Queen’s Park, Glasgow

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I used to live in the Gallowgate area of Glasgow, which is right in the city centre. At times, it could be pretty much chaos. I can’t tell you how many times I ended up calling the police about some incident unfolding just below us at the Cross, or the bizarre characters that used to kick about there. I’m pretty sure that there’s something psychologically symbolic that draws people there as a meeting place. Oh, and then there was the times that I paid for rent by selling photographs of major incidents to newspapers…

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All of that aside, being in the centre of town was massively handy, and I came to love the area with all of its quirks and dangerous peculiarities. There was always something going on, and you always felt in the middle of everything.

Late last year I moved to the South Side of Glasgow, and I was concerned that I’d really miss the Gallowgate… and, truth be told, I do.

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…but. I was up round there again recently, and it struck me just how nice the south is to live in. It feels more like somewhere that you actually… live, like, normal people, rather than caught up in the middle of city life.

Part of that might be down to the fact that Queen’s Park feels a lot more like a park that you can visit without having to be drunk, unlike Glasgow Green.

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If I ever move from Glasgow, I’ll dearly miss the dear green place.

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say hello: ~@stephenemm or ~Google+

The Lake District – June 2014

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How often do you meet somebody that you consider to be a good friend, then realise that you haven’t seen each other for months, or even years? It’s something that’s all too easy to let happen, especially if you are away a lot.

Sometimes, the people that live closest are the ones we end up seeing less, as it can feel like there’s no need to organise a particular date to meet up, as you can do so anytime. With friends that live further away, we are forced to make a conscious effort with, and so the friendships often can grow a lot stronger as a result.

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A group of my pals from down South and I had been talking for ages about making the effort to go away for a week together, rather than just sort-of falling into seeing each other for particular social events (the last twice had been down to weddings!). With Grace having moved over from the US, we booked a cottage for a week – somewhere near Penrith, in the Lake District. I say ‘somewhere’, because it really was in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, both Hannah and Matt, and Paul and Charlotte had cars, as the nearest shop was a half hour-ish drive away.

The place itself was a nice, renovated old… farmhouse of some description.

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This was the dog from next door. He was French, and had a name that I can’t remember or pronounce, but that sounded something like ‘EE-YES!’

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There was also a trampoline in the back garden.

More on that in a following post…

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The surrounding scenery was beautiful, as one might expect from the Lake District.

See that hill in the background? Well, it’s a lot higher than it looks. I know this because for some reason, it seemed like a great idea to climb it at midnight after some beverages, in the pitch black. The girls disagreed, and so the men amongst us went on an adventure.

It would have worked out fine, had we followed the path. Cutting through the field at what felt like an upward 85 degree angle was probably not the wisest decision, especially when we had to come back down. Not only did I find out exactly how unfit I am, rip my jeans on barbed wire, get soaked to the bone, and lose the bottle of cider (a tragedy), but I also got stung all the way up my legs by nettles.

There was definitely a sense of achievement afterwards however.

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Do holidays in the Lake District mean that we are now officially old?

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Old or not, I’m fine with it. One of the highlights was trawling the various delis in Penrith to find a selection of fancy cheeses, chutneys, meats, and wine. We then spread these out in an impressive platter.

You can’t go wrong with a cheese night.

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One not-so-amusing thing about the Lake District is the number of properties owned by the National Trust. Whilst entry to the trails and parks they own were free, you had to pay £5 to park there – with no other options available. It felt like a bit of a sham, especially as there was no need for a gift shop at the bottom of a woodland trail.

We were unimpressed.

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but that didn’t spoil things.

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For the most part, the weather was nice… which meant we could explore round about where we were staying.

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even though a journey of 2 miles felt like it was really closer to 5.

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and of course, we always managed to find our way to somewhere for a bit of a rest…

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June 2014 – Lake District
Lomo LC-A – expired 35mm film

say hello: ~@stephenemm or ~Google+