My anticipation was that September would be a relatively quiet month, with no travel plans on the docket – and that would perhaps have been the case if I was a practising nephalist. Alas, the past few weeks brought a number of visitors from to our shores, just in time for the transition from an Indian Summer to a Scottish Autumn. Old friends. Family. Colleagues. As a result, I’ve been out and about playing host, and since our traditional form of Glasgwegian hospitality often involves participatory imbibement, I’ve been drinking a fair bit.
The weighty responsibility of repeatedly helping others to experience Glasgow ‘properly’, and somehow facilitate them getting at least a glimpse of what makes it special has inevitably led me to examine my own relationship with the city. With rising costs, restrictions on freedoms, and a general over familiarity, it seems that some kind of nostopathy is creeping in. I’ve been forced to confront the question of what I actually still like about this place.
My reflections have come about partly as a result of frequent trips to the capital, Edinburgh. There’s a lot to hate about that place – filled as it is with obnoxious tourists and tartan tat. However, there are also hidden bars and charming streets; fresh nooks and crannies to explore. Not for the first time in the past few years, I’ve began to toy with the idea of what it would be like to move Eastward, if only for a shift in perspective. As a Weegie, Auld Reekie might not be my favourite place in the world, but realistically it would be one of the few viable options. There isn’t really anywhere else in this God-forsaken island that would be much better.
This is all becoming quite morose now, and it was never intended to be. The last few weeks have been anything but dull – and perhaps that is the problem. Reminders of the possibilities of life can sometimes serve only to highlight the everyday mundanity which is all-too-easy to slip into, or the pressures of responsibility which become a singular fixation.
It was around about this time last year that I had very similar feelings – ones which eventually turned out to be precipitating a period of transition and positive change. It can be hard to see what is on the other side when you are going through such a process, and so I’m not entirely sure what will happen – but I suspect there are some fundamental shifts on the horizon.
One thing I have enjoyed is the new Lumix GX9 that I picked up. Coupled with a Leica 9mm f1.7 lens, it has become my everyday camera – coming with me on every major adventure and minor interaction. The portability and versatility has helped me preserve and savour the series of moments that make up life over the past month, and I’ve found myself rediscovering some of what I liked about taking pictures in the first place.
For now… we have October.