Places that get into your bones

Well it’s now confirmed, by the first of April I shall be moving back to Glasgow making my excursion to Newcastle exactly one year long.

When I was first gearing up to leave Glasgow it was amongst the furore of the end of my previous job (I’m sure some of you will remember the saga of Kevin The Bastard and his succesful attempt to use our money to sort out the problems with his company leading to a mass walk out) and a few other reasons for why I needed to get the hell out of Glasgow for some perspective. I’d been living in the same place for ten years. The prospects of a better job in Glasgow were only slightly slimmer than getting one at all. I was overloaded with commitments both with work and socially. I didn’t feel I was developing any more, just sort of ambling along.

So what has a year in Newcastle done for me? Well it’s made me able to compartmentalise and prioritise a good deal better. I’ve got a much clearer sense of developing and being on a path and, although I’m not quite clear what the path exactly is, finding it is proving more than half the fun. I’ve got a good job that is well paid, it’s major downside being the amount of driving I have to do which is largely because I have not been as well located as they had hoped and, in fact, I’d be better off from that perspective back in Glasgow.

Finally I realised the other night, as I was wandering down to a shop, that I am happy here and indeed could be happy very nearly anywhere; Newcastle is in many ways, I thought, like a small version of Glasgow – hell the Tuxedo Princess (a hive of scum and villainy that used to be moored on the Clyde) is even here! Newcastle has a motorway slicing through the middle of it which then tries to take all of the traffic over a woefully inadequate bridge. Newcastle has a massive and devisive football rivallry between Newcastle United and Sunderland. The people have difficult to understand accents and a dialect that is so similar to East Lothian scots it’s uncanny. It of course lacks a lot of things; night clubs better than the aforementioned Tuxedo Princess, 24 hour shops and pubs that stay open later than 11pm.

And then I thought – I am comparing everything here to Glasgow, and why? Glasgow is in my bones, I was born there, I lived most of my adult life there. I think perhaps I would have benefited more from a year somewhere that is not quite so like Glasgow. I might, in fact, feel more inclined to stay there longer. Next time I need to leave for a while I’ll go a lot further and to somewhere a lot different.

Leaving Newcastle will not be without some regret, I have made many fine and firm friends here who I expect to stay in touch with. Going back to Glasgow shall not be without some trepidation, I don’t want to fall back into all the old habits, just one or two of the nicer ones.

A friend once said to me “Glasgow is the sort of place you get your braces stuck in the door of when you leave, you always get pulled back.” He was right.