Wow – have Debbie and I been busy this month or what?
Here’s a quick recap before I forget, it started with dropping Emma off at Newport railway station on the 2nd September and picking her up on the 10th after arriving back from her latest visit to boyfriend Josh who lives in Saxmundham in Suffolk.
In the meantime I dropped James off at Newport National Express stop on the 9th September, picking him up a few days later on his return from visiting Alex & Emily on the 11th. Now you understand my new role as unpaid taxi driver…
On Monday the 12th Debbie, Emma & myself took the short one hour Flybe flight from Cardiff airport to Glasgow with Debbie & I acting as luggage “mules” for Emma who was starting her Masters research degree in Victorian Literature at Glasgow University.
We almost didn’t make the airport in time as I’d underestimated how long it would take to get there on a Monday rush hour morning, plus lots of confusion about where Long Term Car Park 1 in relation to the departures terminal didn’t help. For the record there are no shuttle buses & you have to walk to the terminal from the car park with no luggage trolleys! We shouldn’t have worried though as the flight was nearly an hour late…
After a quick bite to eat and a chance to calm my nerves we boarded the plane which for me was the first time in well over 18 months I’d flown. How times change and a rather turbulent approach landing in Glasgow reminded me how much my new life has changed for the better in retirement!
After a rather worrying taxi ride to Emma’s new accommodation right next to the University, the driver didn’t know where the address was so was constantly looking at his mobile on the move, we met Kirsty at reception only to find that the lift to Emma’s new fourth floor flat was unfortunately out of order.
Feeling like a rather reluctant & unpaid Sherpa, we climbed the stairs with Emma’s three large checked in suitcases & various hand luggage to her rather swish new abode, where we slowly unpacked.
Next Debbie & I made our way to the Devoncove hotel where we were staying for two nights while helping Emma settle into postgraduate life in Scotland. Fortunately the lift to the second floor this time was working, although on examination of room 204 it became apparent why it only cost £60 a night including full cooked breakfast, but to be honest we didn’t care being located so close to Emma.
After a quick shower and change we decided to go for a quick drink nearby in a rather nice bar called the Ben Nevis specialising in malt whiskey, although Debbie had her normal tipple of dry white wine and I went for a delicious pint of Shetland Gold pale ale. The main people tasting a “wee dram” appeared to be American tourists saying how the weaker pound was making their holiday so much cheaper!
Thus fortified we then walked to pick up Emma from her flat & took her for dinner for some delicious tapas at the Rioja restaurant nearby. The food & atmosphere was so good that the following night we went again and although my memory is starting to fade, I do remember Emma showing a liking for large gin and tonics with me ordering a Crema Catalana in memory of all my visits to Barcelona and Tarragona for Pfizer with Joan Baiget!
The next day after a hearty breakfast we made our way back to Emma’s again and decided to explore the city via an open top bus tour. This is something that Debs and I have done many times before and it’s a great way to quickly learn about a place’s sights and history. So far we’ve done London, Edinburgh, Bath and Norwich & now Glasgow.
After dropping off outside the University at the end of the tour, we all went to registration to pick up Emma’s new University ID card.
The whole area was milling with freshers students, but we had more onerous tasks ahead with numerous appointments with shops to equip Emma’s new flat. This for me was the nadir of the visit, although I suspect Mrs & Ms Shores secretly enjoyed watching me getting grumpier & grumpier, as I was increasingly laden down with toasters, kettles, knives, towels, bedding, although by signing Debs up for an Uber account, we got a free ride back to Emma’s flat which sweetened the bitter pill a tad!
In fact we needed to pick up so much stuff that we had to go shopping again the next day after catching the Glasgow Subway into the centre of the city – I didn’t even know Glasgow had an underground! In order to recharge our batteries we stopped off at the Chaophraya Glasgow a brilliant Thai restaurant for lunch, with a second helping of the brilliant Rioja tapas restaurant as mentioned before for dinner.
Sadly, the next morning we checked out of the hotel with only my mini rucksack for luggage and said goodbye to Emma before catching a taxi to the airport organised by Kirsty, who also helped print out our boarding cards and check in to the flight. This time on arrival there were no delays to report on our flight back to Cardiff and no turbulence either and we made it back to Llanfoist safely, but exhausted!