Trawling the old blog posts which I wrote and never posted I found this - written in draft back in October. Sadly Mark didn't pass that exam, so we will have to repeat the trip after he sits it again (in May)!
Picture the scene. It's the day after Mark has his last accountancy exam. He's off work. I'm off work. We have planned for a wee trip to a beautiful loch, or some nice hill somewhere for some fresh air, a good climb, purty scenery. Instead we unintentionally catch up on some much needed zzzzs, surfacing around midday. We still wanted to go somewhere new but didn't really have time to go far as I was meant to be playing a gig that night. So we hop on a train for 10 minutes and arrive at the other end of town - the East End (dumdumDUM)!
It's not somewhere either of us have spent a lot of time. Although at one point I was going through to Parkhead roughly once a week to visit, get fed by and tutor an asylum seeker friend in everything from languages to computer programming. But it turns out the East End is a pretty interesting place, completely different vibe to the west end for sure, but also the south side or in the north where I work. We didn't quite follow this walk but we were inspired by it. Although I have to say, labelling Belgrove (allegedly one of the most unpleasant hostels you could end up in, in Glasgow) as "fabulous" and "Art Deco" did in my mind take it a little too far.
So we wandered about, saw the interesting clock tower and some of the derelict factories, noticed hidden studios and other gems, passed Celtic Park, had a nice wee chat with a lady in a burger van, had a couple of rolls and sausage, Mark had some Irn Bru. Well, when I say "had" I mean, walked down the street swigging his can with great show and pride (I tell you, the boy is just desperate to be Scottish!) Talking of Irn Bru, I have never in my life seen so many deals on Irn Bru cans in shop windows. Even the local fruit and veg shop brandished a hand-written sign - "4 Irn Bru cans for £1.10"! Had a very cheap tea in a huge mug. There are few things that irritate me more than food made to look "exquisite" which leaves your stomach making noises like an aggravated elephant, this includes tiny teacups of tea. Wandered through the Forge Shopping Centre - big place, easy to get lost - and caught the bus home just before it started to chuck it down with rain.
So yes - East End of Glasgow - great place. Despite the rep, it's still well worth a visit!