Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Monday, October 11, 2004

City Moods

When I got up, I was still really hacked off for forgetting to submit “Daffodils” into the competition before the October 10th deadline. Reluctantly, but accepting the fact that I had to just get on with it now and put it behind me, I opened my submissions tracker spreadsheet to update it with a rejection (as punishment) and lo and behold – the deadline is 15th October! I have till Friday!! I was getting confused with the dates because there is another one due for Dec 10th. And so I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. I have been given a second chance, and I will make sure the entry is on its way before the end of the day.

It wasn’t a particularly interesting day. There wasn’t much happening anywhere really. Sometimes, I sense the mood of the city as I walk through it. It’s an interesting way to get to know the place you live. Over the years I have noted the differing personalities of a city or town, which includes the buildings as well as the people.

Paisley – It used to be young and vibrant, but somehow became a ghost town. You could taste the anger that came from that, the depression and the sense of parochialism. Paisley always seemed to think it was better than it really was, and it has become cursed. Walking through it now, it resembles a dying old man who once had a dream. Unfortunately, he took too many drugs, drank too much and got involved with the wrong kind of women. Now he hobbles about with a bad reputation and no friends.

Glasgow – Some days you really felt the anger within the city streets. There is no way to explain it; such an intangible feeling but the nervous energy it generated while doing something as simple as walking for a bus could really become quite intense sometimes. All you wanted to do when that happened was get in to the house, barricade the door, make some toast and tea and put on a video. You would feel like you had to watch your back sometimes, and if you got in a taxi, the driver would be cursing at other motorists and driving like a maniac. Or there would be a delay in the off-license as some young Ned was refused alcohol and starts to get mouthy. His friends outside maybe getting edgy and so you leave before it kicks off like you know it will. And if there is a football match in the city that day between the Old Firm teams, you can taste the hatred and anger in the air on every corner.

This is only one emotion I used to get in Glasgow. The most common by far is a sense of transition and positive thinking. Glasgow still makes me feel like I belong to it and that it is my true home. Glasgow is the man trying to break away from his past and shed the stereotypical images he has lived with for so long. He is young and he is old; constantly changing and able to fit into most age groups. Yet he still remains fundamentally the same in a lot of respects; the self-deprecating humour of the man on the street, the in-your-face opinions, the love of football, socialising, romance and down to earth way of living. Glasgow is a friendly chap behind the gruesome face, and once you get to know, will be a life-long friend.

Edinburgh – A city of enormous variety, yet to me covers its face with the biggest and fanciest of masks. You can feel the pride it has in its history, of generations steeped in Scottish history and a passion for upholding all things Scottish. Though in doing so, Edinburgh has split itself in two and now has its problems like anywhere else. You can feel the shame that Edinburgh has towards its other half, and both these halves have a real dislike for the other. The political, historical and money laden side hates the discount shopping, 20 Benson & Hedges, Alcopop side, and vice versa. The two sides clash wherever you look, and it is this war that I see whenever I walk through the streets of Edinburgh. I see a pompous arrogance at times, which is at odds with reality; the reality of life everywhere else on Scotland. I can feel it, and it is unwelcoming because I am unsure where I fit at times. Edinburgh can be very cliquey; one day you are its friend, and the next you are not welcome to sit at its table.

I just saw how long this Blog is getting! I’ll stop there because I'm getting a really weird feeling of deja vu. At night I worked more on my Website Manuals and a couple of websites that are on the go just now. Also wrote some notes for HJ but have given him a couple of days off due the Para 1 on Issue 15 debacle. I’ll get back to him tomorrow.

Colin 11:34 pm


You have hit the nail on the head with your comments about Paisley, I'm afraid to say.
It is definently not the same town that I grew up in and that makes me quite sad.
However, it is trying and as long as it does there is still hope...
I'm glad you didn't miss the deadline. I remember Daffodils and it is an excellent story. Good luck with it.


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