Foggy City Orphan

I arrived in Sydney nearly 24 hours ago. The smoke haze on the approach stretched on for miles. It started long before the plane’s descent.

Of course I arrived on a scorching hot day. I got some rest on the plane. I had my first (and what will probably be my only) experience as a business class traveller.

I flew out with Lufthansa under a Star Alliance co-airline flight. Glasgow to Frankfurt – Frankfurt to Hong Kong – Hong Kong to Sydney.

At Frankfurt there was announcement at the departure gate that some business class seats were available for ecomonmy/economy plus travellers to buy at a discounted rate. I thought… well, I can just enquire and see. If it’s stupid money, I won’t. So… I upgraded. Wow! The seats actually FULLY recline prostrate! It was amazing. The leg room. Wow. A MENU of food. I slept properly for about 4-5 hours. Even laid on my stomach at one point. I mean… when do you get to do THAT on a plane!?

Back to economy for the final leg, which was with Cathay Pacific. It was my first experience with Cathay Pacific and I have to say their economy class is VERY good.

We landed almost an hour ahead of schedule. Sydney was humid but cool when I arrived. I took my time. Alighted the plane last. Tidied myself up in the first toilet I saw. Took a seat and filled out the immigration form.

The e-passport thing blows my mind. All electronic. No 20 questions of why I’m the country, etc, etc. Scan and go.

My poor suitcase had hardly any friends left when I got to baggage reclaim.

Going through customs was fun. Some of us weary travellers were guinea pigs for trainee sniffer dogs, so it took a little time to get through there.

Out in arrivals I got myself a coffee and a bite to eat. I got a local SIM for my phone and then went to the train station and got myself to Central to get a connecting train to Liverpool – which still leaves from trusty old platform 19.

On the way through we passed Lidcombe Station. Lidcombe is where my mum grew up – not too far from the station itself. Two stops down is a tiny station – mostly it served workers for the big rail depot there. The station is called Clyde. And… all the time I lived in Sydney, the link never really occurred to me! I know! Silly. But how it hit me yesterday. My mum starting out in Lidcombe, just a short stop away from Clyde… and here I was, home to say goodbye to her. Never being able to say “Oh, mum, guess what? I live near Clyde too now.”

We say goodbye later today. To have been able to talk to her one last time… I wish.

Jinky’s Chinwag – Bruce Findlay

I only just got round to listening to this last night (listened to the podcast rather than watching the YouTube video). It’s 2 hours long and I started listening to it late last night. I expected to eventually drift off to sleep as tiredness came upon me… but I was riveted. Enthralled. Bruce’s life story is fascinating and he went into quite some detail into his formative years. How he started out with the record shops and all the different jobs he had apart from buying the records, the travel he did as a young man (and I could see how there would have been in instant kinship between he and Jim with those hitchhiking travelling stories). It was absolutely fascinating. Not without its more sombre parts too, it has to be said.

It all leading on to Bruce’s Records, and to the Zoom label and, of course, managing Simple Minds.

If you have a spare two hours, give it a watch (or listen to the podcast). Bruce doesn’t have legendary status among us Minds fans for nowt, you know!

A lovely man. Always so warm and gregarious.

Going Home…

Today I booked a Lufthansa flight home. From newest home to first home…

Glasgow to Frankfurt
Frankfurt to Hong Kong
Hong Kong to Sydney

A total of around 28 hours travel time with 22 and a half hours of flying time.

I leave on December 8th – which is now cancelling my trip to Germany and my two Stranglers gigs. It also means what should be my first Christmas in Glasgow will be spent roasting away in hell.

And I want to go back NEXT YEAR just to see a few Simple Minds gigs? I must have fucking rocks in my head!

And so while I try to deal with both a house move AND a flight to the other side of the world in the space of three weeks… I’ll be needing the music of this amazing band and the beauty of this beautiful, beautiful man (sorry, Jim…you’ll just have to deal with the endless adoration, buddy!) to keep me calm, (relatively) sane and tranquil.

I owe him so much from last time. I’ll need him again…

Glasgow – Music Scene Central!

I read a piece from The Guardian yesterday as to why author Karl Whitney believed that Glasgow is the best city in Britain for the popular music-lover. He talked about the vibrancy of the scene, the number of venues the city has, a number of them more intimate music/pubs, some offering a fully vegan menu. I had been in two of them mentioned, The Flying Duck (making my mind up about Walnut Road and hearing Cities being played as some kind of omen) and Mono, in which I had that delicious kumquat margarita – and also checked out adjoining Monorail record bar.

I’ve walked past Nice N’ Sleazy’s numerous times but have never ventured in. And also for me personally, the notion that I am going to be living just 15 minutes away from the Royal Concert Hall fills me with SO MUCH EXCITEMENT…I can’t even!

And he also talked about the shops too, mostly around the West End on the Byers Road. In all my visits to Glasgow so far, one of the things that has eluded a visit is Byers Road. And only this last time did I get a sweeping glance of it as we passed by on the sightseeing tour bus (highly recommended, I must say – and if you love a bit of history and Neil Oliver’s dulcet tones float your boat, you’re in luck! He provides the audio commentary on the bus). But when the move happens…well, I’ll be on the lookout for bargains and by all accounts the Sally Army store up near Partick is the place to go – two birds, one stone!

Anyway, Karl extolls the virtues of my very, VERY soon adopted city much more than I can. Click the image of Barras to read the article.

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Mecca

Earworm Most Apt!

I saw this shared on Facebook a few days ago and I can’t stop playing it…and I’m counting doon the days.

Only 12 of them tae go noo.

WE’RE MOVING TO SCOTLAND! (And then I fuck off to Germany for two Stranglers gigs! 😱😱😱)