, I need the one that puts the weave in, not just sells the weave.”

“You definitely want the place down the road, then! They’re a full salon.” I smiled.

“Perfect! Thanks, ladies!”

“No problem.”

She started to walk away, then paused and turned back to us briskly. She stared at Louise. Her face went serious again.

(Our mutual inner thought: “Okay, here it comes for real…”)

“Girl, are those your real lashes?!”

“Noooo – god no, I wish – they’re falsies.”

“Hm. They’re gorgeous. Have a great day!”

“You too!” We chimed back at her, watching her walk away.

“So that just happened.” Louise couldn’t help but laugh.

“Totally.”*

Lesson learned: You can tell when someone is Good People based on how they react to your ridiculous costume.

That lady rocked.

xA

*I feel like the words, ” that happened,” and “totally,” are integral to every conversation Louise and I have ever had.

One Hundred Forty Six.

Okay, I know it’s not St. Patrick’s Day yet, but I am going to tell you this story today so that you have an extra few days to experience a St. Patrick’s Day story that tops it.

And I’m not talking about some stupid “I was so drunk that…” story. Anyone can come up with those.

I’m talking straight-up crazy.

Before I begin, I would like to remind you all that I have never done even the most tame of drugs, because I’m a huge square. And while I do have a somewhat huge imagination, I could never  randomly come up with this shit.

ANYWAY.

St. Patrick’s Day in Glasgow. As I just said, I’m a total square. I’m fine with it. The reason I’m saying it again is so that you’ll understand that I avoid St. Patrick’s Day in general. I think it’s just a dumb excuse to get ugly wasted and try to get kissed because you’re “Irish.” The snob in me wishes that people had to pass some sort of St. Patrick’s Day basic knowledge test in order to go out and celebrate.

(Sometimes I’m a big snob.)

So, I don’t go out for St. Patrick’s Day in Canada, and a bunch of my friends/family got me all worked up about St. Patrick’s Day in Glasgow.

“Oh, they’re probably CRAZY about it over there,” they all told me.

So I made a date with myself to stay in. (I may or may not have planned on ordering delicious Japanese delivery.)

But then something wonky happened schedule-wise. I had to switch around some theatre tickets I had ordered, and the only other night I could make it was St. Patrick’s Day.

Okay, fine. I would keep my head down, walk fast and with confidence, and avoid areas with lots of pubs.* What’s the worst that could happen?

Well, I had barely left my house before I found my St. Patrick’s Day story.

I was standing on Dumbarton Road, waiting to catch a bus into city centre. I remember it was raining quite a bit, so I was hiding under the bus shelter proper. Yes, a few drunk guys staggered by me, talking about whatever they were talking about. I shrugged it off.

Waiting for the 62. Waiting for the 62. Waiting for the 62.

What the fuck is that?

I looked over at one of the pubs kitty corner to where I was standing and I saw something bizarre emerging from its front doors.

Is that a….horse?!

A white horse head emerged, followed by its immense body, but not only that, there was a police officer riding the horse. Like this:

What the...?
What the…?

I stared, speechless, wondering how the hell the police officer sitting on the horse had just managed to squeeze out the front doors of the pub, not to mention the fact that they had somehow fit INSIDE the pub to begin with.

And what the hell were they doing in there, anyway?

Just as I was starting to wonder if I had accidentally taken some sort of hallucinogenic drug before leaving my flat, A SECOND WHITE HORSE WITH A POLICE OFFICER ON HIM EXITED THE PUB.

Okay, seriously.

Just imagine the gigantic-ness of this:

?!
?!

And tell me HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!

Once the second horse and officer had exited the tiny corner pub, they turned and traipsed down Dumbarton Road like nothing had happened.

Pretty sure I missed a bus just staring down the road, watching them vanish into the distance.

It was all I could think about for days.

Are there magical shrinking police officers on horseback in Glasgow?

That was the night I learned that St. Patrick’s Day in Glasgow really is crazy.

xA

P.S. I feel like I should be able to come up with some sort of, “So a horse walked into a bar…” joke about this, but quite frankly, I’m still kind of speechless.

P.P.S. Because seriously, this is weird, right? It’s not just me?!

*That doesn’t actually exist in Glasgow, but I meant well.

One Hundred Forty Two.

I miss Glasgow every single day.

I know, I poke a lot of fun at Glasgow and how sketchy it sometimes is. But of course, we all know that every city has its sketchy qualities. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a perfect city.*

Anyway.

I could rattle off 10 things I miss about Glasgow in 10 seconds – that’s how much I love it.

In fact…

  1. Living a five-minute walk from an insanely beautiful gallery/museum.**
  2. The accents.
  3. Living in a building almost as old as my home country.
  4. Being close to the rest of Europe.
  5. Living a short train ride from the ocean and countless lakes.
  6. Having an endless supply of family-owned cafes within two blocks of my flat.
  7. Having incredible Japanese food a block away from my flat (that delivered on extra lazy days/late nights!).
  8. Having a park at the end of my street to sit and read and people watch in.
  9. The shopping. (THE SHOPPING.)
  10. 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:

The view of my kitchen window.
The view of my kitchen window.

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.)

xA

*If there is, it’s probably in Sweden.

**But seriously…

Insane.
Insane.

***And the year I fell 100% in love with Glasgow.

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