Friday, 24 February 2012


There was this British TV comedy in the 70s called The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin. Every time the eponymous character, played by Leonard Rossiter, thought of his mother-in-law an image of a hippo galumphing across a mudflat would flash before his eyes with an accompanying 'dum dum' trumpeting sound. I often see the same image when out and about in the East End of Glasgow. I've just returned from a shopping expedition and hate to go so late in the day because it gets busy (but had a bloody Couchsurfer staying!) As a posh English twit it's not pc to criticize the Scots. So I can't say how fat and disgusting a lot of them are. I can't talk about how they smoke right in the supermarket doorway, wear shellsuits, look miserable and the ones who don't look miserable are scowling at you. I also can't mention the men with full heads of hair who have shaved it all off, how everyone has babies in pushchairs, they stand with their trollies against the shelves so you can't reach across, they gossip with their fat arses filling up the aisles so you can't get past and fill up scores of plastic bags (a checkout assistant told me less than 10% bring bags with them) with white bread, booze, ginger (that's what they call fizzy drink here), crisps and cream cakes. Whereas of course I don't do any of these things, being the paradigm of virtue that I am.

Filling my panniers with a week's worth of healthy supplies (All Bran, raw spinach, organic quail's eggs, artisan tofu, etc) is always a delicate operation. I put the heaviest and largest items at the bottom and smaller, larger things higher up, with something like a locally-sourced bunch of bananas at the top.

I got my dollars yesterday. I was looking at the exchange rate online and then discovered that money could be delivered by post. It was my normal postman who handed 1440 AUS dollars/1005 sterling to me! Obviously it had to be signed for.

Sent out my final, desperate, pleas for accommodation yesterday and it resulted in two more beds. Looks like I'll have to stay in hotels for about six nights out of my two month stay - which is very good. One host sent out a group email amongst her local friends and all of their replies landed in my inbox. It was interesting to read the messages they sent to each other. One described me as "Your lad" to the host who had sent out the original message. Someone else said "Give me a hoy if you need more info." Think I'll start a book with all the lingo I hear.

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