Sunday, August 29, 2004
On Saturday we decided to head west to see my parents. The subject of the great Glasgow/Edinburgh debate arose in my forum last week and it ignited the desire to get back through as soon as I could. And so off we went along the motorway to visit the 'old dears'.
The drive through to Glasgow always gets me excited - you've left Edinburgh behind and then there is nothing but wild countryside. Eventually you see a sign reading, "Welcome to Glasgow", and in the distance the first tower block of flats appears over the horizon. Signs to Garthamlock, Easterhouse and Shotts become bigger, and you start to wonder if the hub caps will still be on the car by the time you reach the Kingston Bridge (joke!). It is great to pass over the city on the mototrway - so many landmarks and memories - the feelings of time travel become very real and I realise just how much Ido miss the Dear Green Place.
When we arrived at my parents I was delighted to discover we were to be treated to a dinner, and my father threw in some cans of beer into the equation as well. By the time dinner had finished I was feeling good, and since the rain had stopped I took Laura out to show her some of the streets where I grew up. My entire life from birth until I left home was spent in this town - she failed to grasp it.
And this is where my day really started to feel like time travel. As we walked, I recalled all of my friends who lived in the houses we passed. Who knew if they ever returned here? Some, possibly, others had moved on. I saw the spot where I had my first kiss, the garden where me and my best friend played Star Wars games and football, the spot whereI had one of my more serious cycle accidents, and the corner where I fought the town bully. Looking back, I never once thought that 20 years after all of this, I wold return with my daughter of 7 years old.
It was emotional, particularly whenI stood outside the home of Joe and Carmella Palombo. Joe, or Uncle Joe as he was known to me without actually being related, was a legend around my hometown. He was a first generation Italian immigrant and everyone knew him as a loveable scamp, although he had a few other sides to his coin. I remember the day he died, like someone in my own familypassing on. My memory turned to astonishement when I realised that day was 27th August 1994 - precisely 10 years ago to this day. I couldn't turn the pages of my notebook quick enough when I got home.
Sunday arrived and I had plenty of chores to do - clean the bathroom, do the washing, make the dinner etc. Gail had gone shopping with her friend and Laura, so I finished them early giving me time to write. I redrafted Facing The Music, though I am still not happy with it. I think it needs a couple of more hundred words to be honest - the story doesn't feel finished. I startyed making notes for a rework of Bill McCarthy but again, I am not sure where to take it with the feedback I received from Gorlan Publications. I think I will sleep on this one for a few days.
I also designed a website for myself. I have this blog but I wanted to make a start on a proper author's website.And so I have. http://www.colingalbraith.co.uk will be ready for action some time this week hopefully. The site can be previewed at http://www.themagnificent7.co.uk/writing/index.html if you are interested.
Finally, I transferred the last of my notes from my daily notebook into the real one (I carry a small one round for comfort more than anything).
RIP Uncle Joe